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Tenancy agreement

TeddyB22TeddyB22 Member Posts: 117 Courageous
I feeling pretty deflated at the moment. I applied for a house 2 doors down from my Mum where I used to live and was at my happiest. I live about 2 miles away from her and most of the support I need. She's going down hill fast with onset dementia and now COPD. She needs a wheelchair to get around now. Where I live now is getting worse with drug feuds and violence. Although the rent was about £100 more per month I thought bc it was through the same agent as I currently rent through & I'm coming to the end of my contract here, I had a good chance but she said I was unsuccessful. 
I knew when I stepped inside for the viewing she had made her mind up. She said there were 7 applicants and some may have put in a better offer. Offer? I asked her what that meant. She said some people might offer more rent or pay six months up front. I told her I would do that.
She said it'd be up to the landlord. But why would he pay an agent if they didn't have some input? I think she deliberately misguided me bc she is afraid of having no one to occupy the pit in in. The house beside it is empty too and that doesn't look good on her website. I just though she'd do me this favour as I've been a good tenant with no problems. In fact I haven't even rang her once in a year. She's aware of a suicide attempt I made some time ago (my brother blabbed) and I think she might think I'm damaged goods.
I told her I'm wanting out but my contract is up on 2nd Oct. I'm not sure if she's going to pressure me to leave or sign another year's contract. I don't think I can stay here any longer. She is a business woman at the end of the day. Not a lot of people are renting out their homes at the minute but also many houses are not selling. I'm thinking of putting a letter through some houses that are up for sale asking if the owner might consider renting for 6 or 12 mnts. Is this a bad thing to do? Sure they might as well make some money.
Anyway thanks for listening. Any advice is welcome. 
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Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,065 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,

    I'm sorry to hear that. Regarding the "better offer" Where i live if they have quite a few tenants interested in a property then yes they will accept offers of rent from each tenant and then they will take the highest offer but it could also be other things too. Sadly missing out a property happens all the time.

    Hopefully you'll find something better soon, you'll just have to keep looking. My tenancy agree is ending in the next few weeks too but mine will continue as a periodic tenancy. Information here about periodic tenancies. https://www.cwj.co.uk/site/newsandevents/legalnews/periodic-tenancy

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 657 Pioneering
    I had a similar experience this year.

    The agents knew about my problems from the day I moved in (although don't necessarily understand them) and my current property situation.  At the end of last year they offered me a nearby property once the refurbishment had been completed.  There are numerous issues in mine but I can't have workmen in.  That property would cost have me more, so they were set to gain financially and could then refurb my property and increase the rent there too. 

    Covid slowed the refurbishment and by the time it was available I had won PIP and could afford a more suitable place.  I asked if they had any other more suitable places, gave my criteria, and was told no.  I also asked to move there temporarily whilst looking for somewhere more suitable (not knowing how long it might take) and was also told no. 

    So I've been living in limbo for almost a year, trying to put up with faulty and even dangerous fixtures and appliances expecting to move there and genuinely thought they were doing my favour at the time.  Now it seems like it was just for their own financial gain.

    I'm desperately looking for somewhere else, but with a tight area radius, strict criteria and being on benefits, I'm just not finding anything at all.  It's incredibly frustrating as I need to get out of here asap, but am feeling increasingly more depressed about actually finding anywhere any time soon.  One of the issues here is faulty heating, so I'm dreading having to start another winter here.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,065 Disability Gamechanger
    @OverlyAnxious i'm sorry to hear of that. I think it's a catch 22 situation that you're in here because you;re unable to have people in to do the work that needs to be done. May i ask what would happen if you found a suitable property and in the future that may also need some repairs doing to it, as this obviously can happen with all properties. Especially things like gas saftely checks that need to be done each year.

    I'm in the process of having my back garden done by my landlord after she finally took notice of my constant reports of the bad state of repair the decking was in. I've also had to report quite a few things since moving in last October and the workmen have needed to come into my house to do the work needed. I'm just curious how landlords manage with people like yourself.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 3,293 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @TeddyB22 I am sorry about your housing situation and hope you get a resolution soon 

    I dont really have any advice for you but I always  think these things happen for a reason and if you wait you will get what you want
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 657 Pioneering
    @OverlyAnxious i'm sorry to hear of that. I think it's a catch 22 situation that you're in here because you;re unable to have people in to do the work that needs to be done. May i ask what would happen if you found a suitable property and in the future that may also need some repairs doing to it, as this obviously can happen with all properties. Especially things like gas saftely checks that need to be done each year.

    I'm in the process of having my back garden done by my landlord after she finally took notice of my constant reports of the bad state of repair the decking was in. I've also had to report quite a few things since moving in last October and the workmen have needed to come into my house to do the work needed. I'm just curious how landlords manage with people like yourself.

    Hi Poppy,

    I'm ideally looking for a new build or recently refurbished place this time.  Hopefully they shouldn't need any work doing for a while.  I can do small repairs myself such as replacing leaky tap heads or broken light switches.  I'm also aiming to overlap the new place with my current place for a week so that I can check everything major works correctly and have anything repaired before actually moving in.  I moved here in a rush and was told several things would be repaired that were not done.  

    It's all electric here so no regular checks have been needed but I've recently been made aware of yearly gas safety checks.  I was hoping to have gas heating in the next place but I must admit that has put me off a bit!  I wouldn't really have any choice in that but would just have to prepare as best I could, hope they arrived on time and weren't there for long.  It would have consequences but as I say, not much choice if it's a legal requirement.

    I don't deal with a Landlord personally, everything I do is through the agent.  Sadly the agents are pretty poor here, I don't think it's intentional, they're just not very good at their jobs.  The first week I moved in, I was horrified to receive a letter saying that all of our hot water cylinders in every flat would be replaced at some point starting that weekend - they couldn't give a time and would come in using their key if no-one was home!  I can't have people in, I can't have water turned off and I can't cope with mess!  Anyway, it turned out they were just being 'serviced' but the agent had copied and pasted an old letter without even bothering to read it - they have no idea the amount of stress they cause residents by doing things like that. They also weren't serviced properly as a general plumber was sent round that didn't understand the particular system in the newer flats here.  Mine was still faulty and leaked after he'd gone.  I've just had to keep a pot under it and regularly empty it for the last 5 years.  Because the system is over-pressuring, it's also damaged the shower and the hot water taps but I can't go through the hassle of having those replaced so just put up with it and use them as best I can.

    Don't get me wrong, I know I'm a pain, and I'm sure they prefer my neighbours who are out all day and just let maintenance go in and replace things while they're at work.  But I don't ask for much, have never missed a rent payment and have paid every rental increase without a fuss.  All I want is to be left alone and feel comfortable and safe in my own place, which really shouldn't be too much to ask for.  
  • TeddyB22TeddyB22 Member Posts: 117 Courageous
    Thanks for your replies. It seems there are few really genuinely nice landlords out there and not just ones interested in money. My place was so dirty when I moved in and the Agent shrugged when I asked why it wasn't cleaned?
    I can smell burning coming from the the electrical sockets and it trips when I have too many things on at once. The LL told me it is normal. Really? Normal in a modern house that you can't have the kettle on at the same time as the TV?
    He also wouldn't allow me to decorate or improve the property. There's a dirty old shed in the garden that my dog keeps trying to get into. I think there's a nest of rats in there. He won't let me take it down n put a new one up. 
    I think the agent judges me. I'm not working and have mental health problems and she just won't put me in a decent house despite being able to afford it. 
    There's a bungalow in my mums area that has been on the market for 1 n half yrs. It's perfect with a big garden. Yet the owner will not rent it out. I know not everyone likes too. My brother owns a house and was renting it to my younger brother who then lost his job and hasn't paid a penny in one year. He won't register as a ll bc he said he'll jump from paying 20% tax to 40%. But he's lost a whole years rent. He's so soft. I lived with younger brother after getting out of hospital for 7 months. That's how long it took me to find somewhere and for an agent to give me a chance. The last thing she told me the day I signed my contract was 'don't bother me again till you are going to sign anther contract next year'. What do they get paid for? 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 870 Pioneering
    That really doesn't sound good at all @TeddyB22. Have you considered speaking to Citizen's Advice? They have a page on making a complaint about your landlord that you might find helpful. You're not always allowed to decorate rental properties yourself, but they should be fixing issues that sounds dangerous at least, such as the electrical sockets and rat issues. 
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,065 Disability Gamechanger
    @TeddyB22 It's definitely not normal to smell burning from your electrical sockets but the switch tripping is a very good thing and is perfectly normal. If it didn't trip then that is cause for concern. Although i would definitely be speaking to someone regarding your electrical sockets.

    Some landlords will not agree for changes to be made to their property, including basic things like decorating. Unfortunately, there's nothing much you can do regarding that.

    Thankfully, i've always been lucky with being able to do pretty much anything in every house i've lived in. I just need to make sure i tell them before i do anything.

    I've had some terrible landlords in the past with regards to doing maintenance work, this includes a housing association house that i lived in a few years ago. To be honest i think they were worse than any private landlord i've had. In my current house, my landlord has done a few changes since i've lived here, including a new oven and hob and i'm currently in the process of having concrete put down in my back garden because the decking was such a hazard. I've never met the landlord because it's agency run.

    With regards to the bungalow you mentioned, unfortunately some people just don't want the hasle of renting a property out so they will just leave it empty until it's sold and there's nothing you can do about that.

    Keep looking is all i can advise and hopefully something suitable will become available soon.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 20,065 Disability Gamechanger

    I certainly don't think you're a "pain" lol because it's a condition that you have, which can't be helped. Although i can see why there could potentially be problems, especially if landlords know about your conditions. I do know that you must allow access to your property for maintence issues. Maybe you can agree for them to enter, if you're not home and this way anything that needs doing is done, pretty much the same thing you would do with the gas safety checks yearly.

    It's definitely not easy out there when you're relying on benefits to pay the rent. I found it the hardest the last time i moved. It seems like it gets harder each time. I'm hoping that my eldest daughter "stays put" for the foreseeable future lol. Moving house is just far too stressful and way too much work for me now.

    I really hope that you will find what you're looking for soon although a new build or recently refurbished maybe a little too much to ask, speaking from experience over the years and claiming benefits for many years too, we do seem to be bottom of the list for these types of properties.... actually, i'll rephrase that... i think those types of properties are non existent for us... i've yet to find a house that's anything like that in all the years i've been renting, which is almost 20 years. Sad really but true. Yet if we were working people the choice would be endless.

    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • TeddyB22TeddyB22 Member Posts: 117 Courageous
    Thanks Poppy. The sad thing is I was made an offer from a housing association of a brand new build apartment 4 days into my contract. I assumed she would not let me leave so didn't tell the agent but when I told her at the house viewing she said she would have had no problem. She said she has a policy where anyone who is offered housing from he will be allowed to go. I would forfeit the deposit though. 
    It's just a pitty banks won't let unemployed people rent to buy with a deposit.
    I'll just keep looking and I think I might have to offer more money next time. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 657 Pioneering

    I certainly don't think you're a "pain" lol because it's a condition that you have, which can't be helped. Although i can see why there could potentially be problems, especially if landlords know about your conditions. I do know that you must allow access to your property for maintence issues. Maybe you can agree for them to enter, if you're not home and this way anything that needs doing is done, pretty much the same thing you would do with the gas safety checks yearly. 
    My contamination OCD is so severe that I need to know exactly what has been touched by myself or anyone else entering the property in order to eat or drink anything here at all.  I can't allow anyone in while I'm out.  I did have to have a new cooker fitted a while ago (which turned into a huge farce, it was beyond repair and simply needed to be swapped for a new one, 15 minutes work, but they wouldn't take my word for that, took weeks to sort it and kept phoning and sending various people round including a repairer that made it totally unuseable...and when I did get it, the new cooker is identical to the old one, poorly made cheap rubbish, and that hasn't worked properly from day one which again doesn't help with the OCD around food!).  Anyway, when I finally did get the cooker fitter in, I knew there were some things I'd have to clean after he left, work tops, sink, drainer, door handles etc.  But I had to nip to the loo during his visit despite trying to hold it for as long as I could.  After he left, I did all the cleaning necessary...then went to start on dinner, opened the cutlery drawer and found it in a right mess.  I can only assume he grabbed a knife (with the precision of the hulk) to cut some tape or packaging and then chucked it back in.  So then I had to clean out the entire cutlery drawer and wash every item in there before I could make a start on dinner...and was then worried that he could have opened any of the other drawers or doors while I was out of the room but simply didn't have the energy to go through the rest of the kitchen.  I know it's probably not an issue for a normal person, but every time something like that happens, it knocks my trust in people a little further.  I can't possibly explain all of my issues to everyone I come across so they will do things that cause me issues without realising.

    I also need to know that my home (and especially the bathroom) is always empty and accessible when I do go out.  It's the only way I can go out, knowing I can return at any time both for the loo and to a calm, quiet, safe space without any other people in it.



    I know what you mean, but I do consider myself a pain.  I feel like I make things difficult for everyone that I have to deal with (offline at least) and although I can't help it, it's not their fault either and I don't like the idea that they have to go through extra hassle for me.  For example, not being able to use phones is a big one...I know most people are on phones all day and it's extra hassle if I ask them to use email.  Any relatives that want to see me have to travel over to me instead of vice versa, of course they say they don't mind but whether that is true or not, I certainly mind!  A couple of years ago, my 85 year old Aunt came to see me on a 2 hour coach trip to a nearby town, but I could only stay for a short time and as I can't eat or drink while out she had to eat alone while I waited outside.  I have the same issue with friends.  I did used to have a few local friends, all met through internet forums, but because I can't do anything sociable like meals or bowling or crazy golf, I just end being a burden and putting a cloud over what should be a nice day out for those people.  Since my physical issues got worse over the last couple of years I haven't been able to meet up with them at all and don't hear from them any more...not really burning bridges, just letting them fall into disrepair lol.  Anyway, went slightly off-topic there, but my own issues will make the whole move difficult for me and everyone else involved, I'm not even sure how I'm going to get through viewing another property at the moment, let alone the actual move (I originally moved in just by myself in the car but can no longer lift and bend like I could then) so that means I'm going to have to get someone to help which will cause issues both socially and with the OCD.

    I'm kicking myself now as I did find a freshly refurbed property a few months back that did fit my needs but was just in the wrong area and at the time seemed more expensive than I wanted to pay.  I don't even know if they'd have allowed DSS but I really wish I had at least enquired about it.  I have also just this week found a nearly new build (3 years old now) that almost fits criteria but is again too far away.  I did enquire about this one, but was just told there was a lot of interest, which may be true or maybe a polite way of saying they don't want DSS.  But either way, they come up so rarely I really need to jump on the next one I find!

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 870 Pioneering
    Sorry if I've asked you this before @OverlyAnxious, but are you currently accessing any mental health support? If you think that you're going to find moving very difficult, it might be a good idea to try and get something in place so that it might be a little easier? For example, perhaps you could try some exposure therapy in the lead-up to the move? 

    And I agree with Poppy that you're not a pain. I'm sure that your friends and family are just happy to speak to you, and that they don't mind if you have to leave early or don't feel able to take part in a certain activity.

    Good luck with the property search, I'm sure another suitable place will come up at some point!
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  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 657 Pioneering
    edited September 22
    Sorry if I've asked you this before @OverlyAnxious, but are you currently accessing any mental health support? If you think that you're going to find moving very difficult, it might be a good idea to try and get something in place so that it might be a little easier? For example, perhaps you could try some exposure therapy in the lead-up to the move? 

    And I agree with Poppy that you're not a pain. I'm sure that your friends and family are just happy to speak to you, and that they don't mind if you have to leave early or don't feel able to take part in a certain activity.

    Good luck with the property search, I'm sure another suitable place will come up at some point!
    Hi Tori, I think you may have asked before but not a problem...though I may be hijacking Teddys thread now lol!  I'm not getting any support at all because my issues are too 'complex'.  There are plenty of people about with worse issues, but it's the combination of mine that make any sort of help impossible. 

    I can't travel far (even in my own car) due to physical symptoms which may or may not be caused by mental issues, can't stay out for long, can't eat/drink/use the toilet out, can't enter buildings/small rooms/go upstairs or 'deep' into a building, can't visit any medical setting, can't use lifts, can't predict stomach and bowel issues (to leave home on time), can't deal with people face to face (regardless of how long I've known them), can't deal with traffic or crowds (including lots of people walking to school/work so can only drive at certain times of day), can't have anyone in my home, can't take any medication, can't use phones, can't really speak in any setting due to reflux/throat issues, can't have any physical medical tests done let alone any physical treatment, can't bend/lift/lean much now, can't use any physical exertion (even walking uphill), can't use any repetitive motion with hands (have to restrict gaming/typing/driving etc), can't use 'strong' hand movements (stiff door handles/taps) without my hands 'burning', can't even write about most of my physical issues without triggering myself...so I'm just stuck in what seems like an impossible situation.  I'm not someone that benefits from a positive outlook either, I just get more frustrated by not being able to do something that I've told myself I can do.  I do sit at home in the evenings genuinely believing I can do something, but then very quickly realise I can't once I actually try it the next day.  Of course 'can't' isn't quite an absolute - I do push myself through very occasional single-person family visits or weekly supermarket visits with a lot of planning, preparation, and knowing there will be days of consequences afterwards...but it's never a positive experience so just reinforces the fears and makes things even more difficult each time I attempt them.

    I was recently in email contact with someone from PALS as my own GP was no help at all, but the contact there has dried up, presumably as they can't think of any way forward.  I have also been in email contact with the organiser of a major MH charity but again they have been unable to find anything suitable for me at the moment.

    Ultimately, the only way anything can change is by me doing things...but with all of the restrictions I have, doing anything at all is nearly impossible now and never ends well.  Most people with 'health anxiety' are scared of dying, but for me it's the opposite, I'm terrified of having to continue being alive for another day, week, month...etc...and have been like this from at least the end of primary school.  The only way I get through is by saying 'just one more...'  (meal, bedtime, bathrooom visit, outing, etc). 

    I do keep telling myself, and indeed relatives and people on here, that once I've moved to a more suitable place and bought a more suitable car that I'll be able to do more things again.  And that includes treatment, both physical and mental.  But realistically I don't believe it...I think I'll just be in a different location with all of the same problems struggling with event the most basic facts of life such as getting food in and dealing with waste coming out...  It's also worth saying that the only reason I'm now able to move and change car is because of winning PIP earlier this year - so I'm not longer financially struggling as I was over the last couple of years - but only have around 18 months of the award left.  If I lose the review, my income would halve and I'd have to move again (back to a less suitable place!).  I know it seems like a while away but obviously the longer I leave it, the less time I potentially have in a more suitable place!


    Conversations with relatives don't generally go well.  It just ends with them more worried about me than they were previously.  There are just 4 I'm in 'regular' contact with (more than once a year) but due to lockdown and my own worsening issues I'm having to allow the two older relatives to phone me once every month or so as I can no longer visit and they don't have internet...I hate it, they can't hear me, they can't understand me, one doesn't understand my issues at all, the other keeps asking the same questions such as why I haven't been forced into a residential treatment centre until I'm 'cured' (presumably with electric shock treatment or some other Victorian device), they always end the call sounding more depressed than when they started as I just haven't got anything positive to say.  I don't want to talk about negative things but they keep pushing until I give an answer - don't ask questions you don't want answers to!  It's not working for anyone, but for some reason they persevere with it and can't even stick to a designated time like I've asked which has added a whole extra anxiety layer to things at home as the phone can ring at any time now.  I never used to allow anyone to use it specifically for that reason!  The 'younger' relatives (50s/60s lol) message or email me which is much easier but the older ones don't have internet.

    As I mentioned in the above post, I don't have any local friends left now.  Last person I saw my age was over a year ago at a local outdoor event.  Prior to that, I think it was another year before as well.  In my position, I don't have anything to talk about, and the last thing I want to talk about in real life is my own ailments lol, so I don't even message them privately any more.  I often see people mention that someone isn't just their conditions...but I'm the exception to that.  I don't have a life outside of my issues, I did start to have one about 5 years ago when my physical issues were more manageable which gave me the chance to battle the mental ones, but around 2 years ago the physical issues got much worse, which in turn worsened the mental issues and I can't really fight anything any more.  It's just damage limitation and trying to keep doing the things that I'm doing now instead of letting any more slip.  I mostly just try to waste days with TV and forums and Instagram but spend a lot of time bored stiff in between anxiety issues and IBS/nausea issues and just wondering what is the point?  I don't have any interest in relationships or kids, I'm fairly sure I won't ever be able to work to fill my days?  I definitely won't be able to go travelling or anything like that.  So what else is there?  Just fear, anxiety, guilt and pain, separated by sheer boredom for the next 50 years...wonderful.  :D

    (Sorry, I do try not to be negative on here lol!)  



  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Administrator Posts: 480 Pioneering
    edited September 22
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

    Again, there's no need to apologise, you might see it as being negative but there's absolutely nothing to apologise for, you're always welcome to talk about your thoughts and feelings on here. 

    The community is always here to support you and I hope it provides a positive outlet for you to at least interact with others.
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  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Administrator Posts: 870 Pioneering
    As Ross said, there's no need to apologise for being 'negative' @OverlyAnxious. Things really do seem very difficult at the moment, and you're always welcome to vent here.

    I'm obviously not a mental health professional, but it might be worth bearing in mind that things might not always be this bad. Even without intervention the nature of mental health problems can change, as they have for you in the past, so even if one aspect of your mental health was to improve slightly in the future, you could capitalise on that to try and make some progress. For example, if you felt more able to 'push through' the anxiety and speak to someone on the phone in the future then you could potentially access some talking therapy over the phone. I know things seem impossible now, but I really do think that things could improve for you.

    The pandemic doesn't help at all, of course, but it has meant that many services have moved online, which you could access in the future. It might also help to think about the things you can do, rather than focus on the things you can't do. Again, I'm not saying that's easy, but it might help you to think more positively and find tiny ways of having small wins over your anxieties etc., that could lead to slightly bigger changes over time. We're all a work in progress! 

    I often see people mention that someone isn't just their conditions...but I'm the exception to that.  I don't have a life outside of my issues
    It's understandable that you'd think this, but who you are is more than what you do, if that makes sense. You have other interests, like music, and those contribute towards who you are. Also, I know that you're probably on this forum because of the problems you face, but you make really great contributions and are a valuable member, which is another thing to add to the list! 

    Sorry that I don't have anything groundbreaking to say. I think it's great that you've reached out here, and to external mental health services, and I hope that you feel more able to access some help through them in some way in the future. Start small :)
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