I have now become another victim of the economic downturn. I’ve been evicted. Evicted by my absent, overseas landlord after 10 years of being the perfect tenant. We’ve been told he wants to sell, but as property sales are actually very slow unlike renting we think perhaps a quick lick of paint and bob’s yer uncle rented out to someone who doesn’t rely on housing benefit and has a job for an extra £100 per month. I guess I’m not the only one this is happening to as in preparation for the roll out of the new Universal Credit, which will be paid monthly and will mean the tenants will receive the housing benefit element themselves many private landlords up and down the country have been sending out eviction notices.
Naturally our eviction notice letter has been seen by various people, my CPN (Community psychiatric nurse), and advisor at the Citizen’s Advice Beureux, who looked over it and informed us that it’s perfectly legal and finally the local council. We have until the 8th August to move out. For those that have a job and savings this wouldn’t be so difficult but if you’re on Housing Benefit you have to firstly work within a budget (for us what we would receive would be £91.60 per week) and also find a landlord willing to let their property to a HB recipient.
Emotionally I feel as though the rug has been pulled from beneath me, when I received my eviction notice I cried, where I live my home, I have lived there for 10 years, we have loved and lost 2 cats during that time and they are buried in the garden, had I had the funds when I was working I would have bought this house myself. Definitely your home is where your heart is. It’s not just the house, it’s the people nearby, I feel part of the community, and I feel safe. I now don’t, I have been feeling suicidal, my Flupentixol dose has been increased, my tics have gone through the roof, I have a mouth full of ulcers and my appetitive is erratic, as is my sleep. Thricotillomania is back with vengeance and the hair is coming out in small clumps as are my eyebrows and lashes. My arm is full of teeth marks from biting tics and I’m close to tears.
Let me take you back to our visit to the council. We had a meeting with a housing officer who has now put us on the waiting list for a one bedroom flat; I have accepted that this is what we would be allocated and also all we can afford. I am now able to bid on one bedroom flats in Bedworth and Nuneaton, unfortunately there are only 12 one bedroom flats in Keresley End and they are all occupied so sadly we’ll have to leave our friends and neighbors and move elsewhere. I have placed bids on 3 flats so far throughout the borough, which is all that’s been available. The purpose of the meeting from the housing officer’s perspective was (this didn’t surprise me after reading this news article iwcp.co.uk/news/news/homele... ) to see how “vulnerable you’d be living on the streets” luckily for me she came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t last very long at all, I’d either upset a stranger unintentionally via tics and come to a sticky end or commit suicide. However, my partner being a healthy male would if no suitable accommodation be it a hostel or B&B would be sleeping rough. Quite scary. Due to my vulnerability we’ve been put into band 2, so not as urgent as band 1, but more urgent than bands 3 or 4 who basically have no chance.
We’re not pinning all our hopes onto the council we have been looking for a privately rented place. We checked out the list of private landlords given to us by the housing officer, “list” it was just one person who had two properties (I hate that word, it goes through me) which were over our budget. We have been ploughing through the internet looking for a suitable home-to-be, a landlord that accepts Housing benefit and pets and not on a busy main road. (Call me fussy but I’d like my cat to live and have access to the great outdoors). We have 3 potential viewings tomorrow, I am hopeful yet worried, they are all very close to each other and are in a part of Nuneaton that is currently being developed, this area’s reputation has had such a hammering that the council thought it best to bulldoze the whole estate and rebuild it. These viewings are in the older part that’s still left, concrete ex coal board houses, it looks bleak, steel window covers are de rigueur . This is why these landlords are happy to accept anybody, smoking cats on the dole included. Within 2 years these houses are going to be raised to the ground. I have thought what the minus points could be, as the house will be bulldozed he will probably have a laizes faire attitude towards such things as gas safety certificates, leaking roofs and the such like and having to move again. I wonder what spin Phil Spencer and Kirsty Allsopp would put on it. “You could save on your fuel bills as some local youths will be using renewable fuels in nearby properties which will have an impact”” You’ll save money on cat food” (you’ll be getting little presents on the doorstep daily) “You won’t need to worry about on-street parking”. I think I better make sure that my contents insurance is up to date.
Well, we’ll see how it goes. I’m not relishing having to move, even worse to a place that I don’t really know. I shouldn’t be such a snob and get on with it.