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    • #43662

      Obviously it’s quite hard to find anyone in real life to speak to who’s been in a refuge, but hoping someone might come along here.

      I’ve been living a refuge with my kids for a few weeks now, I have the support of the staff and know some of the others here but not very well, however I need advice about how to move forwards and to get out of this place.

      I am eligible for social housing and that is most likely what will happen in the end, but my problem is as I’m a home owner too (which I can’t sell because the ex (and co-owner too) is refusing to leave) and therefore wherever we move will only be temporary as once my equity is released, I won’t be able to stay in social housing any more.

      It’s catch 22 though, I need to sell my house to give me and my kids some security, but I don’t have the money to fund a legal battle and because of the value of my house, I am not eligible for legal aid.

      How the hell do I deal with this situation? If anyone can offer some advice or give suggestions I haven’t thought of, I’d be very grateful.

      I’m just throwing this out there because quite frankly I’m desperate and don’t really want to be thrown into a house somewhere that isn’t my choice and forced to live there purely because my abusive ex continues to be abusive.

    • #43663

      Hi there,

      I’m afraid I don’t have much advice on this myself but have you contacted ‘Rights of Women’ – from what I understand they provide advice on legal matters specifically for women. There is also the National Centre for Domestic Violence which is also coming from a legal perspective.

      Finally Citizens Advice and possibly your local council housing dept should be able to help. I went to citizens and advice and the local council housing dept and they were helpful in telling me what I was entitled to. It sounds like you really need help in selling your house so that you can free up the equity but I’m not sure how you do that when there is an abuser in the way, there must be a way round it though and the above people can help I’m sure. In the mean time it’s good you’re elligible for social housing as that gives you a stepping stone out of the refuge until your house sale goes through if I understand correctly.

      Sorry to hear you are going through this, just take it a day at a time and you will get through it.

    • #43666

      Thank you for your fast reply. I tried Rights of Women some time ago, but literally couldn’t get through on the phone after many, many attempts! I emailed them too but they don’t give advice via email so I gave up.

      I’m going back to speak to the housing officer this week. I haven’t thought about CAB since I saw them last year and they just signposted me elsewhere, but may be worth another go in case they can help me with legals.

      The most immediate issue is though trying to find a private landlord who accepts housing benefit. Sadly when you walk into an estate agents, they look at you a small if you are the lowest of the low as many landlords don’t or can’t accept HB. Which is incredibly frustrating as I am the least risky tenant in the world. It’s 100% guaranteed rent, I don’t have any debts, good credit history, never defaulted on my mortgage, have references, am not dodgy…but just the words housing benefit (detail removed by Moderator) It’s so unfair!

    • #45027

      HI Hun

      Sending you a massive hug, i would recommend you look for private landlords, most of the time they say they dont like housing benefit as they think it will mean they don’t get paid on time, both my previous landlord said same to me they dont accept, i said just want to try and apply and would not affect their payment , rent would always be due on time , i claimed anyway even though they didnt like and as long as they get rent on time they not bothered. All their details are on your contract anyway.

      I have called womens of rights b4 , its frustiating when you don’t get through but keep trying, i would recommend calling soon as lines open to avoid engaged tone, they really do advise you well, ask your support worker at the refgue for guidance they have good links and support

    • #45458

      Thanks Confused123, but HOW did you find a private landlord to start with? That’s my biggest problem, they are so hard to find, particularly my area (fairly rural). I look regularly on Gumtree, Facebook and OpenRent but haven’t found anything, not even close. Lettings agents politely take my details but realistically aren’t going to help me when they have other prospective tenants without the problems I have.
      Thanks for any more advice you may have.

    • #45499

      Hi lemonnaise.
      I totally sympathise with you. I’m living at my mums house with my son and rely heavily on benefits so trying to find somewhere to rent is a nightmare. The housing lists are long and I find the same as you, as soon as you mention benefits to a private landlord or estate agent they almost dismiss you straight away. It’s a nightmare.
      Hugs n support to you xx

    • #48965

      Hi HUn

      It sso frustrating when u cant find something, u r doing all the rights things u listed above, just keep looking, put a post on shop windows of type of place u need, i just used to constantly google up private landlords in x area or type post code u looking for . When u least expect it something will pop in open rent or on gum tree, this is what happened to me, a lot of people set up letting agents privately these days, these small companies may be able to help u too. Big branded letting agencies i find tend not to help as their fees and requirements are too high, even when u see a post on open rent saying dss not accepted try anyway. continue to try calling women of rights, it is had to get through, but once u get through they offer brill advice

    • #48971

      Hello, iv have not long moved out of refuge, I was very lucky, I was struggling to find anywhere, my support worker was able to suggest a local estate agency who was quite sympathetic to people on housing benefit, as long as they could provide a guarantor, don’t know if you have anyone you could ask, that might help when applying. I was very lucky, the day before I was going to accept a totally unsuitable flat because I was feeling so desperate after months in refuge I had a call of housing offering me a place! I accepted on the spot, the man on the phone said “you haven’t seen it yet!”, I didn’t care lol. Good luck to you, hope all goes well xxxx

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