It will bring serious and multiple issues if benefit rates don't increase next April. We have already been rationing since early 2022. We are still no better off for doing so.
Every household bill has increased beyond a reasonable rate, not just energy bills.
I was forced to replace my vehicle this summer. Paying for it, insuring and taxing it has taken a bigger dent out of my bank balance than anyone on a low income would like.
The money in my bank account is literally the only source of money I have to my name, no pension to think about, no savings to speak of.
This wasn't the way I ever imagined I would be living my life at my age, trying to raise a family single handedly all these years has been incredibly difficult on every level.
It's a depressing prospect. I'm not sure how much more of this cost of living crisis we can take. It's embarrassing to ask for charity, we aren't in debt yet, but that could change overnight at this rate.
I already have an empty fridge freezer. I can't face buying a trolly full of food that will end up going off and in the bin because I forgot to freeze it or our appetites change over the course of the week, or I'm unwell and can't manage to cook or eat anything.
I live with the dread of the landlord selling up or increasing our rent. It's a constant worry.
Nobody can be certain whether there will be funding to help with winter fuel costs, I'm already disgusted by the mould growth on our belongings since we moved here 18 months ago, because the house is difficult to heat aside from rationing the heating bills. I can see us still trying to claw our way out of the shortage in our budget after Christmas.
As it currently is, I've never felt so skint as this, in years.
If benefits do not increase in line with inflation, it would mean we will become homeless. I am already in receipt of full housing benefit and I still need to pay extra to the private landlord. I struggle to cover this and energy bills, food and necessities.
It causes me anxiety on a daily basis of losing our home. We have lost 2 homes already in the last 6 years.
The council refused support with discretionary housing payments.
They are not adhering to rules of benefits where disability benefits are not to be taken into consideration when processing applications. Citizens Advice are overwhelmed and have a backlog for support.
I feel I am trying to keep my head above water and it's exhausting.
I get very down at knowing what the Conservatives think of our worth and how we are punished for not bringing in a high wage, and prejudiced for relying on benefits
Not even started to become over – how on earth are people saying that it is? If anything, for me, it's getting harder. I am trying to find a new place to live because my landlord is selling and like half of my town we're struggling. I don't earn or know anyone who earns 35x the rent!
Food is still massively over priced and still not able to buy a decent amount, just barely scraping by. Energy may have gone down but is still going to be extremely hard after the snow starts to come and its causing anxiety and panic, clothes are still so expensive that school uniform is still being brought due to how expensive it is and the fact we don't have enough to get it because we have no help.
Bills are still rising and debts still are outstanding for everyone I know! It's nowhere near over, if anything, it's got a small bit worse because not enough help has been given in the first place, and if the media is saying it's over then there's no way we will be ok. Inflation may be dropping but interest rates are still constantly going up and up, yet benefits are going down or being made harder to acquire when in need. We're all still skipping meals and going without so how is it over? The media should be ashamed and the government need to help not slip it under the rug.
So I'm definitely feeling the cost of living and the damage that was done by the Truss short period of time in office. My landlord is selling our home so we're having to find somewhere else to live – he told me Friday evening so not been able to get any help from any government or authority just yet, but I am blessed with a few good friends, who are already on the case and trying to help us, which has made me feel very emotional.
When we moved here, we thought it was for at least the next 10 years but because of the mortgage rises my landlord is selling up. He's a very good landlord and I'm very upset that we have to move, but I understand his situation and why he needs to sell – I just don't know what we're going to do. I don't have money to move, I don't have money for a deposit or anything and what's worrying me the most is everywhere I'm seeing online is £3000 and up per month. How is anyone able to afford this? I know my housing allowance won't. I can't work, I can't save, and I can't seem to find positivity from this. I'm scared we're going to be left homeless, or worse, in a damp mould filled property like last time.
It's scary and I don't know what the future holds for us or if we will have to relocate completely and uproot our entire lives or not. It's very upsetting. How is anyone meant to manage on the price increasing for absolutely everything? Housing isn't great where I am and £3000+ for a month to live in my town is so ridiculously overpriced. The government did this to us –why aren't they doing more to help?
On the back of my last post about my landlord increasing the rent I've contacted Universal Credit who were less than helpful. Until the change actually happens they will not even discuss if they will cover the additional £100 a month. So on the date it changes I will have to pay the extra and hope with all I have that some one picks up the matter quickly to help. Its seems ridiculous to go about things in this way. I have an official document from the landlord explaining the increase and a date of when this comes into play. Surely it would be more person focused for UC to take that evidence and give you a yes or no about if they'll cover it? That way you can make an informed choice about maybe having to look for somewhere else to live or seeking advice from CAB? It just all seems so backwards and geared up to trip you up when your simply trying to survive
As I've said in previous entries, we were involved in a non fault eviction in 2022, in fact, the reality was more like the landlord was spared the bother inconvenience and cost of serving us with a section 21 notice because he acted as though he was doing us a favour by serving us 6 months advanced notice that he intended to sell the property we had loved living in for 16 years. We were also told that we would have to pay a further £150 per month during the remainder of our time living there.
We felt this was despicable behaviour.
I wasn't prepared to pay him a single penny more then to be kicked out with no safety net had we not found another home.
We didn't wish to hang around any longer than necessary in a home we were being evicted from.
We had to find alternative accommodation in a hurry. Although we were able to register on the social housing list as high needs priority due to a health condition, we weren't considered enough of a priority by the council, due to not having an official section 21 notice. So we had to look at the private rental market instead. Even then that required having a guarantor which was difficult to organise. Also I contacted local charitable organisations to ask about help with packing and moving.
Two organisations offered us help, one was a local community group set up during the pandemic, they helped with packing up our belongings. The second was the St Vincent de Paul Society, who very kindly paid for our moving costs. Without this support we would have been totally stuck.
Obviously we a had to stomach a rent increase through moving, even though it is a smaller home with less amenities. Fortunately, we had not encountered a rent increase in about twelve years before this happened although the down side is private rent is typically a good deal more expensive than social housing to begin with.
I applied for discretionary housing payments thinking this would help with the increase in rent and to recover the extra costs we paid in deposits and rent upfront on the new property only we were turned down because we weren't in debt.
Also when we moved we went separate ways to my middle son who moved in with friends but him living with us had no bearing on anything benefit wise he was disregarded for council tax due to my health condition.
So I think that covers our experiences of housing support in relation to rent increases moving home and changes to the type of support we have received.
I am still trying to get my rent changed the local authority here is dragging their feet. Been trying to update it since March with Universal Credit but the council keep stalling with updating the amount. They have already acknowledged with me and my landlord they also stole money that I have overpaid for rent arrears which they would not have stopped unless I rang and asked if I had finished paying off the small amount I owed which went from one month's rent to 5 month's rent arrears which is odd because I have proof of it all. I was only about £400 in arrears and they made out I was £3.450 in arrears and when I asked for a breakdown of all the money APIs to them they sent me very hard to read. The most minute bill summary that was hard to understand even for a professional financial advisor. They refuse to give me exact dates and even though they get my rent in full from Universal Credit they pay my landlord less some months and more others it's almost as if they are doing it to make it confusing and from what I could actually work out there is a 1.489 in descrepencys which shows exactly what I thought that they owe me around 1.500 which they are refusing to look into and just dismiss me. They are rude and insulting. One person there in particular is extremely rude, insulting and just inconsiderate and doesn't take anything you tell him and calls you a liar and makes out that your insane for asking for help which they are reluctant to give at the best of time. He's so bad that I've thrown him out of my property 2 times and even asked for no contact due to the rudeness. One property they signed off on as a 2 bedroom flat made me cry, they made me wait 5 months after my MP contacted them to ask why it had taken 4 years to move us from the delipidated property we were left to rot in and said it was perfect for us but we got there and I broke out into tears. It wasn't even finished, there was a whole wall completely unfinished with wires everywhere and the hallway entrance was bigger than the small bedroom, if you could call it that, I would call it a closet. But then we went on a few extra viewings most of which were rubbish I loved the place we're in now and asked all the questions my landlord is nice but he lied about things and made out it was peaceful here but the neighbours are nightmares they are racist and sexist towards us and make noise all the time. It's that bad we can hear people 2 floors up screaming at each other their music blaring and their kids running wild. It's ruined our lives here, I hate where I live and the council refuse to help on these matters either don't move to this area if you want to be able to live somewhere that has any type of standard living because the council do nothing about anti social behaviour and just ignore housing repair issues like mould and bug infestations. They leave you to rot and make out that they have no knowledge of the people who they are actually housing in temporary accommodation who are jail birds and drug addicts and people who are violent it's just wrong they leave us all like this and everyone ends up hating each other. They do nothing and are still in charge of everything here they won't even update my rent, it's been nearly 4 months. I've been asking my landlord is still on at them and luckily enough he's not kicking me out because he knows it's not my fault but he's a nice landlord other people might not be so lucky and will have been handed their notice by now.
So far, I have not really needed support with housing etc.
However when I did not have work a few years, I really struggled to find a house to rent for me and my 5 young children. Estate agents would not even let me view the house because they assumed that I would not pay the rent because I did not have income from employment.
I then had to turn to my local Council for advice. They did call me from time to time during my period of house search and I felt supported in some ways albeit little. Eventually one private landlord who used an online estate agent did allow us to come and view their property. There were at least 5 applications for this house and thankfully the landlord chose us to rent their property. We are happy where we are now. Our private landlord has so far has been good and kind to me and my family.
Hello everyone, the housing cost is really high. The bills and rent are so expensive the private landlords is on a high level. By the time you add the cost of buying food it's crazy: hope the government can act fast.
I moved home in November 2022, into a different borough. I spent almost £800 on moving costs, and had to borrow money from family members in order to afford it. I searched to see if there was any support I could apply for and applied for a DHP which was rejected. Moving into my new home became a stressful experience, and I ended up not being able to buy simple things for my home like bedding and wardrobes because I had to pay back the money I owed. There was a difficult transitional period with UC, as my housing costs had changed and I had reported this on the same day as my move. Despite this, I immediately fell into rent arrears because UC took a long time to update my details. Before I knew it, I owed over £2,000 with my landlord calling me to ask why the rent had not been paid. As someone who suffers with longstanding anxiety and depression, this time became almost unbeareable. The same issue arose again when the rent increase happened in April. It is very hard to get through to anyone in UC to explain or ask what is going on with your claim.
Looking and applying for an affordable home had become stressful.
Leasing agents and landlords still discriminative against single parents and asking for job title, earnings from job and reference from employer.
I have justified I am a full time carer and provided proof of all rent payments from last 3 years.
One leasing agent "lost" my application although sent by email.
Other never replied.
I paid my£600 rent on time and in full on the 1st of every month before and throughout lockdowns. My private had made no attempt to contact me within the 3 years I and my daughter stayed in the flat.
Out of the blue, in lockdowns, I started to receive phone calls from the landlord's wife that the neighbours (in their own bought flats) had called them and complained I was causing damage in communal areas of the block of flats. I found this strange as the neighbours never came to me direct and how did they have my landlord's phone number as they moved away across the country. These absurd phone calls became more regular and the landlord and his wife decided to visit.
They picked faults of our living conditions. It was not a show house, it was lived in and I had a basket of washing sitting to be ironed. The landlord's wife made a fuss saying I was not coping mentally. She went into my daughter's bedroom without permission. My daughter has autism and the landlord and wife did not respect us. My daughter was struggling with her mental health at the time and became distressed as the landlord's wife sat on her bed announcing she was a retired social worker and it was clear that we were not coping.
I lost my temper and shouted for them to leave.
Landlord did not adhere to laws and give 24 hours notice to visit. He would sit outside my flat early in morning and wait for me to leave as he mentioned he had a key and could enter his property any time he liked.
Police and the private rental housing officer of council played it down as lockdowns were causing tempers to rise.
One morning the landlord pushed his way in and both my duaghter and myself pushed against the door. He put his foot in the door and shouted we were attacking him! I called police who said it was a domestic and we needed to calm down. They did not come out to flat. I called all services who supported my daughter who is autistic. None were available and all working from home. They were not allowed to enter my flat due to council covid restrictions.
Finally a kind volunteer from Citizens Advice came out and arranged a time with landlord to have a discussion.
Turned out that this was typical bully behaviour of private landlords who wanted to evict tenants but not want to go through proper court procedures as it costs.
There was no reason to evict us. The communal repairs were due to the neighbours not having home insurance and blamed me to get my landlord to pay. They were all in cahoots.
Inside the flat, the landlord had failed to maintain gas boiler annual checks and the 5 year electricity checks. He broke the law.
The lease was not legal binding as it was printed from the Internet and used American legal jargon.
The landlord owned other properties and the tenants could not pay rent in lockdowns and he wanted to sell all his properties as soon as lockdowns lifted.
I had done nothing wrong, but the impact of the bullying landlord still affects the mental health of both my daughter and myself.
I found another private house which was more expensive but was in better condition of the only 2 homes up for rent. I got into debt with a high interest loan to pay the deposit. The council offered to support financially for deposit and white goods but took 12 weeks to process the application that stated 28 days turnaround. By that time we were already in our new home. The council refused to reimburse me.
I had no washing machine or fridge freezer for first few months and had to buy second hand and pay a local man to plumb in washing machine. With high interest payments on the land for removals and deposit. We were in poverty.
Again citizens advice came to the rescue with organising lower loan repayments.
We been here 18 months now... The house is cold an damp not insulated. No carpet downstairs yet. Draughts can be felt from windows when shut. Black mould growing on front of house walls. Minor repairs are not being done letter box broke off and can see daylight through a gap. Energy bills are very high.
Leasing agent is kind but making excuses of the damp being caused by walls sweating due to pictures on walls. We took pictures off walls, cleaned the mould off and 2 months later there is more black mould.
I am paying over the benefit limit and the energy bills are still high even though I received cost of living payments, the bills are not any lower.
Looking for a more affordable home is near impossible as rent prices are up again over the housing benefit limit.