Friday, 26 February 2010

Unfair Rental Market

Those close to me or know me well know that my partner lives on the other side of the country to me & that I have been looking to exchange my council property with another tenant where I want to live & who's looking to move where I am.

Well after some years it’s proving fruitless & with the current setup of Council housing stock, I can’t just transfer from one Council to another. That’s a whole issue in it own, something I can’t fully understand or know why it's like this.

So my other option is going into the private rental market & this is where it’s now getting messy. But first give you some background about me, I am on Incapacity Benefits & have been for almost 5 years. I have been receiving it without any problems & have full medical history as well as proof of all the benefits I have received. I have been living in my Council property for near on 9yrs, rent has been paid on time & never had problem with the rent whilst on benefits.

I have pets consisting just of cats & never once had a complaint about their treatment or condition of the property including garden from the Council or neighbours in the whole time I have lived in this property. The property is in great condition & I had pride in the property decor, just ask the Council. I keep them on their toes to keep the property in good condition when their contractors trash the place when they do work & I have to put it straight.

So as I said, I have been looking into private rental. Now 1st hurdle is some don’t want pets, now I can understand this. Some pets aren't trained / disciplined & therefore causes damaged. So a property with laminate flooring can sort this & a reference from previous landlord too.

But the main problem seems to be the fact I am on benefits, it seems that due to the fact I am on Incapacity Benefits I am unable to get a property on the private rental market. Now is it not bad enough I am on Incapacity Benefits in the 1st place, the fact I am not fit to work! I get ridiculed by the press, looked down on as a sponger in the general public due to those in the minority who do fiddle the system & the bad press.

Doesn’t my 5 years on these benefits actually prove I have a regular income & good rental history whist on them help me? Don’t I, being able to pay the deposit as well as the rent in advance help either? No! It doesn’t! I spoke to a estate agent about a property I am interested in today & was told “if I want a property whilst on Incapacity Benefits or any Benefits, I would have to have a financial guarantor who’s in full time employment”

Now to me this is discrimination, for am I am on Incapacity Benefits for a reason & this is a form of disability as I am unable to work at the moment. But the estate agent doesn’t see this! So right now, I don't know how I can overcome this discrimination. Other than vent it out for all of you to read, maybe someone can give me sound advice of how to stop this!

For now though, I have to wait to get fit, find a job, then find a place where I want to move as well as another job at the same time. Would it not be easier to find a place now whilst in Incapacity Benefits & when fit find a job? I have over 12 years of good payment history with Council & Housing Association as well as 5 yrs before that in private renting, which I was mostly unfit to work too during those 5 yrs. Don't any of this count anymore?

What ever happened to good references to help you get a place & why isn’t there laws to stop discrimination in the rental market? Love to hear your comments & any helpful advice.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximise space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

(1) They live here. You don't.
(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.
(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:
(1) eat less,
(2) don't ask for money all the time,
(3) are easier to train,
(4) normally come when called,
(5) never ask to drive the car,
(6) don't smoke or drink,
(7) don't want to wear your clothes,
(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,
(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college
(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ...