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Hi, I've looked for legal help on this matter and have been in touch with the MP, CAB, doctors, etc etc everyone and anyone. Here's the story: I have two children a boy being the eldest and a daughter the youngest. 11 years ago I was moved from a 3 bedroom maisonette (previously deemed unsafe for young children) to a 2 bedroom house just 5 weeks before my son turned 5 years old. Atlantic H.A. policy is two siblings of opposite sex where the eldest is 5+ years old are entitled to their own bedrooms. Craftily they moved us just before this time and 11 years later my son has just turned 16 years old and is still sharing with his sister who is due to turn 15 in March. The main reason I believe is rent arrears, due to my ex husband leaving us unexpectedly and got ourselves into a huge pile of debt. I approached the housing within a couple of weeks when I was sure he wasnt coming back and had got out of my darkest days and thay were completely unsymapthetic and threatened to kick us out there and then, even with me in tears telling them what had happened. I lost my job a while later, plunging us further into debt. I've struggled to pay this back. However, visiting the housing department of the council I was told the arrears may not make a difference at all. I know plenty of people who have moved within thios time with young children who have 'borderline problems'. They have moved on health grounds. My children are happy and healthy and I feel they have been penailsed because of this. Should they have moved us from a 3 bed in the first place? Should they have moved us out of the immediate area? This alone is causing a nightmare on finances as i've found myself without a car and have to pay someone to take them to and from school continuously. I know there is no real law against children sharing a bedroom but I do feel we have been wronged here. My son is currently sitting his exams and has a girlfriend etc etc. Both my kids went through puberty at an early age and I feel utterly awful I can't provide them with a basic suitable home. We were told one could sleep in the living room but the house is tiny and we are tripping over each other as it is. Any help would be greatly received.

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Pop along to Shelter, they should sort you out. Stat overcrowding is established by a points sytem (you can also use the Room Standard, but this is the most common way.)

 

You and your children all score a point reach. 3 points. You count the lounge as a bedroom, and your two proper bedrooms, that gives you three points. So you are not over crowded according to the law. Either, as they say, you use the lounge as a bedroom, or you move your daughter in with you - that;s the other thing they'll tell you to do. Of course these laws came in when we actually lived in houses, not shoe boxes.

 

Having said this it is of course, appalling that your children have to share a bedroom at this age. You can ask your Housing Officer to refer you to a social panel (they might call it something different but it will exist because there will always be families that do not fit the normal rules/criteria and this is how they are dealt with).

 

The other thing you can do, if you can get your rent account up to date, look for a mutual exchange. You may well find a single mum with two same sex children in a 3 bed mais or flat, desperate for your little house, and your teenagers don't really need your postage stamp anymore do they?

 

I hope you get this sorted, it must be very very stressful at times.

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There was a poster here who used to take a particular interest in Housing Association cases. Not seen them on line for a little while, but will PM them now all the same, hope that this is OK. Sorry I can't add much at this stage, but will come back should I hear from them

 

And as the poster above has said hope this gets sorted...

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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