The Problems to be a tenant in Uk!
Since I have arrived in Uk I have always rented the place where to stay.
When my daughter was living with me it was easier because until 2015 there were no universal credits and the government was helping me as a single mother.
Then my daughter decided to go back to Italy and I decided to save money living in a shared flat.
Share flat is very common in Uk but it was a mistake.
In a shared flat or home, You rent only a bedroom in a flat and you share the common areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
But since the beginning, I found several problems with the landlord hiding video cameras in the flat or flatmates leaving tons of cooked rice in the fridge contaminating the food of the other flatmates, I included.
After a few months in this flat, I moved to the north of London in a bedroom where I had my own shower, fridge and sink. I shared just the kitchen and the toilet .the life was easier but no privacy.
The process to find a bedroom is very difficult and slow because the landlord checks your bank account, payslips, p45 or self-assessment..but you, tenant, have no rights to check if the landlord and the estate agency are keeping in a safe bank account your deposit or if the contract is respecting the law!
Remember that flatmates are not your friends and often is hard to share a kitchen when cooking your dinner after a day at work in London!
So after several thoughts, i decided to buy my narrowboat to live half of my life on her when I was not in the house of my ex-partner near Swindon for 3 long years.
The life on the narrowboat was not easy and I did not save lots of money. A boat is expensive in London and life is hard.
When I split from my ex, who was abusing me emotionally, for 1 month I had to live in a few bedrooms booked through Airbnb.
I was lucky to have some money in my bank account otherwise I could find myself easily homeless.
At the beginning of the split, my ex-partner was strangely supportive with me, but when he realised I was not going back to him, he tried the impossible to ruin totally my health increasing his mental abuses.
Anyway, my interior strength came back and I was sure my story was finished forever! but I had to find a place to stay quite soon.
After a day of research through horrible and expensive bedrooms in London, I found a loft in the north-west of the capital and rented it for six long months.
I paid upfront six months plus deposit to have as soon as possible the flat because otherwise, I was just moving from a bedroom to another one in London two or three times a week. Moreover, all my outfits and boxes were still in the house of my ex and I was scared he could throw all them into the bin.
I paid 750 pounds per month per six months plus 1200 pound of deposit altogether. The agency told me I was lucky because the price initially was £850 per month!
It was a large room under the roof with its toilet, but there was no kitchen and I had to share it with other 5 flatmates.
I never did because I bought a small hub and cooked my easy food in my room, probably going against the rules. But surely better than sharing my food with the insects of the kitchen for the dirty created by the other flatmates!
After that payment in bulk, my account was empty but again no help from the government because I had some money invested somewhere even if I could not use them at that moment.
After all this trouble in the big smoke, I finally decided to move to Bristol and again I had to pay two months in advance plus the deposit to have the flat where I live now.
Rents are still expensive in Bristol for the quality of the houses but always cheaper than London!
Greedy landlords supported by their estate agents ready to cheat Europeans.
Often you can lose your deposit for strange excuses, so I always advise to check if your landlord is registered with the deposit scheme.
Estate agents and landlords are some of the worst categories that exist in England so i advise no to trust at all their words and even written contracts
Check everything twice or ask help to the Citizen advice bureau.
I personally won a couple of battles against these landlords who did not want to give me back my deposit.
One of this landlord was saying the mould on the wall of the bedroom was due to me and did not want to give my deposit paid upfront … but thanks to my pictures at the black wall and story uploaded on the website of the deposit scheme i won my battle and had my £1200 back
If you decide to buy a flat be careful with the freehold and the leasehold contracts.
You think to have a property of your own but then you discover to be only a landlord with no right on it.
I am selling a small property in Leeds now and I am sure, after that, I will never buy a house in England again if I do not have all the money to buy it.
No mortgage, no leaseholds and no freeholds!
Unfortunately, there are not enough houses for everyone in this country and many landlords do not accept people on benefits.
For instance, a single mother with a part-time job even if helped by the government, can not have a flat because the council houses are not enough
She can easily find herself homeless without her children.
I just hope, people realize finally how bad the conservative party has worked in the last 5 years and give the possibility to the opposition to help the poor people.
Thanks for reading