Homeless with a toddler

Never in my life did I ever think I would be writing something like this (sorry if this is long thank you if you manage to read it all).

  I have always come on here as a silent reader but am now in desperate need of advice.  

I'm 38, married for 7 years and have a beautiful 2 year old daughter. My husband is a quiet guy who to be honest doesn't have many close friends. This doesn't seem to bother him as he likes to spend all his time with me and our daughter. In almost every aspect he is perfect except with finances.  He is beyond terrible.  We had lived in a privately rented house since 2008 & even tho the house was cheaper than similar properties in the area, we always seemed to struggle keeping up with it. Right from the beginning,  my OH took control of paying in the rent & regardless of how many times I tried to take over,  he was never willing to just let me do it.  

Before my daughter, I worked full time and we each paid half of the rent but then we underwent IVF & I fell pregnant.  We started trying to put money aside for her arrival but I developed severe pre eclampsia & was hospitalised for 5 weeks before she was delivered 9 weeks early weighing 2lbs. This threw our finances everywhere and we literally had little to get by on. Eventually I went back to work part time but only do 15 hrs a week & we applied for family tax credits etc to help us out.

During the last two years the landlord would turn up saying the rent, unbeknownst to me, hadn't been paid, & sometimes we would be months behind & would have to try & scrape the money needed.  Every time I asked OH if the rent was paid I would get promised it had & on 2 occasions he even swore on our daughter it had. It hadnt.  6 months ago this happened again and we were issued with a section 21 &  given just under 3 months to pay it back or we could face eviction. I honestly thought it had been sorted. I didn't hear anymore from the landlord. Until he turned up today with 2 bailiffs & gave us 10 minutes to pack essentials & hand over keys. I had 10 mins to pack up my life. I was told to arrange a time witjin the next week to go back with a van to collect the rest of our stuff and the cat.

We went to the council to apply for emergency accommodation & were told (by the bailiff &  landlord) to tell them the house was put up for sale as we wouldn't get help if we told them the real reason. The council contacted the landlord & he told them he had to sell the house & painted us as perfect tennants. It was more than we deserved.

The problem is, this brought up questions we couldn't answer. If we knew he was selling up,  why leave it till he took the house back to do anything about it as he would have given notice. Why have we turned up without relevant paperwork? If it's not sold yet, why would he put a 2 year old on the street if he had never had a problem with us? All valid questions with no answers. Along with the fact they ran background checka which flagged up credit issues left right and centre,  they wouldn't,  couldn't and didn't help. 

I'm currently on my sister's sofa with baby sleeping next to me. He has gone to his brother but I can't stay here too long.  My mum is in a sheltered accommodation 1 bedroom flat (for people past 55) so there's no room & we aren't allowed to stay there too long, my dad hsd passed away. My family  live in Essex whilst I was in Sth London which is where I need to be for work.

Because we were evicted for rent arrears, I have no options in terms of getting help with housing & without any savings,  just don't know what to do. I'm so scared & angry & can't see a way forward. Husband has cried & apologised & said it all got too much


  • he would rather lie to me & tell me the rent was being paid & try to sort it than see me worried and upset but it spiraled out of control & he never thought we would now be homeless and in this mess. The problem is it's been the same ongoing issue for so long I just don't know if I can trust him anymore. I do love him and aside from this we have a fun and loving relationship but he has made so many stupid decisions in the past that have all led to this big mess of debt we are in now and because my name is also on everything, I am just as liable.. He does tend to bury his head in the sand but if he was just honest from the beginning regarding the situation, we would have been able to tackle it together and we would have had more options available to us. There are so many things that don't make sense to me now. I.e. His job, the extent of our debt problems.  I just dont know what's the truth and what isn't anymore. I know money problems can have people behaving out of character but this has been going on for years now & I have got to put my daughter first because she is the most important person.


    trying to keep strong for her sake & if it wasnt for her, I would just give up now cause I just can't cope anymore and don't know where to turn




  • Welshbride16Welshbride16 Posts: 133 New bride

    I'm really sorry for your situation, it sounds awful. Im not much help but I would suggesting contacting citizens advice, I'm sure they can point you in the right direction. There must also be charities that can help in situations like this.

    I think at some point you need to have a serious talk with your husband about where all the money has been going? If your both working and sometimes have been months behind it must have been spent elsewhere? You should also take control of the finances I'm sure you can get good advice about what to do with all the debt, consolidating it etc (although I'm no expert).

    Stay strong and I hope all works out for you.



  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride

    I would echo Welshbride - get yourself to CAB. They at the very least can point you towards services that can support.

    You also need to sit your hubby down and quite forcefully get access to all the accounts and get him to now tell you the full extent of what is happening. It will be hard for him to do that and I suspect his pride is hugely damaged by this, but you need to get everything out and then work out a plan of action.

    I think it might be worth separating the money issue from the impact on your relationship for now. I would focus on getting the immediate needs sorted and then once you have that done you and your hubby need to have a long conversation about the state of your relationship and how you move forward as a couple.

    Good luck and I hope you can get everything sorted.

  • JulyBugJulyBug Posts: 420

    Hi Hun, I'm so sorry for what you're going through, this sounds really horrendous. I would also suggest you contact Shelter, the homeless charity. They will be able to suggest some options. I think because you have a toddler you will be prioritised for temporary accommodation. I really hope you get somewhere, let us know how you're doing x

  • susan28susan28 Posts: 268

    My heart goes out to you.   Get the advice suggested above for accommodation and also get in contact with a debt organisation,  they will sort it all out but you must stress to your husband that must tell them everything he owes.  I guess he has been living in turmoil with money worries.  If you love your husband you can work through this.  Good luck xxx 

  • sooz84sooz84 Posts: 378

    I feel so sorry for you, it's a terrible situation image

    I know a friend of ours got into trouble with money a while ago and got all his debt consolidated and they took one monthly payment to distribute to the various companies. He's getting back on his feet now. 

    Like JulyBug said, get in touch with Shelter or a Women's support group. You may need to be separated from your husband, but you and your child's safety are the most important thing at the moment.

    Hope you get it sorted xx

  • Thank you so much for the replies. Every single one has me breaking down again so you can imagine what a state I must look!

    I went to the Citizens Advice Bureau and was basically told I had no real options. It's all gone so far now that it's too late to take positive action. She was lovely and really tried to find any loophole that might give me some hope but once I told her everything,  She said all I could do now was repay whatever the full arrears (plus court fines) are and try and find somewhere re we might be able to rent privately.  On paper, it sounds so easy.  Any council outside of what was our borough won't help, even taking my daughter into account.  She said I could go down social services route but the look on her face and tone suggested that be the very last option and the thought of social services is petrifying.


    One of my two sisters has taken her family to Haven for a little break and luckily are only an hour and 15 mins away so my BIL has come to take DD to spend a few days with her young cousins (all v close in age) to free me to try and get things sorted and so she doesn't have to see me so upset.  I can't bear to hear her say 'oh, mummy crying' again. It breaks my heart because we have never spent time away from eachother and altho I know she will have a great time,  I can't help but feel we have failed her.


    The landlord has given us 1 hour to collect our stuff tomorrow so my other sis has organised a van and rallied some troops to help throw everything in so at least we can get that out of the way and concentrate on the next step. 


    I still need to have a chat with hubby but my sis who is away has told me to go to hers as it's empty and go through everything with him without worrying about being interrupted. They are back Monday so it will give us the time needed to try and talk this through. I don't think he has been spending the money elsewhere but using every penny to try and catch up with arrears,  but once you are so far behind its hard to get on top of it and it spiraled out of control. 


    It's all such a mess

  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride

    You sound like you have a super supportive family and right now that is what you really need. As hard as it must be, having your daughter go on a little holiday with her cousins is a good idea as it does give you some time to sort things out.

    Can you approach so local housing associations for a private rental? They might be more willing than an average private landlord.

    I am sure that once your hubby and you go through everything and properly see the scale of your debts it will be easier to see a path through. Even though CAB might not have been able to help you to find accommodation immediately do go back or consult the money advice service once you have got a handle on the situation as they might be able to help you figure out a plan to get back on an even keel.

  • I think once I get the stuff out of the house,  I can start concentrating on looking at a solution with regards to living. I'm stuck at the moment because there is paperwork I will probably need that is currently in the house so once I can sort it, I can hopefully prepare myself a little better than I am right now able to. My sis has a huge garage so that is only being used to store stuff so everything will be kept here here which will save storage fees. Once thats out of the way, Monday I can try my luck with housinf associations and if nothing else, at least try to get as much information as possible.


    I'm so incredibly luckily that I have a strong, supportive family and they have been absolute stars in trying to keep me focused and positive. 

    Thank you once again for all your advice,  it has really helped me through today and I sincerely appreciate you all taking the time out. You all rock


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  • HdelHdel Posts: 132

    Hi I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm a solicitor and specialise in this area and whilst I don't think it's appropriate to give legal advice over the Internet, I would massively encourage you to look for a local legal aid provider asap who can give you specialist housing advice, as the CAB advice you got ( which would not have been specialist ) was unfortunately incorrect and you may be entitled to housing assistance from the local authority. If you have a local Law Centre or Shelter they should be able to provide you with free and better advice. I'd do it quickly as there are deadlines as regards to challenging a homelessness decision.

    If you are interested in reading more about your homelessness rights Shelter has a quite good website. You can look up your right to temporary accommodation pending a homelessness decision and your right to permanent accommodation if you are unintentionally homeless and in priority need. It is a common misconception that if you are evicted for rent arrears you are automatically 'intentionally homeless' and therefore not entitled to any help - councils and others may tell you this but it is NOT the legal position. In fact there is specific case law similar to what you have described where one partner of a couple has been unaware of rent arrears (ie wife thinking hubby was paying rent) and was not deemed intentionally homeless. Every case is different but really I would urge you to try to find someone who can give you good and accurate advice on all your housing options. 

    And just a personal message;  stay strong! Do whatever you need to do now for your little girl and things will get better. One day this will just be a horrid time of your life to look back on and think "thank God we're through that!". 


  • SparkystarSparkystar Posts: 158

    Hdel, has such good advice, my htb is a legal aid solicitor specialising in housing and he said the same. keep strong Hun xx

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