This Situation Is Un-Tenant-able

, , , , | Working | April 10, 2019

(I’m applying for council housing. I have waited three months for a reference number to sign into the account they’ve made for me. I call the office.)

Me: “Hi. I’m calling regarding my application on the [Local Area] website? I haven’t received my reference number; it’s been about three months.”

Employee #1: “Okay. What’s your name?”

Me: “[My Name].”

Employee #1: “And your address?”

Me: “[Address].”

Employee #1: “Are you currently a tenant with us?”

Me: “No, but I signed up and selected you on the drop-down list for who I’d like to deal with my application.”

Employee #1: “Sorry, you’ll have to go to your local council housing office.”

(I go there and explain all this to the employee.)

Employee #2: “Sorry, as you selected them to deal with your application, only they can handle it.”

(I go home and call back. The first two times, I am told they can’t help as I’m not a tenant, but on my third call, they agree to send me out a letter with the reference number. Lo and behold, when I get it, it doesn’t work. I call back several times and I’m told that I can’t speak to them unless I already live in one of their properties. In the time it’s taken to get to this point, I’ve had a baby. I go back to the local council office.)

Me: “Hi. I’m sorry to bother you, but—“ *explains the whole situation*

Employee #3: “I’m sorry, we can’t change your details here, but I can do a search and find your reference number. It’s [completely different, longer number].”

Me: “Thanks so much!”

(I go on the website. I now need a two-bedroom property because of the aforementioned baby. I can’t apply for one as I’m down as a single adult, so I need to get my details changed. I call the people dealing with my application again; it takes another three calls, spread over a week, before someone can update my details. During this week, I find that my current landlord has decided to evict me, probably to avoid doing necessary work — there’s black mould and I have had to stay with my mum to avoid potential risks to my baby for the past three months.)

Me: “Look. I know it’s not your fault, but this situation is absolutely untenable, and I’m being passed from pillar to post. If you can’t help me, can you transfer me to someone who can?”

Employee #4: “I can transfer you to lettings, but I doubt they can help.”

(I am transferred.)

Lettings Employee: “Sure, I can update those details!”

(It took three minutes. All in all, I had been running around trying to sort this out for six months when this could have been done in a matter of minutes!)

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