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Does anyone have any tips on getting a council house? Ive been on the list for years and years, i work, dont take drugs, dont have children, i really dont know what else i can say to get a house. I see people causing crimes in the paper all the time who live in council houses etc and i think how lucky they are and i see people who dont work or have no intentions of working yet they get a house.

What am i doing wrong. I dont earn enough for a mortgage yet i could afford private rent but having a huge chunk of my wages going to some greedy landlord pisses me off when i could be using the money on a mortgage.

Its coming to the point that im looking south and it will probably be my only option.

Any ideas, and i really dont want sarcastic comments from ghost etc im not in the mood

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I do genuinely feel for you and saw your ad too last night.  Unfortunately, the facts are, are that social housing is geared up for those who cannot afford to rent privately - I'm not saying it's right, I'm not saying it's fair, just how it is.


So unless you are regarded as a priority such as have medical reasons (and you need 100 points to be taken seriously) or you're being harassed and your life is in danger, you haven't got a hope in hell's chance of getting a place unless you go for a hard to let flat which will probably be out of town ... because even if you're at risk of homelessness, all the SIC have is a duty to give you a list of temporary accommodation/B&B, etc. - having kids means they have more obligations and duties under the Childrens Act.

When you say south, do you mean the south part of Shetland?  It's worth a try as at least a lot of the social housing down the south end isn't too far from a bus route, if that helps at all.  Quite often people will accept a council/housing association place down the south end and then get a transfer later up to the town.  It might also be worth ascertaining if it's worth your while to rent outside of town because sometimes the difference in rent is such that even after taking bus fares into account, it does give you more of an opportunity to save towards a mortgage.

With regards to mortgages, not everywhere requires a deposit. It might be worth your while to speak to an independent mortgage advisor to ascertain if there are any organisations willing to give you a 100% mortgage as opposed to a 70%/75% mortgage.  A lot of people overlook the fact that overseas banks do lend on properties in the UK, there's a lot more organisations outwith of the High Street banks who do lend dosh.  Another alternative is any time Hjaltland do the part ownership/part rent schemes.

Good luck.

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I know this probably sounds obvious but make sure your housing applications are up to date. By that I mean if you have any info that might get you points make sure it's on there in "fine detail". For instance if you have any mental or physical health problems or family in your desired area, that you provide support for or need the support of. I'm not up to date on the council's or housing association's points system but make sure you are. The C.A.B. may be able to give you advice on the subject, worth a try, the worst they can say is no. Check where there is still council stock & the bus timetables for these areas so that you can workout if it is possibly viable for you to move out of the town & still get to your work. If you work shifts this may be more difficult or not possible by bus. If you can't drive or do but don't have a vehicle, if you can possibly stretch your present finances to saving up for driving lessons &/or car it would definitely widen your scope. As a non driver I know this only too well! There are definitely council & Hjaltland houses in the south mainland, though the amount of council ones are more limited now & one bedroom ones have always been so. Keep checking in with the council regularly about your waiting list status, a bit of polite "pester power" can't hurt. The very best of luck to you.

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Yes a lot of first time buyer mortgages from the likes of Nationwide, RBS etc. only require a 5% deposit. And there are some properties on the market around the £100k mark in Lerwick, so £5kish down is all you would need.


I've always used a mortgage broker who's been able to make things work when I've been refused, has got me better than advertised rates through his relationship with banks, and just generally makes the process easy. I can PM you his number if you want to go down this route.

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As that is your situation SB then labour those points when you go to the housing tomorrow. Tell them how your present living conditions are impacting your mental & physical wellbeing. I'm sure your uncertain housing situation must be getting you down & if you are having to sleep on granny's couch every night that can't be good for you physically either not to mention the couch! Even most sofa beds are not designed for constant use as a bed. Also let them know that this situation is not what your granny bargained for in her later years (even if she is a young granny). All the better if granny can provide a letter for you to take, explaining this. Make sure she knows that providing such a letter will not offend you & may infact help you. Even as a loving granny she is not legally or morally obliged to house you. Tell them that your work is the one bit of security in your life that gives you relief from this situation & that if the only housing that is offered to you (even in the future), means that you would not be able to keep your job then you have no doubt that would have a negative effect on your health too. It would also cost the council as rent benefit if you had to "sign on" comes out of their budget. Keep your talk with them polite & respectful (as trying as it is) but don't be subtle about your points! Fingers crossed that something positive happens.

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Are you sure buying is out of the question?

I wish I'd bought years before I actually did.

The beauty of buying is that if things do go pear shaped you can always sell it again and you'll be no worse off than you are now. (Disclaimer..as long as house prices don't nosedive and the property sells.)

The cost of borrowing is very low at the moment, (Disclaimer 2..you should probably factor in a possible/probable increase in interest rates.)

I did a very rough and quick 2 minute google check to see what kind of monthly repayments you'd have assuming you've no mortgage deposit (Disclaimer 3...I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination)

1 bed flat in St Olaf street, price in the region of £97,000 (I think "in the region of" means you can offer less and maybe get lucky, a cheeky £90,000 offer might secure you never know)


£80,000 mortgage over 25 years = £330 per month

£10,000 personal loan over 5 years (for deposit) = £179 per month

Total £509 per month.

Once personal loan's paid off as long as interest rates don't shoot up monthly costs will decrease.

Obviously there's other costs...home insurance, solicitor fee, furnishings, council tax, electricity, etc

As Tooney1 says, there's people who can advise and secure good deals for a fee.

Edited by Capeesh
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Thank you the cleaner i will try my best, really am going out of my mind. 

I did try the mortgage route, i could only get 40000 as my income is not enough so i asked my dad to go with me for a joint mortgage and we did get a higher amount but as he is not far from retirement age then we could only get a 10 year mortgage with monthly repayments of £1000 which is too much for me. I will stick to the council and hjatland for now and if nothing can come of it then moving south is the last resort but that you all for your advise.

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SB, you should be able to get more than a 10 year mortgage with your dad.  For example, Co-operative Bank lend calculating repayments ending when someone reaches 80 years of age, as do others.


Whilst you've had a range of advice above, I would, however, err on the side of caution too ... over the last year or so, banks/building societies have tightened their lending criteria:  years ago, they would never ask how much you spent on going down the gym, how much you spent on clothes, hairdresser, etc., but having been criticised for lending to people who couldn't afford the repayments, they've increased the questions they ask you and also want to see more proof of income, copies of bank statements, pay closer attention to credit card outstanding balances, other personal loans, etc.

And whilst I agree that it isn't necessarily good for your health or your granny's health, they (Housing) would expect medical proof and points before they really took that into account.  Housing will have heard everything in the past from other people on the list and unless they have a hard to shift place that is sitting empty, you might just move a couple of places up the list if you're lucky - it's a tick box exercise no matter how sympathetic they might be when you see them.  But widen your search area and don't forget to ask the nice Housing Admin person by e-mail each month where you are on each regional list that you're on.


Do Hjaltland have any new builds coming up whereby they're offering part rent/part ownership? 

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