Mum and kids ‘face homelessness’ after son, 2, ‘bid on wrong council house’

A single mum claims she is facing homelessness after her toddler son accidentally bid on the wrong property.

The abuse victim, 37, says her two-year-old boy placed the offer in error as her mobile was logged into the council portal.

She said she then tried to cancel the bid and explain the mistake – but was offered the home anyway.

The mum-of-two, who has not been named, then discovered the property is close to where her ex-partner – who she says threatened her – lives.

She is now refusing to move there but claims Birmingham City Council has withdrawn its duty of care and will not provide another housing option.

The woman will have to go through the county court to appeal the decision – and says if she loses that, she’ll be evicted from her current temporary accommodation in the Black Country.

“It’s left me feeling overwhelmed, depressed,” she said.

“My [eldest] son is always saying: ‘Mum stop crying, one day I’ll buy you a house’.

“It’s just overwhelming not knowing whether you’re going and knowing you and your kids may end up on the road.”

She claims she is facing homelessness after her son got hold of her phone and mistakenly placed a bid while she was trying to get him ready for bed.

She said: “I had logged in to check what properties I was able to bid on, I was looking for accommodation at that moment.

“The baby was in the bath and I took him out and left the phone while I was getting him dry.

“I put the phone down to get him dressed, he picked up the phone and started fiddling with it and placed a bidding error.

“This was through the pandemic, so when the first lockdown was being lifted.

“I was assuming there was a lot of traffic on the Birmingham City Council bidding site, each time I tried to go on I was getting an error message and it kept crashing.”

She says she tried calling them to cancel the bid, but claims all calls were going through to an answering machine.

“They called me up and offered me the property, I told them I did not want the property as it was placed in error and I explained to them I was trying to call and I wasn’t getting through or anything and that was the situation,” she said.

“I later found out that my son’s dad lives in the area that the property is in, I explained it to them.

“The council has turned down all the appeals I’ve done and said I have to appeal through the courts.”

She’s currently awaiting the date of the hearing, but with not enough money to afford legal representation – but earning too much to qualify for legal aid – she is fearing the worst outcome.

“Bearing in mind I haven’t got any family in the country. I’ve got two kids that I’ll have to go on the street with because I haven’t got anyone to stay with,” she added.

The family have been living in a Black Country flat since August 2019 – but before that lived in a one-bed hostel for over a year.

The council refused to comment on the claims of how the accidental bid was made and said it could not comment on the legal appeal.

A general statement from Birmingham City Council read: “There are now over 18,000 applicants on the housing register in Birmingham and this includes over 4,000 council tenants requiring alterative accommodation and 3500 homeless households in temporary accommodation.