I wanted to swap council house for a smaller one due to my obsessive cleaning, but I was horrified when I saw the toilet

A COUPLE from Barkby, Leicestershire, is searching for a smaller council house to make it easier to keep tidy.

Council House Swap, which airs this evening on Channel 5, follows Michael and Lucy as they try to trade their home with another family.

The pair pay £88 a week to live in their large three-bed home, but due to Lucy's high standards of cleaning want to downsize.

The mum, who struggles to clean due to health problems, is on the hunt for a smaller place.

But during the second episode of the programme, Lucy was left baffled after visiting one resident to potentially swap with.

Alison, who the council house belongs to, had converted her downstairs loo into a pantry – building shelves from top to bottom, even though it still had a toilet inside.


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"Oh, so you've not taken the toilet out?" asks Lucy stunned by the scene.

The couple were visibly stunned by the pantry, which had food and dog food stored in there.

"The last thing I would think of doing is putting food and shelves in a toilet," said Lucy. "I've never seen it in my life."

Lucy, who was unable to keep up with cleaning due to her health problems, had enlisted her husband, Micheal to keep their home spick and span.

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However, Micheal was 'exhausted' from the labour, and both, along with their son, Thomas were eager to find somewhere smaller.

"I'm at my happiest or was at my happiest when I can clean.

"People think I'm deranged  but a day in my house when I can just clean, I'm at my happiest doing that."

Although Lucy and Michael want to downsize, they aren't prepared to lower their standards, and would not be happy walking into a messy home to swap with.

"First impressions count, and if I'm walking up to your house and that's what I see," she grimaces.

She added: "I can't go backwards. So unless it's level pegging or better, it's not going to happen."

The viewing went from bad to worse when Lucy saw the tiny bedrooms, claiming she 'couldn't swing a cat in here."

Although the couple liked the size of the garden, they weren't happy with the concrete flooring for their bulldog, Dave.

The couple felt the house would ultimately need too much work done, so didn't offer Alison a viewing of their home.

The couple went on to see two more properties in the show, but both ended up being a no for Lucy and Micheal.

Although Lucy appreciated the downstairs of the second property, owned by dressmaker, Maria, she felt the bedrooms were too small again, and there wasn't enough room for their two dogs.

The next property, in Yeovil, Somerset was £163 a week, a lot more than the couple were willing to pay, although the property had its perks.

Lucy and Michael particularly liked the manageable garden, but again were let down by the 'minuscule' bedroom sizes.

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Lucy said: "Going around seeing the other houses and the conditions that they were in, that it's just reconfirmed in my eyes that this is home.

"Until we can find something that we can say 'this could be home' we just don't go anywhere."

You are able to swap council house or housing association homes if you follow certain rules and get permission from your landlord.

A 'mutual exchange' application must be submitted by both tenants and approved by the landlords.

Council House Swap airs on Channel 5 at 9pm

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