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crapstones

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About crapstones

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    Oxfordshire
  1. Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector pretty soon. Without a safety check you don't know what state the boiler is in. They are only £14 or so from somewhere like Wickes or Maplin. It's also important that if you do have one it's replaced every 5 to 7 years as the CO detector inside only lasts this long before it no longer becomes effective in detecting CO gas. Even if you do have a safety certificate get one anyway.
  2. I've never done anything to any of the properties I've rented: it's the landlords responsibility to paint new decor if needed, though I've never asked as I've never been unhappy with any of the properties I've rented.
  3. The only new bit is the paragraph: "It is mutually agreed between the landlord and tenant that this tenancy may be brought to an end by either party giving two calendar months written notice to the Property Manager." The other bit I mentioned - "terminating your tenancy early" page to sign where it says "This request confirms that you accept responsibility for our charges. These will be equal to one month's rent plus VAT. Half of this fee is payable when you confirm your intention to surrender your Tenancy and the remainder once the property has been re-let. The fee is non-refundable." - has always been in the past agreements I've signed in previous years. Obviously this time I'm a bit more wary. Giving two months notice whilst not being as preferable to one months notice is manageable, particularly if they find new tenants quickly. Assuming that I get to know the completion date a month in advance I'm probably only looking at one month where I have to pay a mortgage and rent, and perhaps if they get a replacement tenant in quickly I don't pay rent for that month. Paying rent plus mortgage plus the early termination fee of another months rent seems excessive though. I'm going to e-mail the letting agent to nail down this point but the two months notice period break-clause on its own is an acceptable compromise between us. Over the past 6 years I've paid just over £50k in rent (always on time by direct-debit) to the letting agent and landlords, plus the landlords live in what is either rent-free or subsidised accommodation tied to one of the landlord's employment, so I'm sure they can cover the mortgage payment if the property were vacant, plus they shouldn't have a problem finding new tenants.
  4. Here's an update on the situation: I wrote to both the landlord and letting agency telling them of my house purchase and asking if I could let the tenancy automatically change to a periodic AST by not signing the tenancy renewal (no Section 21 had been issued). I had a phone call from the letting agent after they'd received my letter where they told me that they'd spoken to the landlord. The letting agent told me that they don't do periodic tenancies, but they were happy to send me out a replacement page 15 of the new 12-month tenancy agreement to sign which includes an additional paragraph saying: "It is mutually agreed between the landlord and tenant that this tenancy may be brought to an end by either party giving two calendar months written notice to the Property Manager." Although personally I'd like it to be one month's notice on my part and two months notice on theirs this does seem to be a reasonable solution. The women from the letting agency said on the phone that they'd add this and I wouldn't have to pay any early surrender charges, but of course I would be liable for two months rent unless they had a replacement tenant in sooner after I'd moved out. One thing that does concern me is that on the reverse of the new page with this new break-clause on it, there is the old "terminating your tenancy early" page to sign where it says "This request confirms that you accept responsibility for our charges. These will be equal to one month's rent plus VAT. Half of this fee is payable when you confirm your intention to surrender your Tenancy and the remainder once the property has been re-let. The fee is non-refundable." I'm guessing that the new break-clause with two months notice would override the penalty clause, and that the penalty clause would only apply if I only gave a months notice.
  5. Just because you had a shock doesn't necessarily mean that there's live mains voltage present on the switch. There could be numerous reasons why the person had a high electrical charge such as the type of carpet, footwear, and what they were doing prior to the shock, and touching the switch provided a route to ground for this charge. As an example I can build up quite a charge on the carpets in my flat when I'm wearing my merrill sandles and using my Dyson vacuum cleaner and can get a belt after touching something later on. Having said that though these particular circumstances sound suspect, particularly with being thrown away from the source which is typical with a.c. currents. The lighting should all be on the same circuit and you could isolate the lighting by switching off the circuit in the fuse box if you have a modern breaker type fuse box or removing the fuse wire for the lighting circuit in the older style. This is what I would do until the problem was resolved with the minor inconvenience of using candles or torches for a few days. Having said that though, whilst the lighting should be on a separate circuit than the sockets, you also mention that it wasn't done by a professional, so I'd be worried that they'd not wired up the neutral and live wrongly anywhere, or mixed the sockets and lighting up on the same circuit. There are plenty of guidelines you have to follow when doing the home electrics such has not exceeding a certain length of wiring on ring mains, watching out for ambient heating near wiring such as from radiators, and lots of other stuff. My expertise is in small signal electronics so whilst I know a little bit about it I know that I'm not an expert in home electrics so I'd get an expert in.
  6. Thanks for the replies. I had thought about storage and finding somewhere temporary but unfortunately all my relatives are in other more distant parts of the UK and none of the friends I have locally would be able to let me sofa surf even for a short period of time. The letting agent does this renewal of the tenancy agreement every year and I have to sign a new agreement, and both myself and the landlord end up paying a fee to the them for this! I'm not aware of being served a section 21 notice at any time, neither at the start to take effect later, nor just before the agreement ran out. I'd also contact Shelter and CAB for their advice. CAB have yet to respond but Shelter have. Their advice covered the same ground as the replies here, that unless a section 21 was issued then if I don't sign the new agreement than the old one reverts to a periodic assured short hold tenancy meaning it rolls on a month-by-month basis automatically. If the landlord or letting agent wouldn't be happy with this situation then they'd have serve the section 21, giving a two month notice period. Their advice was to negotiate with the letting agents, explaining the situation, but that I may like to leave this as long as possible to avoid being served a notice to quit within the fixed term period. They also advised that outside of a fixed period there would be no extra charges or contractual fees to pay. I will be writing both the landlord and letting agency sometime in the future to outline the situation and ask if they would be accommodating. Thanks all who replied.
  7. Whilst I was in Plymouth I had three excellent landlords. The first landlords, husband and wife, were nice though the agency they used were rubbish. The agency always deducted my rent on time but delayed paying the landlords! The landlords were okay when things needed fixing though and the husband came around to do things himself. They needed to sell the small one-bedroom flat in the end but they gave me plenty of warning and even asked if I wanted to purchase it before it went on the market, and offered to refund the last six months rent. I declined and they offered the house to another potential landlord with me as a sitting tenant in but that deal didn't happen so I had to move out which as it happened was to house sit the home of a friend who decided to go on a 18 month round the world trip. She offered the home to me if I'd pay the same amount as the mortgage plus the bills whilst I was there. I did offer to pay a bit more but she insisted that she didn't want any extra as she'd rather rent to someone she knew and trusted. If she'd gone through an agent she could have easily got £200 a month more than the cost of her mortgage that I was paying. The next property was a house I found through an Estate Agent's letting and once they'd found me as the tenant they handed the whole thing over to the landlord to continue with. He seemed surprised at first when I asked for his bank details so I could set up a standing order to pay the rent automatically every month! When I was leaving he told me not to pay the final months rent as he'd take it out the deposit and said he that he'd pop around and pay the remainder when I left. I was moving that day so he met my parents there and handed over the remainder of the deposit. My parents said afterward that they thought he was a nice bloke so I was saddened to hear that he died of cancer some three years afterward. My current arrangement is with a letting agency and compared to my past experiences they seem so much more impersonal.
  8. My 12 months fixed-term AST is due for renewal in mid September and the letting agency has asked me if I want to renew however I've put in an offer on a house which has been accepted, though I don't know how long it would be before things were complete and I moved in, and of course things could always go pear shaped. Because it's still early days and there's no exchange of contracts yet, and because I don't want to become homeless in September, I really don't mind paying the £88 tenancy renewal as a safety net which is pittance compared to the deposit and legal fees I'm going to be paying if things go smoothly. I've already asked the letting agency to renew the AST when they asked if I wanted to renew it, prior to finding this house and making the offer, again because although I was looking I'd not found anything and didn't want to be homeless. The letting agent has only offered fixed term AST agreements in the past. I've been in the property for 6 years and have had therefore 6 times 12 month AST agreements. How should I approach the situation with the letting agency though? I'd sooner tell them the situation upfront and let them know I don't mind paying the renewal fee however I might leave it late to return the signed new AST agreement to them if things go pear shaped, and also say that if things go okay then I don't mind paying the renewal fee anyway but won't be signing a new AST so they can have the keys back. Is this okay? The previous AST says I'm responsible until a replacement tenant has been found, and I imagine the new one which I've not had to sign yet would say the same. The previous agreement also says that there is a charge equal to one month's rent plus VAT for leaving early, and they need half of this fee when I confirm my intention to surrender the tenancy and the remainder once the property has been re-let. There would be no issue in re-letting the property as it's in a fairly popular area and I'm happy for the letting agency to use a professional cleaner out of my deposit since it saves my time so I can get on with moving and sorting things out. Obviously my priorities are that I don't become homeless in late September and I don't end up paying a mortgage and rent for longer than one calendar month. I just wondered what the general advice is for this situation. Thanks.
  9. I used to work at this factory before I was made redundant in one of the earlier cut-backs. To be honest, Toshiba didn't pay well, even for the low-paid south-west, though the non-managerial staff worked their socks off and were committed.
  10. Thanks for the answer. As I understand it now, they want a 2% target to strike a balance between people saving and actually going out and spending money, otherwise they're afraid people are just going to hoard it up under the mattress if we had 0% inflation.
  11. Okay so I admit I'm an Engineer and I didn't get involved much with economics, and that's a proper Engineer by the way, that designs real things, not a "financial engineer" which I regard as the worst example of the abuse of the title Engineer since car mechanics started using it. Can someone explain why, in the Telegraph interview with Blanchflower, he's concerned that inflation will fall too far below the MPC 2% target? Surely if it does that's a good thing right? I thought the target was set at 2% so to be an achievable target, i.e. a 0% target would be really great, but in the real world they'd never be able to do this so 2% was a more realistic target for them to aim for, and to not go above 3%.
  12. Okay so I admit I'm an Engineer and I didn't get involved much with economics, and that's a proper Engineer by the way, that designs real things, not a "financial engineer" which I regard as the worst example of the abuse of the title Engineer since car mechanics started using it. Can someone explain why, in the Telegraph interview with Blanchflower, he's concerned that inflation will fall too far below the MPC 2% target? Surely if it does that's a good thing right? I thought the target was set at 2% so to be an achievable target, i.e. a 0% target would be really great, but in the real world they'd never be able to do this so 2% was a more realistic target for them to aim for, and to not go above 3%.
  13. We rent a two bed flat from Finders Keepers in Oxfordshire, who have recently written the letter attached to their tenants, requesting (or demanding?) that we change energy supplier to Southern Electric. A copy of their letter is below: There is an item in my tenancy contract saying that I must not change suppliers without getting permission from the landlord or agent first, and I have not done so, but I had always assumed that if I did want to then it would be a formality of getting their permission to change, and perhaps having to change back when I leave the property. I noticed that the Office of Fair Trading document on fair terms says in table 4.2 that I should be allowed to change supplier as long as I keep the landlord and agent informed. I am currently with Southern Electric, but was thinking about changing to npower as they seem to be cheaper. I wondered what other peoples experience and advice was.
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