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Mrs Bear

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Everything posted by Mrs Bear

  1. Plenty of people who usually voted Labour were only too happy to buy their council houses at a discount. Including a friend of mine - over the moon to be able to buy the house where she'd lived since a small child for £7k - this was shortly after RTB was introduced. Taking away that right could easily have lost them a lot of votes. Or do you imagine that the only people who ever exercised their right to buy, or who hoped to, were Tory voters?
  2. Not ten million miles from us, very close to an entrance to Richmond Park, is a horribly ostentatious new-build house that replaced an infinitely nicer (IMO) smaller, non-showy one. Originally on the market for £5m. Now down to £3.995m - at least that was the last price Mr B found after a good old nose. The days of 'think of a number and double it - some mug is going to pay it' are over.
  3. I like the way he talks of reversing the effects of Thatcher's right to buy! As if Labour didn't have - how many, ten? - years in power to reverse it, if they'd really wanted to! But they didn't, for the simpl reason that they thought it'd lose them votes.
  4. Not everyone wants to live on top of their children in a small annexe, Winkie - not everyone will have the means to buy such a property anyway. And not everyone wants elderly parents who may be very demanding/interfering/just plain bloody difficult, living on top of them, either. Having said that, it's no news that these flats come with very expensive charges, can be notoriously difficult to sell for anything like you paid, and may end up being a huge financial burden if e.g. the person later needs a care home, the place doesn't sell, and the charges still need to be paid. I've heard of more than one case where the relative who had to deal with it all became truly desperate. On top of all that, the ones I saw when looking with my elderly mother many moons ago, were very poky. She very sensibly decided no thanks. The answer, if one of these flats really does seem a good idea, is to rent one.
  5. It wasn't priced too low - just not crazily high. Like anyone else who keeps a close beady eye on their local market, she knew roughly what it should go for. It was the agent's strategy, in order to get viewings and 'offers over' in. It does happen here, too - if a property appears desirable enough.
  6. Also badly needed is compulsory registration of ALL landlords - and funding for local councils to check/enforce standards. Why it's never been done defeats me. It would also help to stop the non payment of tax on rental income, which I am convinced is still rife.
  7. My sister, who lives in Cambridge Massachusetts, had planned to put her house on the market back in the spring - she was was afraid of, and fully expecting, a downturn and not being able to sell/downsize - house now too big for her. However for sundry reasons, inc. an elderly but much loved dog (RIP now) who was becomimg unpredictably incontinent, she put it off until very recently, After a lot of decluttering and sprucing up, the house finally went live last weekend, with several viewings. On Monday there were FOUR offers in, two at above the asking price, and the highest from a couple needing no mortgage. As she said, she was triple gonsmacked. Point being, though, that at least in that area (I know not typical, expensive by US standards, Harvard just down the road, etc.) the market is still hot. Might add that house, while spacious and v nice, is not large by typical US standards, and plot is relatively small, so I gather perhaps rather more affordable than many family houses in the area, which might explain it.
  8. Some good news for once in today's Times. Council tenant had been AirbnBing his central London flat since 2013. Article says that Westminster Council (the one in question) has 1500 council,properties under investigation for illegal sub letting. 24 properties have been recovered in the past year after investigations of fraud. More well publicised cases - and the huge fines! - are evidently needed.
  9. Not everyone is going to need expensive care - many don't. There will still be a lot of housing wealth sloshing around. Care of people with no money and no relatives to help is down to the state/local govt., at least at the moment. After an aunt died in her very nice care home (she was self funded) I went to clear out her room and was asked by staff to leave all her clothes and even toiletries, since they had residents with no money apart from the allowance from the state pension (£20 odd a week I think, which has to cover all extras inc. toiletries, haircuts, etc.) and no relatives to buy them anything. Point being that they had council funded residents as well as self-funded - of course the self funders do subsidise the others. I was reluctant to leave some old and very faded nighties but they said please leave them, someone will be needing them. Worth adding that it was a dementia unit, and people with dementia are unlikely to object to wearing anyone else's faded cast-offs. Even people who were very fastidious before are so often past caring or noticing what they wear.
  10. Your landlady should have made herself aware of the regulations, though, NLRG. If she'd had a less nice tenant, pleading ignorance would have been no defence.
  11. That Southwark one is heartening! Seems a bit of a shame that the OP case didn't feature a rogue slumlord. A few more of those having their arses handed to them on a plate, garnished with a whacking great bill, plus the cases heavily publicised, are needed.
  12. I doubt it'll ever happen. It'd cause outrage among the swathe of priced-out voters - and the Tories are belatedly waking up to the fact that housing is a major issue among the younger votes they need to attract. It's not as if cutting stamp duty on th smaller property would make a substantial difference to the price of the bigger one. And IMO if people really want to downsize, they'll do it anyway. If they don't, such inducements are unlikely to change their minds.
  13. It's not always bad - depends what you buy. Family member bought a maisonette, purpose built Edwardian with a garden, one of just 2, 95 year lease, minimal ground rent, no service or maintenance charges. and proceeded to buy the freehold at a reasonable price (worked out via a formula - the Fholder can't just charge what they like). Buying a LH newbuild house, or a flat in a new or newish block, is a whole different matter though. Wouldn't touch those with a ten foot bog brush.
  14. We get The Times, and I have to say the front page headline on this cracked me up. I mean, since when is it news that Foxtons (among others) regularly over-value to get the business? Since when is it news that vendors can be extraordinarily stubborn about what they think their houses are 'worth'? I can only think that after so many days of effing Brexit headlines, and I dare say sales falling because people are so sick of the effing B word, they thought this would sell rather more papers. Very likely spot on, too. Good on them for highlighting it, though - and for the website where you can enter your postcode and find out which local EAs are worst for over-valuing.
  15. I'd imagine that any TV prog. on the lines of Benefit Scroungers, but focusing on dropping tax dodging LLs right in it with HMRC, would be a massive ratings hit. , I'm only surprised that e.g.Channel 5 haven't run some ads on the line of, 'Do you know or suspect that your LL is a tax dodger? Why not shop him to us - your confidentiality assured! - and we'll take it to the taxman!'
  16. The very term 'accidental' landlord is irritating - there's no such thing. Unless... 'Ooh, look! A strange house has mushroomed up in our garden overnight! What on earth shall we do?' 'Have it demolished?' 'That'd cost a bomb! I know - let's rent it out!'
  17. Boomers can't win, at least not on here. Either they get slated for spending their money on flash cars and cruises, and selfishly not giving a shiny shit about their own kids or anyone else's. Or else they get slated for using their cash to help their children - how dare they when it's so unfair on those who can't expect any help.
  18. If there's no mortgage - not uncommon - and a letting agent is not used, then in many areas there will be no record anywhere, let alone any official record, of whether a property is rented out. In many areas you don't have to inform the council or anyone else, and even assuming that a LL does declare rental income, or some of it, the SA tax form doesn't ask for addresses, only how many properties.
  19. I'm quite sure I've been 'played' in the past with phantom offers, and once had definite proof of blatant lies (very odd reasons for turning down my offer.) Found out later via nethouseprices that it had sold for way below my offer. Which brings me to this: a few years ago I briefly met someone who openly boasted of his 'arrangements', I.e. brown envelopes, with EAs in a certain area. He would get the properties cheaply, do them up equally cheaply, and flog them off to BTLers. Presumably that could only usually happen after other potential buyers had been fobbed off/lied to. As for whoever said 'They can do the job without GCSE maths', er, GCSE English, too, judging by so many of the blurbs. Apologies to any literate/numerate/honest EAs who may be reading. I know you do exist - there just aren't enough of you.
  20. I've kept an eye on 2 bed p/b maisonettes in Tooting, largely Furzedown area, since a daughter was looking to buy there in 2010-ish. (She subsequently moved to Oxford and bought there.). At the time a 65-70 sq m one with private garden was going for about £250-280k, depending on condition. Miles better value than new-builds - poky one beds of 45 ish sq m were going for about the same. Roll on to 2016 and the p/b maisonettes in the area were being priced at anything up to £600k. It was crazy. Prices are definitely coming down now, but still mad.
  21. I doubt that the sort of slumlord who packs them in 12 to a 3 bed semi - never mind a shed in the garden - who takes rent in cash and never declares it to the taxman, ever gave a toss about checking anyway.
  22. First time for ages, have just had a nose at an old search area - 2 bed flats/maisonettes in Sw17. Prices definitely down - saw a couple - OK, needing major renovation - but priced at £375k ish, when not long ago even those would have been more like £425k, , if not more. Though there's still a major doer-upper that must have been on the market for 2 years now, still wanting £450k. And that one started at not far off £600k, which was crazy even at the peak, given the amount of work needed.
  23. A couple who moved to coastal North Devon wrote to the local paper complaining about the noise of air/sea rescue practice flights at night. There was so much vilification from the locals - and quite right too. - they upped and left.
  24. Be aware that whatever it may say in your contract, conducting viewings while you're still in residence does not come under the 'quiet enjoyment' heading, so you are fully entitled to refuse - or to expect a reduction in the rent.
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