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  1. Only partially, the game changer is the fact that the cost of change will be reduced significantly for the Tenant but remain (or even increase) for the Landlord. Cost of change is the primary mechanism for an incumbent supplier (Landlord) to maintain pricing power. The higher the cost of change, the less likely that an efficient market can operate. When the cost of change disappears - customers can ruthlessly shop around to drive down prices and increase service levels. Anyone in IT knows how important this principle is :-) Where I live in Reading, moving house costs £700+ (Landlord Fees) plus a removal van (£50). Whenever I got an incremental rent rise of £50 the cost of change was too high for to justify this relatively small increase in cost. The same would apply whenever I saw a slightly cheaper or better house advertised in the neighbourhood Although moving house is inconvenient, for the vast majority of renters it is only a weekends worth of work and a removal van. Landlords might have real difficulty in even maintaining rent levels if this passes.
  2. Is it possible to take action against the Letting agent instead of the Landlord to get my deposit back? I have done a bit of googling to no avail. After 5 years renting my property I moved out in December. Surprise, surprise the Landlord felt entitled to help themselves to my deposit. (I won’t go into the details but it is the usual nonsense). The house was rented through a letting agent whom I paid monthly and who provided the management. I had no interaction with the landlord. I don't even know if my emails explaining why I contested the deductions was passed on (I believe the letting agent was at fault for some of them) e.g I was charged for the inventory - (even though the inventory report I was provided with was conducted 2 years prior to me moving in) The Letting agent have emailed me to tell me that they have sent the money to the Landlord and I now need to take it up with the Landlord. My understanding was that they can’t deduct anything without my consent. I can’t go to the tribunal as this time has expired (I suspect that the Letting agent was just stringing this out until then). I would much prefer to take action against the Letting agent then the Landlord Any thoughts here?
  3. I used to think it was people moving out of London but consider the following: 2/3 bed terrace house near me (conservation area) sold in January for £285k. Last month advertised to let for £1100 p/m. (a good deal as it is three floors and very spacious) however it was Let Agreed within a day. I haven't tracked the sales -> to let transactions but my guess is that BTL has held the market up due to the relatively high rentals achieved here.
  4. Pretty much sums it up. Houses up to about £250k seem to be selling (otherwise known as houses people can buy with reasonable multiples of salary). Houses around the £300k-£600k just seem to sit on the market forever. Unfortunately the housing stock in Reading is p'*** poor and no one aspires to a 2+1 with the bathroom attached to the kitchen which are the kind of houses in the £200k price band,
  5. whats with all the hatred on HPC for Billy Bragg. He made his money from selling music ffs. Its not like he made you buy his CDs or exploited millions of people in order to accumulate his (modest fortune) @mr g on the hpc blog - What exactly is so hypocritical about him then? Unless he has preached against making money from concerts and selling CDs I don't see how he is a hypocrite. Now if he owns a sweatshop in China on the other hand...........
  6. you could always just move out and make sure you document the issues that have forced the move. Just because you have signed a 24 month agreement doesn't mean a court would see it as black and white as that - that is if a Landlord would even bring it that far. Make sure you document everything, give one month notice and move out. (If you are willing to stoop really low I am sure you can find a human right of yours that is being violated :-)
  7. @tim123 Thats the plan. I am just putting together a site now. Anyone got any decent ideas for a name? Tenantzone Tenant Action - maybe too socialist sounding :-) but the current forerunner Renter/zone/action group - RAG for short. Off the ladder Off the snake renters information group Your suggestions are welcome but if they are good they are at risk of being taken....
  8. I have searched high and low on the internet for one but I don't seem to be able to find one! I know that there is Shelter but as a professional who rents out of choice, I don't appreciate being lumped in with the homeless and repossessed 'homeowners'. I guess the point of this thread to make sure I am not duplicating work and gather some suggestions on the feasibility of setting one up myself. I think there is some brilliant information on here but I think it would be great to take this a step further.I am thinking of creating a website/group along the lines of first rung but obviously for people who want to rent but are sick of the mickey mouse estate agents, crappy housing stock and general bias towards people who choose to weigh themselves down with hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt. I want to press for protection along the lines of what is available in Europe but also force estate agents to advertise fees in advance (if at all), advertise the square footage etc etc. I am pretty pissed of by how 'homeowners' have been bailed out over the last few years as if they are the only people who matter. There are still millions of renters.... Ideally to include: A way to provide user feedback on the thousands of estate agents (details of fees etc – actual) Forum like this (or possibly linking to this) for renters rights Details of renters rights, best practice etc I have many other ideas to.
  9. A good film too! well worth watching although overtaken by current events...
  10. I recommend Jim Rodgers - Investment Biker http://www.amazon.co.uk/Investment-Biker-A...7119&sr=8-1 I have been recommended but have never been able to get my hands on: The Liberty Dollar The Creature From Jekyll Island These recommendations were from someone I had a chance meeting with in the summer of 2004 and he told me: To buy Gold That US Banks would begin to go Bust US house foreclosures and bankruptcies would soar There would be out of controll inflation eg. One loaf of bread would be $14 If only I had taken his advice on Gold :-( He is 3 out of 4 and counting...........
  11. just read through this thread. Are the rates of the return similar to what they were a year ago? If yes they look tempting compared to my crappy ISA rates.
  12. this might be a stupid question but is it 7.50 for any transaction of how ever many types of shares? Eg if i buy 100 BP shares, 50 BT shares it will cost me 7.50? or would that be 15 pounds?
  13. This is a brilliant topic so by all means keep it going. Currently in the same position but well short of 100k :-( Mostly in ISAs at the moment but will move this years savings to a mixture of other investments
  14. I know there are sites dedicated to business and tax advice but as I have so many kindred spirits on here I thought I would ask around here first. I am planning to do some part time work and consulting in my free time for a friends company. I need some advice on the most tax effective way to receive payment from him and lessen the amount of tax I will end up paying. I absolutely want to keep it above board and legal but like everyone I feel I already pay my share of tax. Details: He wants to pay me as an independent contractor (like any other business expense ) I currently earn around 42k a year in a PAYE job –I will actually probably end up at about 45k for this financial year. I would like to claim back as much expenses and VAT as possible. I am forecasting to earn about 20k through this extra work and I hope to grow it substantially to the point where I can turn it into a full time business of my own. These are the options I have considered so far: Starting my own company and invoicing him for my services? How much work would this realistically entail? I have also heard that I could sign up for an umbrella company. Apparently they do much of the work for you in terms of the admin but gives you the opportunity to expense your costs. No experience of this and unsure of the fees. Or can I just declare this extra income on my tax return at the end of the year? I believe that this would be the easiest but won’t allow me to expense anything. This will most likely be at the higher tax band (40%) + student loans repayment. Additional questions: The ultimate destination of this money will be a house once prices have bottomed out or reached a reasonable level. Would I be best of leaving the money in the company I created and re-invested in a mixture of gold, cash and shares? I am not sure what kind of tax you pay as a company. There is nothing in my current contract preventing me from having an additional job but I would prefer that they did not know how much I would earn. Would my HR department have access to my tax statements or only the tax I pay through them? Any good reading material or websites that could walk me through this? Thanks in advance for your comments.
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