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Posts posted by tim123

  1. I've just been looking at the changes that will come about when Universal Credit starts to replace the current system of benefits and tax credits next year. The direct payment of housing benefit to tenants has already been discussed here, but I was wondering about the withdrawal of tax credits from savers.

    On the one hand, withdrawing tax credits (partially from £6,000 savings, fully from £16,000) from savers will make it even more difficult to save for a deposit on a house, thus tending to drive prices down. On the other hand, withdrawing tax credits from those who prefer to rent and save rather than buy may tend to drive prices up as house ownership becomes more attractive.

    Any thoughts?

    Apologies if this issue has been raised before.

    Can you ecxplain what you mean by "withdrawing tax credits from savers"

    It makes no sense to me

  2. If the landlord breaks the original tenancy agreement you have signed, does this contract become void? Could they still hold you to your terms and conditions in a court of law?

    Not sure what specific breaking of the contract you are referring to, but the general rule is no.

    A breach of one term of the contract does not void the rest of the contract (if it did, you would, for example, not have to pay rent even though you continued to remain in the property, which would obviously be a silly state of affairs)


  3. The contract becomes statutory periodic if you remain in residence past the expiry of the last day of the contract. Your contract terms remain the same as they were with the same rent unless a notice of variation has been served (they can serve this later if they wish and you would have to pay or leave). You have to give the LL one months notice in writing and they have to give you two months notice in writing. The notice must include the full one or two months of a tenancy period. If your rent is paid weakly then it is 4 weeks notice from you and (Ii think) 8 weeks from them. If the tenancy period is longer than one month then it is a tenancy period from you and two tenancy periods from them, one or two full periods notice must be included.

    No, that's wrong. The notice period is always two months even for a longer rental periods, though it must still be for the end of a period


  4. 'should be based on their ability to pay'

    Considering the fact that someone over 50 has almost no chance of finding another job should they lose their current one then I'd say that's fair enough.

    But "Its logic seems to be that offering an interest-only mortgage to a mature borrower who can comfortably afford the payments is risky, but provided the same borrower is prepared to pay a higher interest rate, be locked in to early repayment charges and roll up the interest with an equity release mortgage that is fine."

    does seem to be suspect.

    Why should somebody who you *will* lend the money to when the interest is rolled up (as equity release against an already owned property), not be able to access the lower interest rates available for paying it back in-term, if *they* think that they can make such payments?

    It's shouldn't be impossible to assess them for the ER loan and then designate it as a normal repayment loan on the condition that they are making the payments and then switch to different terms as soon as they fail to (for more than a certain amount).

    There’s no extra risk to the bank here, in fact there’s less as some of the accumulated interest will have already been paid


  5. UK Home Extension Planning Rules Relaxed to Boost Economy, Trigger Housing Bull Market


    I don't see it making much difference.

    All that (appears to be) changing is that the are doubling the size of a ground floor extension that can be built under permitted development rights

    I doubt that there are very many people who want to add the equivilent of a one bed flat onto the ground floor of their house without also wanting to extend the first floor, for which PP will still be required


  6. They charge you a proportion of the total cost for the block you are living in, if its a block of 4, 25%. They usually get the work done with a discount as they buy in bulk. The work has to be of workmanlike standard (this clause will be in the lease agreement or should be), so you can come back on them if it isn't.

    There's very unlikley to be an issue with the quality of the work.

    The problem will be that quotes often aren't competitive because they only come from large concerns that meet the council's various directives on things like having a diversity program

    Your small Father and son builder who could do the job perfectly adequately for half the price won't be allowed to tender because he won't have the resources to fill in the 100s of pre-tender forms that the council require


  7. "Anecdotally" then a stat. Magnificent.

    I know that it's not definitive but,

    I reckon that I've watched over 100 episodes of HUTH and when the EA quotes (sorry guesses) the value with/without a possible extension I have never once seen the value change by more than a reasonable estimate of the costs of the work.


  8. You aren't thinking like a politician. You are thinking too long term.

    Even if no extensions and conservatories are actually built as a result of this change, the ONS could magic up a figure each quarter. No planning permissions to indicate actual figures but they couldn't they say they expect that x 1000's of 2 bed houses have been extended to 3 bed houses, 3's to 4's, etc. so we can whack up the imputed rent total and help increase GDP each quarter?

    Unless you want a ground floor bedroom the change in the rules doesn't allow that


  9. Sister-in-law is thinking of buying an ex council flat in Dagenham. Does anyone have any ideas how to find out what sort of charges might be levied on it in the case of any sort of major refurbishment of the whole estate.

    I, being a bit of a cynic, would assume that privately owned properties would bear a disproportionate amount of any costs incurred by the council.

    Is there any way to find out what the situation might be?

    She can't, but you can rest assured that they won't charge owner occupiers a disproportionate amount, they have to apportion it fairly.

    But what they do do, is schedule works to a timetable rather than need, so expensive works might get proposed just because there's a spare slot in their diary for getting it done, not because it needs doing.

    Councils are notorious at giving private occupiers in council buildings big bills for works that would never get agreed in a wholly privately owned block. Especially in "lefty" areas who don't like right to buy who want to punish the people who have bought.

    I'm a fan of flats, but I would never buy an ex council, you have no right to vote for an RTM which is the "normal" remedy to avoid being ripped off by a freeholder


  10. Because it's down the road from the mainline train station which in turn is less than an hour from central London?

    Therefore likely to rent well to young-ish people working in London. 45 people/couples paying £750 per month each (conservative I'd have thought) equals a 24% yield on the guide price.

    For a studio - in Welwyn!

    You can have your choice of two bed flats for that rent.

    450 pm at most I would have thought!


  11. Hard to extend a flat.

    Ground floor flats can extend into the garden

    Top floor flats can extend into the roof (if there is one).

    TBH giving permitted development rights for this to flats would be a cost free move IMHO, but as such extensions would still need freeholder approval (and in some cases attract a large fee to actually purchase the bit that you want to extend into it) won't help everybody


  12. The absurd lack of relationship between housing and labour is perfectly illustrated by the extension over the past decade.

    You pay 30k for another room on the back of your house. That's the input cost of time and labour. Your house is "worth" 60k more immediately according to estate agents. And there you have the reality gap that must close if we are to have a functioning economy.

    Except that it won't be:

    Anecdotally, 99% of the time the increase in value is about the same as the cost of building the extension (assuming that you pay someone to do the build)

    The (cost) benefit of building an extension comes from getting that bigger house that you want without having to pay the costs of moving


  13. I heard a builder on radio 4 today saying that a development may not be viable as the council could stipulate that 50 % of the homes must be affordable. Unless the meaning of the word "affordable" has changed, l would have thought that 100% would have to be.

    I suppose that its a little like the time when Gordon Brown said that everyone should be compelled to do some voluntary work.

    "affordable" in council speak means "social housing" usually given to the local HA at next to nothing


  14. Who were the idiots that lent the developers large sums of money to purchase over priced development land that now make it less or unprofitable to build the houses that the same lenders won't secure mortgages against because the property is over priced so the buyers wouldn't be able to afford to take on the debt or to pay for them, even worse now they are falling in value at the same time......what a mess. ;)

    The money came from shareholders not from banks


  15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19496204

    Quote: But the Local Government Association says it is a "myth" that the planning system is stopping house-building. It is releasing figures which show a backlog of 400,000 prospective homes which have planning permission but have not yet been built. It says these "conclusively prove" the planning system is not holding back development.

    And why have they not been built yet ?

    Is it by any chance because the developer knows it would struggle to shift them ?

    And would that be because no-one sane would pay the asking prices ?

    And why are they asking so much ?

    Is it largely because the land with planning permission is so expensive ?

    And why is land with planning permission so expensive ?

    It's partly because of the *one third* affordable (AKA Subsidised) housing that the developers have to provide.

    If you take that cost out you might have a development that is profitable at current values.


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