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Everything posted by the_dork

  1. Ha, yeah true. I'm 30 so very much take Blair as my default, probably in the way lots of people do Thatcher. Just having read a reasonable amount of post-war history I am aware there are alternatives
  2. What is your honest view on this coalition? They’ve been a huge disappointment on the focus of this forum but on wider areas I can’t particularly say they’re worse than the Blair/Brown madness. Just seems as though they had a few key policies which have now been implemented and there’s no real ‘big idea’ as there has been with important governments in the past (Attlee, Wilson, Thatcher, arguably Blair) Education-suspect that Gove is on to something if the teachers hate him so much though am not an expert on this area, the labour approach of expanding uni for all and A-levels in softer subjects was a joke. Health-Again, they get a lot of flak and there’s sure to be some dodgy deals with their finance mates but I am in favour of some market based reforms of the NHS. Living longer, more expensive meds etc, we are going to have to contribute more in some form. Constitutional matters-missed a great opportunity for PR and House of Lords reform IMO, a shame but this is a politico/anorak issue. Economy-A disastrous failure to reform and re-balance the economy. Again it’s hard to say that they’ve been worse than Labour, just more of the same with slightly less tax at the top and redistribution through public services or tax credits. I suspect that it’s just a case of Osborne and Cameron cynically giving the electorate what they want ‘higher house prices, cut benefits’ etc but not based on any decent philosophy. Banking and regulation just mild reform of the Blair madness of let them getting a lot so we can tax it back. Welfare reform-nice theory, again have to remember the Labour madness of welfarism. Has been terribly implemented and bedroom tax unnecessarily spiteful. Home Sec/Justice- Not popular but again I actually agree with some of the reforms to legal aid, the prison system and immigration. No ID cards a big plus Foreign policy-I don’t know much about this area. Hague strikes me as a total amateur and again I don’t think there’s really any principles behind anything they do (whether that’s worse than the ‘principled’ Blair though, highly doubtful) Environment-A climate change sceptic holds the post and the wildlife ‘credit’ scheme is terrible. Main issue of climate change is a global problem but as someone who buys the theory I would trust Labour to do more for international agreement and progress on this issue. Other laws/policies that come to mind-I moderately support gay marriage though it’s about priority number 129834. Labour would have implemented this also. HS2 is a giant red herring that I oppose (not sure Labour do) Planning reform-handled terribly, I suspect because Osborne and Cameron don't care enough about the issue.
  3. Given this was obviously a bit niche, does a non lurker type want to start a book thread? The Chang is great and really helps you see behind a lot of 'free market' rhetoric. He happily describes himself as a pragmatic capitalist and states that his sort of policies are not seen as left-right issues in many countries. Only our debased language, particularly post Thatcher. One key point from Dorling is how low a priority recent governments have given to housing, for various reasons. Shapps actually initially made some statements showing he was against HPI and debt-based economy but quickly shut up when he realised the post was actually a totally subordinate one in the cabinet and worthwhile only on the way to the better positions. Compared to 99% of the public I'm fairly obsessed with housing (hence why I'm here) but even I struggle to name the housing minister (I guessed correctly but I've not seen him for months so assumed he may have been replaced)
  4. I would be up for that. It's hard to find people to talk about this stuff with 'in real life.' Sounds similar to 'capital in the twenty first century' by Piketty which is getting some people very excited, I believe arguing we are returning to 'rentier' capitalism of the C19. Very expensive hardback though so unless my library buy a copy it will be a while until I can read it
  5. The title is from Marx and Dorling is an unashamed leftist whereas I’m more middle of the road. However, this is an excellent book I’m reading, summing up the current state of play on the housing market. So far I’ve not seen enough blame on the Labour years as it focussed on coalition policy. But it’s far more incisive than the usual commentary of ‘we need more building’ or ‘we need more lending’ or ‘immigration’. Has anyone read it? Could be worth a chapter by chapter discussion?
  6. Thanks, yes I plan to do that on Tues, just getting any feelers from here.
  7. Hi people I've seen a nice site coming up at auction. It's adjacent to a 4 bed semi in quiet road set back from the High Road, recently sold without taking up the planning permission on a two storey side extension which is still in place. The site occupies 140sq m but only about 4m frontage, currently occupied by a brick frame garage. So I am thinking it would be possible to get permission for a two storey separate house, in keeping with the local suburban North London area. Small 1 vehicle parking in front and a long thin rear garden. Could have access out into rear garden and front, not sure there would be room for this down the side but I think this would be needed somehow to meet Fire Regs. However, I know nothing about planning and the difference between likelihood of getting permission for this in comparison to the ancillary. (seems unfair that existing owners get priority over non-owners but that's for another thread) Being on a corner, this would impact not only on the house right next door but the back gardens of the houses round the corner. Also worth noting that the previous owner twice applied for a 3 storey detached house on the sale and was refused both times (appealed once and turned down by Councillors.) That was around 4-5 years ago so not sure if new planning ideas make this more likely. I've seen similar things built in the 'trendier' London boroughs, Hackney and Haringey but not sure on this one. I don't want to end up with an expensive garage! Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this sort of issue and particularly comments on the difference between permission for ancillary of an existing property and getting permission for something separate with a different owner. Any comments much appreciated
  8. sorry, you are quite correct. Wasn't meaning to be vague. Listed salaries and location, amount is 120k also now listed. 1 kid, would expect another in coming years (but God, not now!)
  9. 7000+ posts...I suspect you are lying. Does anyone decide anything these days without asking the internet? Seriously though, just checking people's views as there is some good knowledge on here (more than I'd get from friends/family). No recommendations are binding so not sure what the problem is
  10. thanks, very good point on the HB and mortgage option. I make 35k, not complaining but it's not high for London. Wife not working, was earning similar amount but likely to go up a lot more (hot shot lawyer). Hadn't really thought of that as a factor but you're correct on overpaying being an option over medium term I definitely see London becoming a Singapore style separate country with the rest of the country as Southeast Asia. Not a good thing imo
  11. not really, straight into the joint account and we make all such decisions together (not that we've had one comparable to this)
  12. thanks, partner is from Ukraine and her small remaining family live there. Retirement seems a long way away but I have no plans to move abroad really in the foreseeable future. The choices really are to rent in London, buy further from London or less likely (we are based here, friends, my family etc) move to where £ goes further
  13. Hi People My wife has inherited a six figure amount and as you may expect, wants to put this towards a mortgage, somewhere in the commuter belt for London. We currently rent a small one bedroom flat in North London for £800. It would cost more on a normal mortgage to buy this but obviously it depends on length of mortgage, interest rate etc. Also, how long a view you want to take (and whether you think HB will exist to pay your rent in 40 years as they do now…) I lurk here and don’t buy all the arguments that get trotted out but am convinced that a) Renting is cheaper for sure in the short-medium term considering maintenance and other costs. I don’t want to play the game and further support what I view as immoral and economically ineffcient house prices. c) I enjoy not worrying about maintenance and knowing any neighbourly issues are not forever. d) I view the arrangement fee, early payment fees etc which seem de rigeur on any mortgage as close to extortion. Also that a) Renting provides less security (we have a young child) which the bourgeois in me is starting to worry about for the first time I am not sure how long a) above will remain true in London. c) I don’t want to play the game of paying someone else’s mortgage (or in my case, funding their early and comfortable retirement! d) This amount does change things in terms of getting a deal from the banks as could be a 40% deposit and if prepared to move further out, closer to 80-90%. I also wonder if you have bargaining power and are prepared to wait for the right deal (auctions, desperate sellers etc) how much you can get off asking prices now What the missus doesn’t seem to grasp is that 120k can be used for other things, there is a concept which I’m sure you are all aware of ‘opportunity cost.’ With such low interest rates though, what actually is this? We are not particularly consumeristic (ok yes, globally but not really compared to the majority of the country) but that amount goes a long way with things you may need and provides long term security. Apologies for the ramble but would appreciate anyones’ views or experience having been in this situation.
  14. can highly recommend getting some of this guy's books, very thorough, very thought provoking. Was a social democrat, then a Thatcherite, now some sort of very pessimistic green conservative. Interesting shift, probably one many here can identify with. Even though non religious he makes some great arguments against Dawkins, Hitchens and Co on religion
  15. thank you sir Am I correct in presuming that as with deposits in ASTs, courts will side with the tenants in the absence of any inventory/schedule to back up claims. Literally the only damage is some very minor stains to walls from furniture etc being moved. Lick of paint max and even then I think it could/should be categorised as wear and tear. Lots of shysters in this world!
  16. Seeking advice.. My sister rents in a room in a private landlord’s house. As per usual, such relationships end up strained as the owner feels it is ‘their’ house and my sister has that lingering feeling. With this in mind, she has given notice to move. However, she foolishly paid a deposit when moving in, 1 month’s rent, even though this isn’t an AST. As the deposit isn’t protected, how are any disputed amounts not paid back recovered? Is there a requirement to hold the deposit in the scheme? (this has not been done.) Or could any disputed amount be recovered by a civil case? TIA
  17. With this and the Bobby Fischer doc last week, even those like me who resent the license fee on principle can't complain too much. Really rare to see a doc more thrilling and terrifying than a blockbuster flick. Very well put together and some of the squirming interviewees were priceless. Would have liked to see more thorough exploration of global economics/trends but suppose that’s a topic for another film. Only problem was trying not to say 'Maaaattttt Daaaamoooon'
  18. I'm 27, earn 28k but only few months left on contract and will struggle to find anything like that again. Partner is 25 and earns 25k but is heir to a couple of million Eurodollars (I'm not boasting about this, it makes me deeply uncomfortable) so the nub is that our situation is unusual. We rent a one bed iflat in zone 3
  19. 1. Re-tender all public sector jobs of above £35k pa and appoint most cheapest suitably qualified applicant. 2. Tax breaks for 'building up', higher density developments and penalise 'building out' and under-occupation 3. Make tax optional for treating fat people, drunks, druggies etc. If you want to pay tax for this feel free. 4. State investment (whether contracted out or not) in electric car batteries and vehicle developments. 5. Make people work for the equivalent of their benefits, at say £6/7 hour, either in state sector or suitable local businesses/trades. So youngster claiming £70 odd a week has to do 10 hours with any of available employers. This is fantasy island though, we may as well all be listing our utopias as none of these are going to happen
  20. building 'up' rather than out is the answer. Spend some time in Germany and youll see it doesn't have to mean terrible 60's blocks. Certainly they don't share the ludicrous view that living in semi-detached houses with two cars on the drive is a sensible way of housing the population in 2011
  21. Thanks for the responses. Yes, it is probably 10%-15% below market rate but not really thinking of it that way. I'm more wondering whether the fact that I've alerted the LL that it should be protected,they've told me it's not and then if I took the tenancy would I be shown to have agreed to this? Or could I just claim that didn't know it was legal requirement to protect hence took the tenancy after LL assured me they were 'decent' BTW, anyone actually aware of any cases regarding paying 3* deposit amount?
  22. Looking at a place being let as HMO,decent rent rate and property. LL is scatty but seemingly not malicious (not BTL, a inherited property). Have asked whether deposit(1 month rent) is going into scheme and she says not but that he doesn't rip people off, all other tenants have got their money back etc. Doesn't seem to realise it's a legal thing rather than me just being particular in asking for it The tenancy agreement is pretty vague and I could rely on this in the event of any dispute. I know that there is a penalty (3X deposit) potentially awardable if not protected, is it worth taking a chance on this one anyway?
  23. thanks all. I guess I could just ignore his calls (not been many since I told him I could get the police involved for harassment and trespass) but that would mean he'll probably know I'm leaving.
  24. I am trying to do everything that is legal to annoy my cnt of a BTL landlord after he essentially harassed us (came in without telling us and left notes about cleaning not being good enough-none of his business!). He already has the hump because I refused to pay the ‘re-letting’ fee to his agent and he now manages it himself, in the loosest possible sense. My tenancy expires in 6 weeks and I haven’t actually had s.21 notice from him. Even if I get it now the 2 months notice means it will be periodic for a bit unless he’s going to propose a new tenancy. Until I receive this, am I within my rights to say that I intend to carry on, with a periodic tenancy and then just vacate when the 6 weeks is up without providing any notice. Presumably this won’t effect my deposit recovery? (I have detailed photos and documentation with the agent to argue my case pretty strongly on this). I admit it’s petty but I’d like to help leave him a little void period. Thanks for any assistance
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