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North London Rent Girl

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Posts posted by North London Rent Girl

  1. On 13/05/2019 at 16:09, tomandlu said:

    In all honesty, no. I do know that it's a much-debated issue, and various buzzwords and theories surround it, but I've never come across a single ideology that grabbed me. TBH that's possibly part of the problem - a rather masculine insistence on absolutes, rather than "a little bit from column A, a little bit from column B..."

    I don't know I'd say thinking in absolutes is a man thing but otherwise agree, we should do what works, stop pretending there are any straight lines in the real work and make a good honest fudge of it. All systems get turned into mechanisms by which nearly all of the people at the top enrich themselves unconscionably. If we addressed that, you could do what you like, take a pragmatic, piecemeal approach as you suggest. I'm not aware that anyone is seriously proposing we do away with capitalism, where on earth would we be without our SMEs? Magic things. And our central government repeatedly shows itself unable/unwilling to organise anything well. But proper redistribution is vital, especially if you do have a basically capitalist system so that wealth is largely about owning, not earning - that has to be reflected in the taxation arrangements.

  2. On 27/04/2012 at 18:03, Brendan110_0 said:

    Easy solution would be to ban women from working after having children, that's childcare sorted and free's up millions of jobs. Consumption of depression pills will fall in line with house prices.

    Two people working with kids in one household isn't so easy - I'm quite envious of the life my grandfather/mother led in the 50's!!!!

    Am not with you on the banning and women bit but otherwise... All you'd have to do is make it economically feasible at the family level for one parent to stay home and care for the children and that would be the job sorted. The only person I've ever known who was able to do that was an old friend who married an investment banker. Everyone else, both have worked their backsides off for the margin between the second salary and childcare. I reckon in a majority of families the mum or dad would love to spend more time with their kids and would be happy to give up work for a while or for both of them to go part-time. But we're back to the fundamental problems that that article doesn't begin to address - an economic system that beggars a huge chunk of the working population.

    Edit: just realised that I'm replying to post from 2012, not awake yet. Still a good topic, tho, well bumped.

  3. On 27/04/2012 at 07:40, Snugglybear said:

    I'm over 50. If I give up work, what am I supposed to live on?

    Exactly what I thought as I read that. If she were saying 60, she'd be speaking for her own age group. But even then, there are plenty of 60-somethings who still need to work to pay the bills. I know half our age-group made it, I'm one of the ones that didn't and I anticipate having to work until I'm at least 70. I don't think she was all that serious, just thinking out loud.

  4. 39 minutes ago, Peter Hun said:


    Landlord ordered to pay back more than £1m after illegal conversion of flats

    Southwark Council has won one of London's largest proceeds of crime (confiscation order) claims from an unscrupulous landlord who chopped three flats in London Bridge into around 20 cramped studios and bedsits - putting profits before the quality of life



    Good old Southwark. I wonder whether the difference between the amount he had to pay back and his gross rents of 1.2 million was the tax he'd paid? If so, he hadn't paid much tax.

    It's easier in a planning case like that when the landlord is a scumbag and has been keeping people in grim conditions. Going back to the OP about the local regs in Leeds, I don't know, it doesn't look like it was a bad place or a particularly high rent. And the 'Leeds 5'? That seems to over-elevate it, they're not Rosa Parks.

    “I’d be lying if I said the money wasn’t a motivating factor but we all share similar political beliefs and don’t think housing should be commodified,” he explains. “If private individuals are going to profit off property, we’ve at least got to hold them accountable when they do bad things. It wasn’t a personal vendetta against the landlord – he just broke the rules.”

    Hmm. Is breaking a rule a bad thing necessarily? Had this landlord really done bad things, given what landlords do get up to? Perhaps this is where we are, we're all reduced to acting in a crappy way, but if this landlord was a good one, seems very unfair. When I found out about our local regs here I told our landlady, she freaked out but I said I was sure they only wanted to go after scummy landlords and I rang the council anonymously to ask what they thought and explain the situation. Sure enough, they were very understanding and said she should just make a late application and there wouldn't be a problem and there hasn't been. I was tempted with a previous house many years ago to report our landlady under the national regs because she wasn't a good one, amongst other things she had asked me to lie to the council about who lived in the house. I never did it but did take some comfort in thinking about it. I suppose I was younger and not as nice but I think it's a matter of whether you're being exploited or feel that you are. These people weren't being exploited. Why you would even consider doing this to a decent landlord is beyond me, they're like hens' teeth.

    If it has a chilling effect on people getting into btl then that's good but my heart does not soar with a sense of justice done!

  5. On 18/12/2018 at 23:53, zugzwang said:

    Hated for what, and by whom? She's certainly not hated by the constituents she represents in Hackney and Stoke Newington who've returned her repeatedly to Parliament with thundering majorities. Perhaps its because like Jeremy Corbyn she's been subject to a relentless campaign of personal abuse and vilification by the gammon-faced bankster sluts in the Tory yellow press?

    Well said. I did like your "gammon-faced bankster sluts", you don't half do a classy insult, lovely phrase.

    In light of today's sorry news about the Swedes deciding to reopen the Assange rape case, the fact that this thread had been active again caught my eye, thought I'd flick through to see whether anyone had recanted following her courageous up-yours to the US in Parliament the other week when Assange was taken into custody.


    I think they found she bloopered the name of the committee but, other than that, it was amazing to see, couldn't believe my ears on the day, a truth-telling politician, I wish she weren't in such a tiny minority.

    So, anyone? Any admiration for her amongst you Abbott-hating lads now?

  6. On 08/05/2019 at 23:39, Habeas Domus said:

    Often the company themselves via share buy backs.

    Everyone is doing it and the result will be a lot of share prices that keep increasing until the banks decide to stop throwing money at them.

    It's one reason I'm still bullish about AAPL, they can keep on releasing flawed products and losing market share for years to come but they have enough hard cash already to just keep on buying their own shares.

    Yes that's my understanding, too, all the cheap money means companies are propping up their own share prices*. As for 'until the banks decide to stop throwing money at them', yes, and won't that (genuine question) only stop when governments stop throwing money at the banks? And is that EVER going to happen?!!

    *edit: and they're doing that because high-ups' salaries/bonuses are often linked to the company's 'value'.

  7. On 04/04/2019 at 21:59, Fletcher said:

    What a good article, thanks, lovely start to my day, and on cnbc?!  And then that one from, er, Les Dawson from Fox? What struck me about the first one was how it takes just a few gallumphingly high purchase prices - in that case, just one - to skew figures across a whole market - reflected no doubt in loads of other stats for economies with massive wealth inequality.

    From the fox article, good god, I know they've picked the top ten cities for negative equity but that's amazing, all of those percentages are in the 20s and one over 34. Friends of mine used to live in Dayton, Ohio so I know there were a lot of people struggling to get by there and I recall the plight of Flint, Michigan, from Michael Moore films (yes I do so there) so perhaps not surprising that Detroit should be in such a bad way.

    What are the neg. equity stats like for the UK? Can we find out? And by 'we', I of course mean someone else who's much better with statistics than I am?

  8. On 07/04/2019 at 15:20, Gribble said:

    If you don't understand simple basics of supply and demand  that's not my problem.  Easier to try to take the pee than address the  facts. Sorry if the truth hurts . Note HappyGuy and Zugzwangs comments - it's not me that come's over as thick mate 

    By "simple basics of supply and demand", do you mean as the predominant factor in housing problems? Because that's all anyone in the mainstream conversation talks about and we're a bit beyond it here. Or have generally been as long as I've been visiting this forum. There have been dozens of links to great articles about it posted on here over the years, of which I can now find not a one, but here's an FT article that starts to go beyond your "basics".

    Why solving the UK housing crisis requires more than new homes

    Edit: Hmm, I could read it when I first found it but when I checked the link it was behind the paywall, so here it is.

    "Why solving the UK housing crisis requires more than new homes


    Nathan Brooker November 16, 2017

    Anyone who read last week’s House & Home will have seen that John Kay has solved the housing crisis. Or rather, he says, his parrot has. Teach Polly the words “supply” and “demand” and it could hit on the solution: build more homes.

    Except trying to build yourself out of a housing crisis is like trying to dig yourself out of a hole. If you don’t recognise the particular challenges your situation presents, you’re going to make things worse.

    Kay’s numbers aren’t wrong. To make up for immigration and other societal changes that have swept Britain in the past 40 years, he estimates we should be building 300,000 new homes a year. Well, perhaps we should. And that’s not even such an outrageous number; they build that in France in a bad year.

    Nor is Kay wrong about the fact that new housing supply has dwindled since the mid-1970s — and nosedived since policies such as Right to Buy were introduced by the first Thatcher government (though Thatcher built more council homes in every year of her premiership than Blair and Brown did in their combined 13-year tenure).

    Where I disagree with Kay is that I don’t think building 300,000 homes this year, or next year, or every year for the next five will make any difference whatsoever.

    This is because London isn’t full. Walk around fancy new developments in Aldgate or Battersea or, in fact, any street you like in what estate agents call prime central London: you’ll see darkened windows peering back like vacant eye sockets in a skull. Log on to the property website Zoopla and you can find multi-million-pound homes that have sat on the market for years.

    London isn’t under-supplied; it’s over-supplied with homes that are too expensive. The real question then is: how did homes become so expensive?

    Supply and demand has played a part. But that’s not why homes are expensive. Homes are expensive because land values are very high, the planning system promotes stasis and because, fundamentally, we, as a society, want them high. Imagine what would happen if a government reduced house prices by 20 per cent; that party would be obliterated in the time it took to organise a snap election.

    But mostly, homes are expensive because the banks got involved.

    The Bank of England first allowed banks to offer mortgages in the 1970s (before that, such lending had been restricted to building societies). Then in the 1980s, a bonfire of banking regulations opened the door to international competition. In the 1990s came a flood of credit. By the end of the decade, banks were freely issuing mortgages of 100 per cent loan to value, which required no deposit.

    There’s a saying: a rising tide lifts all boats. Well, that’s what happens to house prices when you increase everyone’s spending power.

    After the 2008 crash, it got worse. Low interest rates and quantitative easing measures lifted asset prices to the point where property looked like a sound investment. In came newly swollen real estate arms of investment banks, institutional investors and wealthy individuals from China, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the rest.

    So the fact is, if overnight you could build 10,000 truly affordable homes in London, tomorrow morning you’d have a queue half a million people long, and from all over the world. That’s because, in world cities such as London, demand is global and supply is local.

    Short of diminishing London’s global appeal — which, according to leading Wall Street bankers last week, Brexit might yet do — the only other option is to limit foreign ownership. Developers tell me that would be a disaster as well because the only reason projects get off the ground is the early injection of overseas capital. So unless the government reverses 35 years of housing policy — the so-called shift from bricks to benefits — and starts seriously building social housing again, we are going to have to rely on the private sector to fill the gap.

    Of course it won’t — because there’s no incentive for it to do so, and the current mechanisms local authorities have for making developers do their bit are woefully inadequate. But mostly it won’t because developers are strapped.

    At current market rates, homes in London look fully priced. Buy-to-let investors are turning up their noses because rents haven’t been growing anything like as much as house prices, so annual yields have been squeezed — to an average of 3.5 per cent in London. Deutsche Bank calculates that, at that rate, after tax and interest, it would take a buyer 200 years to see profit.

    Which brings us to Generation Rent. Kay says it’s facile to assume that this is a function of high prices because mortgage repayments are often cheaper than renting. That’s true, but the problem isn’t the monthly repayments; it’s the deposit.

    However you analyse it, housing in Britain is a mess. I rent a one-bedroom flat in Stepney Green, east London. If I wanted to buy it, providing I could get a 4.5 times salary mortgage, I’d need a deposit of more than £186,000. On my current salary, presuming I save 20 per cent of my take-home pay every month, it would take me 57 years and four months to afford it. I’d be 89 years old before I could move in. And when I did, I could be paying 38 per cent less in repayments than I currently am in rent. (That’s if they issued mortgages to 89-year-olds, which they don’t.)

    The truth is there are no easy solutions to the housing crisis — save giving up on the idea of home ownership altogether (an Englishman’s house is not his castle, the rate of owner-occupation only breached 50 per cent for first time in 1971). We need to seriously consider reforming the planning system, abolishing the greenbelts, introducing taxes to deter speculation, and limiting foreign ownership. And after that? Well, nudge John Kay’s parrot because it’s his time to shine: “Build more homes!”"

  9. On 05/03/2019 at 10:18, Riedquat said:

    My cat went missing for a week a couple of years ago and when she turned up again just after that time she was all skin and bones (but no sign of dehydration at least). Don't know whether she got trapped somewhere (with water) or simply wasn't up to looking after herself. Anyway she quickly returned to normal. Another time she'd been gone for a couple of days. It turned out that time that she'd got in to a neighbour's house and must've been shut in somewhere. The first he knew about it was when he went to bed and nearly got given a heart attack when she jumped up on to the bed. It's a good job he likes cats!

    God, the stress! They say they have 9 lives for good reason, bloody animals, always getting into trouble. They saunter back in with that 'chill out, man' look on their faces, infuriating. At least with a dog you generally know where they are.

  10. On 05/03/2019 at 10:14, Riedquat said:

    The point was that these things look considerably crapper than most bedsits, which are already not exactly the height of luxury.

    Good point about crapping in the sink though. Sink, toilet, they're both bowls with a water supply to them and a drain. May as well combine them, we need to move on from the inefficient past where they were separate!

    I got that, sorry, quite agree - I had friends who lived in bedsits in the 80s, in nice old ramshackle houses with a bit of space and a garden. Granted, am sure that wasn't uniformly the case, of course not, but there were plenty of places like that - and the crapper was separated from the bedroom in quaintest of ways - by a hallway - remember hallways?! Now that's what they want to do, put in a hallway but - get this - put the sink, shower, toilet and kitchen all in the hallway, you've already got your window in the front door, job's a good-un!

  11. 4 hours ago, Errol said:

    'Next' crisis? We are still in the first one that started in 2008. It was not allowed to take its natural course and so we haven't even had the crash yet.

    Absolutely, same old game of pretending it hasn't happened yet - "some form of over-valuation of assets, over-extension of credit", huh, imagine such a thing, what could it be, can you imagine anything so dreadful happening, we must be sure it doesn't, that would be awful. It's reality-denial.

  12. 10 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

    Cat may or may not starve if you did that (some will manage, others won't). Anyway I've a lot more sympathy for the cat than the landlord.

    Me too, I do too, I meant well for the tenant and the cat and euthanasia for the landlord! I really do like just about all species except for the landlord - we need some sort of national pest-eradication programme for them - with the exception of my landlady, who should be spared and allowed to live out her days in modest rented accommodation. Yes agree about setting cats free, tho my mum and dad's cat got chased off by an unusually aggressive neighbouring cat, they spent 18 months worrying about him and he just showed up living the high life about a mile and a half down the road with lovely people who eventually thought time to see if he was chipped. Nice story, needed on this grim board.

  13. 3 hours ago, happyguy said:

    These are ideal for a person who does not live in London but commutes and has spare cash.  They will buy them as a bolt hole to flop into when working in London.  

    Even in this fickop of a city there are soooo many better options than that! And what, you think these places are going to sell for a tenner?! They'll be quarter of a million quid, wait and see - it's Balham, somehow thought of as a great place to live these days.

    Edit - do you know what 'ideal' means?!

  14. On 03/03/2019 at 10:59, Riedquat said:

    The one room bedsit I lived in once was quite a bit bigger than this, and it at least had a separate bathroom and a window.

    Eeeee, them war the daze. Any time now they're going to invent the kitchen/bathroom combo unit and it will have a single little port-hole window you can peer out of while you're both peeling carrots and crapping into the sink. Three birds with one stone.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thinking Agenda 21?! Balaclava emojee, which I can't find and I'm paranoid about that, too...

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