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About FedupTeddiBear

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  1. The best way to help her to see reality is to ask her to "help" you to look for a house to buy on rightmove. Most boomers agree with the idea of a 10% deposit plus 3x salary mortgage limit because that is how it was for them. This worked for some members of my family and they no longer drop those "hints." Also, a friend of my mum's with this attitude, who was living in the E. midlands, decided to downsize and move to the SE, closer to where her children live and work. When she started looking for a 2-bed bungalow in her chosen area of the the SE she was shocked to find them costing more than she could get for her 4-bed detached. She eventually gave up and stayed put.
  2. Try looking at Twyford in Berks, between Reading and Maidenhead. It falls within Wokingham district so relatively good services, good schools etc. It has a nice village feel, surrounded by fields, a few nice restaurants, one supermarket. There is a station in the village with trains into Paddington about every 20 mins. If you get a fast train it takes under 30 mins but slow trains can take up to an hour. Quite easy to get onto M4 or M40. The surrounding villages are nice but some are very expensive. Woodley nearby is cheaper, but uninteresting, apart from a nice country park, no station - you would have to drive/cycle to Twyford (Paddington) but easy access to M4. Bracknell is also cheaper, has a station (but slower Waterloo trains, 1hr?) but easy to get to both M4 and M3. Bracknell has a history of a bad reputation but is improving, good town centre, also lots of trees and forest nearby - a few of the Bracknell villages like Binfield, "old" Warfield and Winkfield are really nice. Edit to add: Going into London from Berkshire, Paddington trains (FGW) can be crowded but usually a fast, reliable service, better than trains to Waterloo (SW trains) that are equally crowded and seem to stop everywhere, even though tickets are about the same price for a similar distance.
  3. And cycling! Edit: Oops - just noticed, Bear Hug already mentioned this one. It's late!
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/12/we-are-in-danger-of-sleepwalking-into-a-crisis-gordon-brown?CMP=fb_gu
  5. Getting in touch with shelter is probably your best bet to get the correct info about what to do about all of this.
  6. This has happened to several people I know. For that reason we have kept everything - there is a paper inventory with notes about the tiniest holes in the carpet next to the fireplace, the grubby walls in the bathroom, broken glass lying around in the garden, etc. Last time they renewed the rental agreement they seemed to have no record of it so I don't think they realise we still have it. We have lived here for several years and have done small things to make it look vastly better than before. But we have also kept ALL of the detritus that was lying around when we moved in including broken 70s lampshades, moldy blinds, a disgustingly dirty table with one leg hanging off, faded and perished curtains, a broken ornament - EVERYTHING. In the loft. Just in case they try it on when we move out.
  7. Yes, definitely feel that the tide has turned. A friend said the other day that if we really wanted to, we could start a reversed bidding war!
  8. Yes, it is very stressful, so thanks. I have been to only 2 viewings where the seller is present, and not with the agent in question, so not sure how they could have a negative impression if they have not even met us. I am also definitely no "hard-nosed businessman" - probably come across as quite the opposite. But, as I mentioned, there has been only one out of about 6 EAs that has behaved negatively and I will try to avoid them in the future. Most are falling over backwards trying to get us to put an offer in on the property they are selling - some even appear quite desperate. There are now 4 properties we are trying to decide between. All of the EAs selling those have been very eager to arrange extra viewings and find extra information for us. Maybe this is my naivety but when they have asked I have told them about the other ones. They are becoming quite competitive. Two of them have looked their "competitors" up and is each trying to put me off the other properties, (e.g. by warning me about the HUGE amount of work needed on one of them.) A few days ago, the asking price of the most expensive of the 4 dropped by £25k to match that of two of the others. It's been interesting to say the least, but the pressure from all of them to make an offer ASAP is becoming annoying.
  9. If you deposit is not held in a protection scheme, you may be able to make some money out of your LL. He would also have trouble evicting you if he decided to do so. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/tenancy_deposit_protection_rules If this is the case, I would also question whether he has declared his rental income to HMRC, which would mean further trouble for him - might be worth investigating this too. Finally, he should definitely not be charging full market rent if the housing he provides is substandard. It looks to me as though you have plenty of ammunition to either avoid the rent increase or to get him into some costly trouble.
  10. The viewing did go ahead and the gent who took us around was quite polite and friendly, so who knows... Either way, we decided that house wasn't for us so won't arrange a second viewing for it. Rockerboy, I'm not sure what you mean by "someone who has power", but from the way the other EAs we have been dealing with have been behaving, I certainly do feel quite powerful! There is definitely the scent of desperation in the air.
  11. Are the fees that high? Different agents have different fees so maybe some lower ones about. Last time we took out a new tenancy it cost about £300 - about 7 years ago. This was with a large agency with branches across the SE.
  12. Sorry, I'm not sure on that - we did all of this through the LA. I have found this, though. https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/private_renting/how_to_challenge_a_rent_increase
  13. You should have the right to appeal - especially if you are renting through a letting agent. Even if you lose the appeal, it will buy you some time - perhaps even enough until you want to move. Even though our rent is way below "market value" for the area (by about £400 pcm!) the last time they gave notice of a rent increase we put up a fight - the house was shabby, peeling paint on the stair railings, 70s kitchen with rotting cupboards, etc. Also the rent was going up by over 10% which was much more than our wages had increased in the past 3 years. It worked to some extent - the rent did go up, but only after they had refitted the kitchen and repainted the whole interior of the house, which took over 9 months to achieve. Edit to add: After the rent increase, they also found us slightly less forthcoming on the "goodwill" side of things. Whereas before we had been happy to carry out minor repairs ourselves (fixing small plumbing problems, broken door to the shed, etc.) they found the plumber started being called in far more often than before.
  14. They finally did arrange a viewing and it looks quite good. Haven't heard from the EA yet for follow-up. At the viewing they gave the idea that they want at least asking ?. I think this lot are stuck in the past.
  15. Most EAs seem desperate to sell something. This one doesn't seem to care - it's more about seeing their mortgage advisor than anything else.
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