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  1. Is anyone else finding it impossible to get through to advisors on Saga's telephone-only account? For the past couple of days, they've been " experiencing exceptionally high call volumes" and warning of a 20-minute delay. A few weeks ago, the phone lines went dead mid-call. Anything to do with changing from 08 to 03 numbers, or something more worrying?
  2. we may be paranoid, but sometimes they really are out to get you :-O
  3. Whenever I have to transfer money to a new account, I start with £1, then call to check it's been received before transferring the rest. I've often been accused of going OTT, but reading this story might change that.
  4. You could always call the agent and ask to view the flat again. If there is something wrong, the freeholders wouldn't pay though you could re-negotiate the price to cover these repair costs.
  5. Wollaston is a good choice - close to the countryside, nice little village parade with two butchers, greengrocers and other local stores. If you need to travel by train, try the area around Stourbridge Junction station - free car park and regular trains to Worcester and Birmingham.
  6. Already lost faith. STRd in central London in 07, only to see prices continue to rise. Put up with rapacious rent-increasing landlords for four years, finally decided I'd had enough. Moved out, bought in the Midlands, watched the riots on TV during my first week here. I still believe there will be a HPC, but you can''t plan your life around it..
  7. Missed the programme on Saturday, but it's repeated on Sunday at 9pm, so I'll listen this evening..
  8. You were right - the threat of the small claims court and a calm approach worked! The landlord has now coughed up the missing money, but his emails are full of venom that a mere 'technicality' is preventing him from maintaining the flat in the way he wants. You have to laugh. Many thanks to all for your advice.
  9. Thanks Rozza and Flopsy - you're right. If he pays up I'll give the money to St Mungo's - they can make better use of it than he would.
  10. Depressing update: I contacted the letting agents, who told me they were acting purely to introduce me to the landlord and could take no responsibility. I then emailed the landlord pointing out that I knew he had not protected the deposit and warning him that I was prepared to sue him for the full amount. He replied, admitting it but blamed the letting agent for not informing him that the money had been paid into his personal account. (This is untrue, as at the start of the tenancy, he had refused to give me a key until the agent confirmed that the money was in hisaccount.) This morning I received a cheque - my deposit, minus £110. There is no receipt and I know that no cleaning has been done. It now seems petty to go to court for such a small sum. This man is a banker at Santander, makes me wonder how low these people will stoop for a penny.
  11. Brilliant advice - thank you all. I now feel much more optimistic about getting my money back.
  12. My landlord conducted a check-out when I moved out of a rented flat (AST) on Friday evening and although he agreed that the flat was spotless and better-equipped than when I'd moved in (I'd replaced broken kettle, iron, crockery etc) he would still have to make the 'standard deduction' before sending me a cheque. This turned out to be for steam-cleaning the mattress and sofas. When I objected and said this charge had not been mentioned in the contract or at any stage of my tenancy, he told me these items had been cleaned before I moved in a year ago and therefore must be repeated when I moved out. I doubt this will happen - the new tenant was moving in the following morning - and also doubt that my deposit has been protected as I had requested details from the landlord and the letting agent on several occasions and had no reply. There is no record with any of the three main organisations. Must I accept this deduction? If he does send a cheque and I cash it, will this prevent me taking thing further? I know people on here have extensive knowledge in this area and hope one of you will advise me. The landlord told me he couldn't recall how much this additional cleaning costs, so it could be for the majority of my deposit, which I cannot afford to lose. All advice gratefully accepted and followed!
  13. I used halfapercent.com to sell my flat four years ago and their service was excellent. I wrote the sales text and decided on the price; they took photos and posted the property online. I received regular updates on how many times the post had been viewed and whether the brochure had been printed. They conducted four viewings within a week of marketing the property and sent feedback on the response. I received two offers and they continued to negotiate with the buyer to push the sale through quickly. I know this sounds like an ad for them, but I promise it isn't. They were just so much better and less obtrusive than agents I'd engaged to sell properties previously. Hope this helps...
  14. I'm a cash buyer who recently offered £5k short of the guide price on a house that's been on the market for two years.The vendor immediately came back with a list of items which were not included in the price, but would be available by private negotiation. These included a summerhouse set in concrete foundations but as it was specially designed and built for the house, the vendor expected to recoup the full purchase price. Adding insult to injury, I was asked not to put the vendor under any pressure to move quickly. This is in the West Midlands.
  15. The way some of you are talking about pensioners is probably the same way the bankers/MPs/CEOs are talking about the rest of us.
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