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Everything posted by Wayo

  1. Crazy article. People are fleeing the cultural desert of London because it has been taken over by the likes of Pret, Costa and estate agent windows full of smiling white middle class couples. Which of course is actually what brought them to London in the first place. Grassroots community culture my *** outside London is the cultural desert. Typically for that rag they didn't cover the real reasons people are leaving for Margate etc... the gangs , the drugs, the acid attacks, the crime, the gangs, the stabbings, the crime and the obscene prices compared to the commuter belt.
  2. I don't know what is worse, the parasitic rentiers who suck £k of ground rent from homeowners each year for doing absolutely nothing, or the parasitic professional classes who charge £k in fees for providing dismal and uninformed advice that is somehow worse than you would get from a layperson. Recommended or not, the solicitor still works for their client and should have been all over this, it is not difficult stuff. I would like to see their rear quarters black and blue for recommending purchase of a property that would become zero value without a buy out costing £10s thousands. Many of these escalator clauses are even written into the purchase. The government shouldn't need to regulate to make houses freehold, the whole leasehold concept needs proper legislation.
  3. Sounds more like that 'Second Life' fad. Can't afford a house? Buy a virtual house for your digital self at our our online store. Look - you can see yourself in the garden!
  4. I doubt they know either. They expected to be trading these welfare cuts for an EU referendum with whoever they were to find themselves in coalition with. Like the last parliament, they will get closer to Labour borrowing figures than their own, having promised hellfire and damnation on the financial markets if such reckless plans are allowed to pass. They have at least allowed the moratorium on wealthy pensioner benefits to run out. I wonder how many wealthy pensioners realised this when they voted. But they won't save £12bn from paring the winter fuel allowance from those with a holiday villa.
  5. The argument seems to be that only politicos and the landed gentry would apply. That is largely what we have now, only when they get one foot in he door, they find it much more lucrative to pimp themselves out to the highest bidder. Outside business interests need to be outside parliament, fat chance when the state is so large that many businesses are little more than rent seekers.
  6. Ferrari has probably been watching too much Grand Designs. 200sq m, a solid wall of triple glazing, 15 roof windows, landscaped garden, wind turbine, one off design, made to measure timber frame imported from Germany. Developers can put together houses for not much more than £60k, of course in West London they probably do charge that for conservatories.
  7. Even a fairly chunky 27KW boiler could only burn through 650KwWH in a day, and with a market leading tariff of 3.1p/KwH that is only £20/day in variable charges, given that the weather can get a lot colder than it is now. A well extended semi is only about 120sq m, so this is for almost two houses really. Al Gore famously paid $24,000 a year. Presumably a zonal system would pay for itself in a few months, if controlling the individual radiators manually isn't working out? Recommended temperature for babies is something like 18-21C - although I know a few people who would have it closer to 28C, even after the kids had left for University.
  8. Very modern houses can suffer badly from damp, mould and condensation caused by lack of ventilation. As long as they are not maltreated 'classic houses' will easily outlast their owners. Very little housing stock >25 years old hasn't had new windows and plenty of red brick pre-war houses have 'AA' rated patio doors, skylights and loft conversions these days. The vast majority of heating losses are roofspace and windows, the former being the cheapest thing to fix, the latter gets done anyway, even in most social housing nowadays.
  9. It does not cost anything like £1.5k to heat even a very inefficient house. Unless it is one of these passive houses, it will still cost to heat afterwards. Even the most inefficient house can be improved on a far better cost/benefit ratio that rebuilding. However the cost/benefit ratio even of improving, which says something about this thread really...
  10. Wireless and batteries will soon make much of this redundant. When you can flash charge a tablet as quickly as moving a fridge magnet people will hark back to the days when you had to leave your smartphone for 2hrs a day with an uninterrupted electrical contact to every power station connected to the National Grid.
  11. The buildings aren't nearing their end of life. There are plenty of stone built dwellings that have stood for over 200 years and will stand for 200 more. Even FTBs aren't thinking beyond the next 50 years, and few as far as that. The only logic for demolition is to build up or squeeze more units onto the same footprint.
  12. Agree with all these points, but lets dwell on this a little? Is this Communism or worse? Seizure of private property is bad enough when it is for a major infrastructure project. Let's just think about just how vile this idea is. Private owners are rarely properly compensated - look the scandal over the gaps in compensation for HS2. As soon as the policy is announced, all owners will be blighted, many for decades under their property is taken on. Many will need to sell or move in that time, and those living nearby will be blighted if areas become so blighted that shops and amenities close and depopulation occurs. Then there is the blight on those living in established residential areas, which suddenly do become building sites, not mentioning that developers deliberately build slowly to keep prices up.
  13. Seriously? You do realise an EPC is so superficial that even such matters as whether insulation exists or not are 'assumed' because they can't be bothered to find out and all double glazing is rated equally if it is AA rated or 20 years old. The recommended measures on my property includes solar PV panels costing £9-14k and saving me £238 a year. Apart from pointing out the bloody obvious - when you replace the boiler, get a room thermostat too - it wasn't worth the wasted fuel coming here to do the survey. Of course homes only get an EPC when they are sold or rented, so someone would be looking at a massive bill to rate every home, and rerate them every time they are improved. Now why multiply the numbers? If someone in a £1m house 'should' pay £8k (A=£1k) year in property tax and someone who burns 40k KWH of gas per year pays a hypothetical and ludicrous green tax of on this of £800 (A=1, H=8). Band A home, with Band A efficiency pays say £1k x 1 = £1k (instead of £1.1k) Band H home and Band A efficiency pays £8k x 1 = £8k Band H home and Band H efficiency pays £8k * 8 = £64k (instead of £8.8k) Band A home and Band H efficiency pays £1k * 8 = £8k Band D home and Band D efficiency pays £4k * 4 = £16k (instead of £4.4k) The tax paid has been completely decoupled from the harm, sin or externality caused, so it is a hopelessly economically inefficient allocation of resources. Some people will getting CHP systems just to save thousands in tax, not to mention knocking down perfectly good housing stock, which would cause far more pollution than replacing it saves.
  14. Given rates are on the floor and have barely moved in 5 years. The fees on a 2yr fix can easily be over £1k, the idea of remortgaging during a fixed period to save 0.4% is unreal. Over two years, the lower rate is not likely to pay for all the fees. More likely people on variable rates are locking in, sensing a trough in the curve.
  15. Then you will have an economic migrant and a UK resident both receiving in work benefits. The only people who gain from limitless low wage economic migration are employers and economic migrants. The fact the Peter Mandelson has an £8m mansion in London and fronted 'New Labour' policy of sending 'search parties' overseas to cut UK wages and put UK workers on the dole, demonstrates more clearly than even tonight's 'Dispatches' how politics works in this country.
  16. Lots of properties are relisted or listed by >1 agency. Sellers change their minds with the wind, chains collapse, then sellers give up and become LLs instead!
  17. Depends what you mean by crumbling and Victorian? Many red-brick terraces you might be referring to are 20 or more years post-Vicky, still less than 100 years old in fact. Structurally - perfectly sound, as long as you clear the gutters and don't grow Leylandii grow 10ft away from the foundations. The absolutely classic bay window 30s semi, which command premium values just about anywhere other than Dagenham, are truly of a kind. Even with relatively modest sums, they often look better than new. Some rendered solid wall, pre 1900 builds, with yards, ramshackle lean-to kitchens and no hope of accommodating the cars that come with modern living, might stretch a point, but look at the rubbish thrown up today - every house in a close on a different aspect, silly gaps and voids between each to earn the label 'detached', tiny windows, tiny gardens, more toilets than bedrooms, no ventilation, low ceilings. Cheap and nasty and once there are no buyers incentives, the prices fall away very fast. Don't get me started on the 'Grand Designs' ilk, cost a bomb, fantastically complicated and expensive heat and ventilation systems, practically designed to maximise repair bills, wood clad, grass growing on the roof - will they be around in 80 years? I doubt it!
  18. Complete drivel, from such low end bogroll as the original source. Looks like a textbook method for producing a household budget. Many court fines are paid at £x per week these days so would be included like any repayment vehicle. Perhaps if a few more people itemised Sky and the TV Licence separately they might ask why 50% of households pay some pretty incredible sums for Pay TV channels, and yet spend the vast majority of their time watching free to air content...
  19. Its a bit like 'we will inspect the property on xxxxx, don't worry if you are out, we have a key.' On your bike! Presumably the only enforceable contract is the AST contract, which specifies the rent. So unless it is index linked, in order to change the rent, there needs to be a new agreement signed, or a variation to it. All I think is needed is to point this out and not consenting to have more money lifted from your account, and the OP to indicate they will not be signing to any increase if a terms are presented - and if the LL doesn't like it, he can serve notice in accordance with the H.A 1988 and the terms of the AST. Sadly the LL interests are not important. The agent makes money from new contracts and charging fees to new tenants. 10% of one months rent is far less than what the cream off a new tenant in fees to both parties. Most LL are clueless and if the tenant did terminate their tenancy in disgust, they would probably tell their client it was 'just one of those things'.
  20. Largely unimaginative and not well thought out. 1. Banning plastic bags is a good start, but won't save the environment from everything else. Escalating fines for littering is very good, and works on the continent for lots of other misdemeanours too. 2. Make the Lords a PR chamber - OK but what you really need to avoid is a stalemate like the US where the two houses just block one another. Compulsory voting - abhorrent. In 2010 Birkenhead only had Lab, LD, Con candidates standing - imagine being fined for not voting for one of those parties! Devolution is very fashionable but will be a disaster if local government simply gets to spend cash raised centrally. As soon as politicians get responsibility for spending money but not for earning it they will start behaving like the proverbial footballers wives. And a regional assembly in Northumbria is the last thing anybody needs. Far too many troughers already. Most PMs take 5 years just to get going - imagine if Thatcher had only been allowed one term... 3. Seriously - double the tax rate for each home? x5 if it is empty 80% of the year. Total screwy madness. Impossible to enforce. He has completely missed the land value tax - 1 home on land worth £100m or 1000 homes on land worth £100k each - same tax. Under utilisation would take care of itself. 4. Raising the pension age overnight is ludicrous. People born in the same school year getting their pensions years apart. The current graduated increases are sensible. The real problem is public sector pensions - they need to be funded. All schemes should be average salary not final, so what goes out is wholly reflective of what goes it. Employees need to contribute proper money - 10-15% of salary, and the same again from employers. Defined benefit is achievable, but not where anyone earning <£30k is allowed to put in 5% and later retire on a fraction of their final 12 months salary including bonuses and overtime. It would also put a big hole in the deficit. 5. Don't throw good money after bad subsidising a broken childcare system - find out why it is so expensive and deal with it! The answer probably has 10 letters and begins with a 'g'. 6. Written by someone who seems to think only rich people like him should be able to drive and the poor need to loose weight anyway. Railways don't pay their way, cars actually do. More voodoo economics. Better cycling and walking infrastructure would be good, but urban sprawl and sheds in fields (out of town retail) make it impossible for public transport to work. In this country, the government moves the hospital, police station and the council office out of town, subsidies loss making trains and buses, bemoans the running down of our town centres and then subsidies private developers to regenerating our urban centres. You couldn't make it up. 7. Dangerous fool. Without any conventional armed forces to speak of and no deterrent, the likes of Syria, Russia and Iran will be able to do as they please. Scrapping Trident is simply begging the US to keep us safe. 8. Drugs should be treated as a medical not a criminal issue. Simply decriminalising highly addictive substances won't end well. 9. The author has a real issue with obesity. While we are banning fruit machines, I am sure far more money is wasted on the National Lottery. But the government makes money from that. 10. Regulating the private rented sector - will it ever happen? As for the rest - more control freakery failing to recognise that high prices, excess credit, low housing density, suburban sprawl and land banking are direct consequences of various government policies and intervention is the problem not the solution.
  21. EMU will be held together, right to the last Germany taxpayers last Deutschmark. I see AEP has been on the fizz speculating the EU reckons that their firewalls mean a Grexit would easily be contained and even relished, unlike last time. Another pretty transparent attempt to influence the democratic process in their member states. Perhaps if the Syrizia bloc are elected, Draghi will either fudge another bailout / revision of conditions or just ask them to keep having elections until they get the right answer - isn't that normally how democracy works in the EU...? The only growth industries in the Eurozone in 2015 look to be paper, ink and fudge and two of those are probably imported.
  22. I agree with LVT. But it cannot make sense to have a property tax only on relatively low value property. Council tax bands stop at around £700k in todays money and the areas with the highest property values have the lowest rates. Council tax can already be rerated if a property is extended, but only applies once it is sold. It would be a bit daft to have a 6 bed in Band D and another identical one in Band F, because one was an improvement and the other was built as. As a banding system, an arbitrary £2m is very blunt indeed, but an improvement on what we have.
  23. If he has any sense, Ashcroft will keep those polls to himself. The main thing holding back UKIP as the underdogs is first past the post - if people can see they are in with a shout locally, as with Rochester and Clacton, UKIP voters are far more likely to vote for Farage rather than against someone else. If we hadn't had constituency polling, their national vote share of 15-20% would have been more believable. Can't see many switching between Con and Lab to vote against UKIP either.
  24. Tony was just a Tory who thought students from 'those sorts of families' all went to University to study Media Studies and should be discouraged. A small amount of fees e.g. £1k per year is probably a good thing to discourage students from going on a 3 year bender, but it is now a rich mans game, and undoubtedly many with good grades and no money behind them will not want to go near it. How about going back to 27/11/90 when Thatcher told Mark Oaten that incomes in all brackets had risen in real terms, against RPI during her tenure? Now we are not expecting any real growth in median wages until 2016, even against CPI.
  25. The 3 main parties have largely given up making promises, and have little intention of even attempting to keep the ones they do make. The main fissure in the Labour party right now is that they don't have any policies on pretty much anything, so the ground troops are having immense difficulty offering a reason for people to vote for them on the doorstep. This is being manifested by the 'anything but the above' disintegration of the 3 established parties - to the SNP in Scotland, UKIP and Greens in England. The ground is fertile for a 'one nation' politician to emerge in Salmond's image, but for the nation to be the UK and not Scotland. Sadly all 3 parties are left with ultra tactical 'back of a fag packet' policies like free school dinners for 6-7 year olds, designed no doubt by some Oliver Reeder junior policy wonk, in response to some polling which highlighted a relative weakness in a particular demographic of the electorate. Cameron is stuck under a glass ceiling of 33% - 3% less than when he didn't win in 2010, so it is extremely unlikely that while spending taxpayers money to fight people with panic rooms in court, while also wasting our money fighting in court for bankers to have bonuses higher than the EU cap, he is going to broaden his appeal any time soon.
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