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  1. @markyh how do you find the number of hex contracts which are due to expire in the coming months?
  2. There's a lot offered for rent though. And who wouldn't want to live in a 300 sq ft studio with the only windows looking onto the ground floor lobby? From reading the reviews it seems none of the windows in the building open. And you can see from looking at the floorplans that the partitions don't align with the structural grid of the building, so to cram in as many flats as possible they've just run the partitions right up to the glazing. Utterly horrific. A thousand pounds a month. In Hounslow.
  3. Agree totally, no-one in the enquiry is coming out with their reputation intact. Celotex were trying to emulate Kingspan, a rival insulation manufacturer, who had a product (K15) which was marketed as suitable for buildings over 18m. This was based on tests 14 years ago, since which the composition of the product was changed, with everyone at Kingspan fully aware the newer recipe of the product failed the BRE tests. To quote the technical manager, the tests on the newer recipe quickly turned into "a raging inferno... burning under its own steam... in danger of setting the test centre alight." Yet Kingspan kept marketing this as a safe product, even threatening the NHBC with legal action when they brought the issue up. NHBC caved in. Everyone involved in the design, the architect, client, facade contract, building control and product manufacturers made egregious errors. The industry is a mess and this enquiry is bringing it all to light.
  4. My parents taught me the value of hard work and self-reliance. If, by the time I reach 50, I have been unable to make my own place in the world I shouldn't feel entitled to an unearned windfall. But equally, I work hard and save so that I can offer any offspring the best possible start in life (at the risk that that spoils them). That's the conflict.
  5. It's income from the perspective of the estate owner, but to the inheritor it's unearned wealth, which like capital gains is unearned wealth, and unearned wealth should have the shit taxed out of it. Having said that I'm deeply conflicted on this issue. I think it's on the grounds of feasibility, a general objection to state interference into private affairs, and the left as usual being unable to understand the motivations and incentives that drive human beings. The better solution as always would be reduction/cessation of income tax and the implementation of Land Value Tax.
  6. National Residential are basically like an ebay for selling property, so they set the initial 'asking' prices unrealistically low to generate interest. I was drawn in to a flat in SE4 asking £200k that ended going for £256k (and probably would have been more but they ended the auction early.)
  7. In any normal context I'd say it sounds completely absurd, but welcome to modern London. Any more details, what type of property, whereabouts in Hackney, lease remaining, etc...?
  8. Very appropriate, isn't the legend that the only ones who get rich from the gold rush are the shovel sellers?
  9. Sent this to my local LD candidate, I'm in one of the safest labour seats in the country so it doesn't really mean anything but anyway. I've never felt compelled to write to a pol before. "I've been a Lib Dem supporter for over a decade now, following what I think is the fairly common path of disaffection with the 'left' as represented by Labour about the time of the Iraq invasion. I've agreed with the party's stance on civil liberties, deficit reduction, and I've even defended the principle of student fees. In a sense I think there's a strong libertarian streak in me that is appalled by the loss of balance between the state and the individual, and the need for reconciliation between that and an equitable society which offers hope and stability. 'Help to Rent' to me is a huge miscalculation and the reason why I won't vote for you in the upcoming general election. It's like Nick Clegg has seen the short-term popularity boost that help to buy has given the tories, and wants some for himself. Housing is the biggest issue facing my generation but politicians keep assuming that if they keep adding more props, schemes and gimmicks, they can keep up the rhetoric of 'helping' people further into debt while ensuring the thing that needs to happen--the cost of housing dropping significantly--remains out of reach. The cost of housing, both to rent and to buy, is too high. Pushing deposit debt does nothing to alleviate this."
  10. Hey guys, don't forget we've also got this where all the general BBC paranoia can be filed, so we don't get these boring bi-weekly threads: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/200349-the-big-bbc-bias-thread-merged/ Or the other 23,400 threads on the subject https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bbc+bias+housepricecrash&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=bX_PVLWPFOKR7Aa20oHgDg#q=bbc+site:housepricecrash.co.uk
  11. The idea is that you repoint the mortar when it gets to that sort of state--it's meant to a sacrificial element to protect the brick. And people generally underestimate, or just ignore the fact that all buildings need periodic maintenance. Lime mortar (ie the type they used to use) is an incredibly clever material, and perfectly suited to holding bricks together. It's breathable and hygroscopic, and the fact that it never truly 'cures' means that it rests and 'melts' back together when buildings settle over time. Compare this with cement mortar used today--incredibly tough, but unfortunately harder than the brick in between--so instead of your mortar resetting, your bricks will crack and need replacement which is a much more involved process. This is part of reason today's masonry structures are built with such deep foundations, as they can't handle movement, a denial of the processes of nature that older buildings work with. There's also the poetic fact that it absorbs CO2 through its cycle and eventually returns to the same chemical composition as the CaCO3 it was forged from--your houses are literally held together by limestone.
  12. Usual DM misrepresentation and outrage. Extension isn't "built without planning permission", it was applied for and granted. Chap then builds the rear roof slightly higher and with a gable rather than ridge. The footprint, layout and arrangement don't differ substantially from the consented drawings (there's a shoddy picture reproduction in the story but all planning apps are amatter of public record and you can view them online if you wish to do so). This is a nothing story, typical sad faces of wronged readers stuff, I'd put money on it being a neighbourly dispute that has escalated, hence the deliberately unfinished treatment of the boundary wall. Agree with comments above that they're both godawful buildings.
  13. Me too. "spam or misleading--->mass advertising" seems to describe it perfectly.
  14. Thanks. Architecture is not as well paid as most people think, and the long training means you can reach your career development is behind most of your peers'. I'm 32 but only qualified 18 months ago, and I make 33k. I take your point about market distortion but still think it's only a small part of the picture. If as most BTLers do, you have a big deposit, you mortgage costs are going to be easily covered by rents attainable. Let's say you buy a 200k one bed or studio, like the ones I've been looking at, with 50% down. Your 100k is going to cost you £500, even allowing for broken boilers and voids that's covered by the £700-1000 you're charging for it. And even if the rent drops a bit I think most would accept that you're contributing to something that's eventually going to be a debt free asset paying you an income. The only thing that's going to hurt them is if they're on trackers and interest rates go up--but that's not going to happen because it would put the whole country down the pan. No pressure from the folks, they know they've been lucky and this generation has it pretty tough. They're not wealthy but they're doing what they can. Lending both their kids a total of 150k, which is basically their pensions, is pretty brave/dutiful/foolhardy if you ask me. The idea of jointly buying a flat is certainly something I'd consider, but can't see them being interested in--they're not bothered about investing and becoming 'entrepreneurs', if they were they would've BTLd already. They'd be happy keeping it in the bank paying 2%, but see this as a way of helping us out.
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