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Everything posted by mat109

  1. I'm coming round to this worldview seeing friends in similar situations buy when others can't or won't. I agree with you, people do make their own choices. Yet, you see things like this from the debrief, edited by the lady who led the middle class charge to get letting fees banned, telling of buyers in London whose developer took 90 square feet off their offplan flat and (amazingly) they agreed to bend over and take it. Desperation and stupidity. Could and should have walked away, but outrageous behaviour from the developer. At some point though, it's gotta be fraud or outright extortion. What if they'd turned up on moving day and they'd had one less bedroom, no kitchen or bathroom, or the plan had one metre high ceilings and no-one noticed? Friendly developer's lawyer, clipboard in hand, invites them to sign their rights away or walk away homeless. There has to be a point in the shades of grey somewhere where the buyer really has been a victim, surely? Let a court decide, whatever. As you say, a market, but no modern market will let you label horsemeat as beef. Yet some estate agents and developers will try their best to lie and deceive and there has to be accountability there too.
  2. Shhhh there. Not on topic. Council housing allocation in the UK is racially agonostic, so for the purpose of posting here on this topic, discussing it adds no colour (see what I did?)
  3. I guess - build masses of cheap council houses in mixed areas, put the benefit types in those houses, abolish housing benefit, job done. London becomes ugly, of course.
  4. That's different to traditional social housing though? As a renter, my own taxes are being used to bid up the cost of renting through the medium of housing benefit. Yes, the land is still being used but I'm sure there was a time when you paid extra to rent privately vs. socially because it was nicer, less dense or were snooty, not because you had no other choice. You could argue that large quantities of higher density social housing has a deflationary effect on an area.
  5. Maybe they are planning to "sweat the assets" ie. BTL mortgage debtors. You can but hope.
  6. I agree - ignoring the (slightly queasy) implications of race in your post - but where do you think all those poor below average earning people would go? Into a poorer area? And the poorer people they displace? And so on, and so forth? In a normally distributed world (not wages, I know) 50% of the world earns less than the average. The problem is that council housing is designed for a Britain without a housing crisis or rampant nimby-ism, for a less economically imbalanced country. Sort that out and everything is fine
  7. As someone living in London feeling "locked out", I have to say I agree with this up to a point, there doesn't seem to be anything "fair" about the "special people" who get to live in prime central areas of London for nothing whilst doing nothing. But I agree with this more. Go to Paris and see how ghettoisation has worked out for them. We need mixed communities. Some might call the rich the dross you need to spread around
  8. My girlfriend is a student allied health profession. She gets a 5k bursary. It's 2017 though, and we pay > £1000pcm between two. Bursary covers the rent alone. No student loan or tuition fees, but it does mean that day to day living depends on her savings. Kind of insane - I was wondering where 5k came from, turns out they've never changed it.
  9. Why is the average price continuing to rise?
  10. I'm actually considering Conservative because of this. I've never done it before.
  11. Wow, i didn't realise the ratios between staff and people being cared for were that high! 1 2/3 staff for every elderly person. No wonder care is so expensive. If you spend 3 years in care, that's 5 man years...
  12. Well, that's the government. (from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_sovereignty) They can do anything. We live in adapted absolute monarchy which has handed power from the monarch to the government.
  13. You should read the individual surveyors opinions from that report, some of them are barmy: Love it
  14. Most agents will tell you some of the fee goes towards negotiation. (Even if it's just the initial fee). Ask them where the negotiation is! Again, I'd also highlight that you don't have to sign a new contract at all, no matter what they say. Play silly buggers if you want to and say you want to discuss the new terms with a solicitor. You don't have one, so you'll need to find one. 8 weeks saying you're looking for one means you'll be in a periodic tenancy anyway. Not legal advice - not a lawyer, but a lot of this is indeed "standing up to the men in suits".
  15. Bear in mind that estate agents make the rules up as they go along. You don't need to renew your contract as you'll already have a periodic tenancy. Doubtless your landlord will be being charged as well. I'd tell them you don't want to pay fees in light of the upcoming fee ban. They'll hate it, but you can say that it's a condition for you that you landlord covers this fee instead or that you continue with a periodic tenancy. (If necessary) you can accept the rent increase by starting to pay it. Bear in mind that you lose the security of tenure of course vs a fixed contract. You'll get two months, assuming you pay monthly and can give one months notice to leave. Bear in mind that in some areas rents are falling. I'd check the RICs sentiment survey for your area under "lettings" before you agree to a rent rise to see what direction they're heading in. http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/market-analysis/rics-residential-market-survey/ It'll also give you an idea of what the market is like and what your hand looks like in negotiating these fees.
  16. So - average stock per estate agent has dipped, but overall supply is up? Maybe we're just seeing an increase in the number of estate agents.
  17. I agree. It all seems to lack teeth sadly. Local authorities lack the staff to prosecute an otherwise ok landlord so imagine it's another stick to beat the criminal types. Interestingly, letting agents have to present you with an EPC when you rent and it must be in place before they market it. If you don't get one, it's no S21 for you until you're issued with one. Dont know how many S21s end up in court, but it's embarrassing for the landlord to admit he's non complaint. I am always on the lookout for something to beat my vulnerable in name and in deed letting agent with though!
  18. Not introduced yet - it's due in 2019. All the phds in London I know are getting about 14k/year. You're right, they have to live in an HMO quite frugally, but it's possible. But this stipend has not gone up for a very, very long time and I suspect this loan system is probably going to end up replacing it.
  19. I've just read about the "doctoral student loan", which lumps an extra 3% on top as well, bringing my top hypothetical tax rate to 90% for a phd earning between 50-60k with 4 kids. It's pretty hard to live on a 12k/year from a research council. I suspect this will be going to science students genuinely doing something worthwhile as well.
  20. Correction: Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the withdrawal of universal child benefit dating back to 1975 was withdrawn by a tory government wanting to keep pensioner perks introduced much more recently.
  21. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the withdrawal of child benefit dating back to 1975 was withdrawn by a tory government wanting to keep pensioner perks introduced much more recently. Doubtless same people benefited from both lots.
  22. This is ends up distorting the whole tax system though and you end up with some crazy taxation. I'm a 40% tax payer (just). My marginal rate of "tax" now is: 40% income tax + 2% NI + 9% loan repayment Drumroll... 51% tax higher, 56% additional! What if you go and do masters and get a postgraduate student loan? That's 6% more ladies and gents. 57% tax higher, 63% additional! Between 100-112k, the personal allowance gets withdrawn. Your effective base rate of tax is 60%, so that's a 77% tax rate with the two loans + NI. 77%! Going really extreme, if you have four children and one person earns between 50k and 60k, the withdrawal of child benefit gets you a 72% tax charge for every extra pound. With those two loans... 87% tax (4 kids) or 77% (2 kids)! Why bother making the jump between 50 and 60k at all? Another reason why houseprices are going nowhere, younger middle class earners are going to be taxed into oblivion for most of their adult lives.
  23. Good research - would be interesting to see how this compares with residential mortgages as well, which ( I believe?) continue to fall as well.
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