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mat109

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Everything posted by mat109

  1. I think I've had it relatively easy as a renter (London). Not had any dreadful landlords. However, talking to many of my friends renting (around 25), this is not always the case. Rogues and poorly educated unleveraged idiots who see themselves as consumers in the transaction abound who don't take their own responsibilites seriously. Sharp estate agents. etc. What has always surprised was how many of them felt unable or afraid to take any of their issues further - one of my best friends (an intelligent guy earning double what his landlord ever had before the LL embarked in his business of neo-feudalism) had his unprotected deposit retained and did nothing. My sister (a trainee medic in a house of female medics) even found the landlord's son sleeping in her bed (!!!) and called the police. The landlord said "it was the student holidays and they weren't using the house and it was his house anyway". The police seemed to find the situation funny rather than serious and couldn't really understand the fuss. My dad went mental and hit the roof, but despite some angry phone calls, there was no real financial penalty barring a reluctant apology. Noone seems willing to take these chancers on and enforce their rights - because as younger, less empowered people, we don't feel able to. I'm not all that sure I would have the courage to take things like this further into the legal system. I was just going through the motions of looking at what I got with legal insurance with my contents insurance at renewal time. Most policies I've seen explicitely exclude 'landlord tenant issues' - but I was amazed to find that this one was explicitely included. Am I being niave in thinking this would actually help in some of these cases? Should renters suddenly, en-masse, start insuring themselves against their landlord's incompetences and holding their balls to the fire if they don't comply? - the opposite of the holy grail of "RGI" for landlords comes to mind. Has anyone used these services? As some who is about to move again this year in a newly rented place I'm wondering if £22.99 for a bit of hired legal muscle and decent advice might actually be worth it...
  2. SAS has fairly comically high licence costs
  3. One of my favourite, lesser know aspects of tenancy law is that you have the right to leave *without notice* on the day the fixed term expires or beforehand, regardless of what it says on the contract. They can try pursuing you, but provided you've made no undertakings to stay, they will lose. You may ruin any chance of a reference of course!
  4. I disagree - I think it's (slowly) coming to the top of the political agenda. I attended People's Question Time in session in Hillingdon (the London borough 'afflicted' by Heathrow expansion and HS2). They'd allocated more time for those two issues - but it was really housing that got the most people riled up. There were the usual tiresome nimbys complaining about HS2 and Heathrow but nobody - nobody - complained about housing development. People were literally booing Boris when he said rent controls were a bad idea. Came up with his soundbite from Vietnam and Ho-chi-min city (though rents there were set comically low there - I can't find the source but I think it was something like 1-2% of average income). He was even asked if he thought house prices were too high (a question he cunningly dodged). All of the mayoral candidates - even Zac Goldsmith, the tory candidate, shock horror - put it right at the top of their agendas. With less than half of london residents actually owning their own home - make no mistake - the new mayor WILL be elected on housing. Though what the successor will actually be able to achieve (not much in practical terms), it will send a powerful message to central Government as they outbid each other on promises.
  5. Help to buy ISA launches today - awesome. I can get 4% on my money from Halifax, though god knows what hideous HTB mortgage they'd want to push on me to recoup their money. It's not actually bad for a saver rate in this economy - certainly a top ISA rate. Whilst I have no intention to buy at all - who knows what the future holds? Maybe I will, and the government will give me 25% extra on £12,000 to help push up prices in my local area.
  6. In fairness to this guy - I'm five years older and a lot of my (far more educated) peers believe the same thing - that home ownership is some sort of holy grail that must attained at all costs. Many have been lectured by their grandparents and parents to believe the same thing. My grandfather - a pre-boomer who did well for himself in a career which took him from the shop floor to managing a major continent for his organisation and has played the stockmarket relatively successfully for decades - through ups and downs - blinked when I told him I wasn't rushing into buying a house. People just don't get it.
  7. "more good news for HPC although increase in loans up to 40% in London for right to buy is not so good" At least it's new build only. The government uses the community infrastructure charge on new build homes to pay for shiny new railways and landbanking house builders. It'll be interesting to see how existing housing competes.
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