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FirstTimeBonkers

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Everything posted by FirstTimeBonkers

  1. 20% happy days, 28% comfortable, 33% a bit high. My all-time min and max: 13% and 48%.
  2. Too right. All you have to do is hold on to your flat for a few years and it will be "worth" that.
  3. They did send me details of the protection scheme, which just adds more weight to the AST renewal argument. Thanks for the draft though. I'm hoping that this can be resolved without needing too much hardball, I'm just interested in my options should the worst case happen.
  4. Man-made space objects usually cost millions to make and launch, yet these properties have an "integrated satellite". So the price is a bargain!
  5. Not just like that, but ASTs automatically become periodic at the expiry of the fixed term, if no action is taken - neither serving notice nor trying to renew the tenancy. They just roll over under the same terms and conditions, indefinitely. The point is that in this (my) case, the AST's fixed term was coming up to expiry and so it would have become periodic. But, the LA had said that the LL wanted to create a new fixed term AST, and then accepted a signed contract, tenancy renewal fee and increased rent from me.
  6. Yes it did. Shelter's opinion (very helpful and knowledgable they were) was that I have a very strong case that the AST was renewed. LA said that rent can increase when going from fixed term to periodic. Contrary to my understanding.
  7. 1. Only if I really like the place do I offer asking. If I like it enough to live there I offer 10-20% less. Remember you can always increase your offer if LL says no. Often the agent will indicate when the LL will accept a lower offer, particularly if the property is difficult for them to shift. 2. You usually hand over the deposit at the signing of the contract, in cleared funds, so usually a bank draft. This can happen on the day you take possession but it can happen before - I prefer 1-2 weeks for peace of mind. 3. See above. 4. Contracts vary quite significantly over a standard AST. You can expect to see some clauses which would, if challenged in court, be judged unfair. I have found LAs very unwilling to change any terms in any contract, so I rely on the unfairness bit. There are so many things which could be inserted it's difficult to give a blanket list, so I recommend asking for a specimen contract ASAP to give you a good chance to read it before committing. If they are relcutant to supply this then that's a warning sign. 5. Standards of inventory also vary widely, ranging from a simple list of contents with "Good", "Fair", or "Poor" written against each item, to a listing of every single crack on each wall and floorboard. You will generally find that this will reflect with the LL sees the place as their pristine pride and joy (generally a warning sign too) or more as an asset which is going to see a bit of fair wear and tear when people live in it. If, shortly after moving in, you find something wrong which is not listed, take photos and inform the LL/LA immediately, so they can not try to charge you for it on check out. Some people recommend taking photos of everything anyway, as some cowboy LLs have been known to take the pee. This is getting more difficult for them now with the new deposit protection scheme.
  8. In a long history of renting, this is a new one for me, any hints appreciated! Already planning to talk to Shelter, CAB etc. Brief facts: Property rented through agent, AST 12 months with 6 months break, 2 months notice. Agent keeps both tenant and LL signed copies of contract. Rent paid to agent who disburses to LL. 1 year comes and goes with no problems. Renewal request comes through from agent, saying LL wishes to renew for further 12m AST with small rent increase, I sign and return contract (again, 12m/6m/2m) and increase the monthly payments. At the same time, LL has property valued but claims no intention to sell. Tenany renewal discussed directly with LL. LL neither confirms nor denies renewal. 2 months go by, LL puts property on market. Agent then says tenancy is periodic because landlord did not return signed contract! Agent states that this is because LL was thinking about selling from the time of the renewal! A periodic tenancy means LL can get me out in a bit over 2 months from now whereas with the renewed AST it would be a bit over 3 months. Makes a big difference to me. Here are some questions that strike me, sure there are others: 1) Does the change of conditions (increase of rent paid by the tenant in clear expectation of a renewal, and tacitly accepted) imply that this cannot be a Periodic AST? 2) Is the fact that the agent did not inform the tenant that there were difficulties establishing the renewal significant? Or is the onus on the Tenant to not expect that a renewal has happened unless they have a signed contract in their hand? In this case, how does it square with the established pattern of the agent keeping the LL's copy? How is the Tenant therefore expected to know that the renewal has not happened?
  9. When I did that they were some of the best 6 months I ever spent. Mail went to parents, only had to ask them to open one thing, kept track of finances over the net. In your case, is a trusted friend out of the question?
  10. Phew, I was worried for a moment there. Thanks for the reassurance. When oil goes to $200 a barrel I'll just hop in my nuclear powered car down to the shops and buy my vegetables transported from spain on tidal powered trucks. The vegetables will still be plentiful because the growers will using fertiliser made from nuclear power, and not fossil fuels. Oh, and when I want to visit friends and family overseas, there will be a dam powered plane waiting for me at Heathrow.
  11. I think you'll find that the planning laws will be hastily revised when the need arises. Just scare the angry mob enough that their plasma TVs might not work and the nimbys will get steamrolled. This isn't what'll happen anyway; they'll build them on existing sites. And don't believe this 10 years of construction nonsense either; these days the things are practically flat-pack.
  12. Sometimes places are available through many agents. Have you checked? You could always take a gamble. If you're worried about getting the tenancy started then don't give notice on your current place and don't sign any contracts until you're happy. If the agent's useless then you may be in for a bit of hassle and maybe even a bit of compromise, but the place itself might be worth it. Once you move in, if the agent's useless then it might not affect you too much if 1) Nothing goes wrong (ask yourself: how old is the house/washing machine/boiler?) or 2) If something does go wrong, you're prepared to hassle them until they fix it and 3) In the event of any dispute between you and the agent, you insist on them consulting the landlord. Also to bear in mind that you should get the ll's contact details when you take possession, giving you the option to go the direct route if it comes to that.
  13. Renting for almost a decade, variety of landlord/agent arrangements, generally very satisfactory, but then I've always had realistic expectations. The financial/equity/asset acquisition pros and cons of renting versus buying are dealt with in great depth on other threads, so leaving those aside: Major pros: Having difficulty with your neighbours e.g. noise, want to try living somewhere new, work takes you elsewhere, just move easily. Minor pros: Something goes wrong, agent gets it fixed very quickly. Minor cons: Can't really have pets. 4-monthly inspections (good excuse to clean very thoroughly though). Worry that the landlord might sell or try to take the pee regarding a rent increase when it comes to contract renewal time. Can't easily make big alterations (although we've always been able to repaint, but in similar colours). Easily mitigated by choosing a place that you like anyway. Other than that, I have to say that it never bothers me day-day the fact that I rent and don't own. I treat the place as if it were my own, but then the way I choose to treat a place happens to be in keeping with the usual T&Cs on a contract anyway. So, when it comes down to it, I'm not prepared to commit myself to a life of financial servitude by taking on a gigantic mortgage at the top of the market to support inflated prices, just to have some warm fuzzy feeling that I "own" a roof over my head. If the AST were changed to give more security of tenure and right to have pets, things would be peachy.
  14. "Many" renters would just give notice and move to a cheaper place commensurate with their new lower income. This is one of the advantages of renting. Assuming you leave the place in a fair-wear-and-tear state, no return of deposit = used for last month of tenancy. Perhaps you could explain how this is bad from a tenant's point of view. Not the case. Plenty of people have had no reference from a previous landlord at one time or another, it's how we all have to start. I think you overestimate the speed at which a private landlord can evict through the courts, and you underestimate how cutthroat some lenders are.
  15. He wasn't joking. You do nothing except continue paying the same rent and living in the property, and you have a periodic AST.
  16. Usually just a reference from your bank (i.e. that you exist and run an account with them) and from your employer (i.e. that you exist and earn x). If you don't have a previous landlord, there's not exactly anyone they can ask. There'll be a way of indicating this on the form. Many people begin renting after living with parents, so there has to be a way of doing it. I've also been asked for character references from a non-family-member. This is more unusual though. They may also carry out a credit check. Quite why this should be relevant (given that a sizeable deposit and rent are paid for in advance) may be open to question.
  17. Not going to say anything about the latter, but I don't think you'll get anywhere with the former. The reason is that the clause in the contract where the landlord promises to let you quietly enjoy the flat is nothing to do with quiet in the sense of noise. I had a similar problem and I'd suggest that if the council and *their* landlord (most contracts have antisocial clauses in them these days) are unwilling/incapable of doing anything then you have to move. One of the advantages of renting.
  18. Or, if you're the cynical type; Krugerrands with cash in a hole in the garden
  19. Ah, but the property has been substantially improved by the vendor, by the purchase of a security grille!
  20. Hear, hear. The BoE has a perfect solution to this problem - very fast printing presses. They can simply lend us the money to pay the rent.
  21. One of the patterns of marketing is that if you have a rubbish thing to sell it generally takes a long argument to try to sell it. Those quarter-page ads in the back of sunday newspaper lifestyle magazines are a good example.
  22. Time to buy a rather large litter tray methinks.
  23. I think that people's attentions have been drawn by the sinister nature of this scheme, rather than the fact that it tries to deal with a motoring problem.
  24. Agreed. My post was a cynical comment about government spin. I would guess that those who love control have already thought through the possibility of drivers interfering with the satellite tracking system. I would guess that the penalty will be something as severe as a ban from driving. Like the fines associated with the ID card scheme, people will not comply with something so unpopular unless there is a big stick to hit them with.
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