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  1. Just ordered, look forward to reading it. Been a long time lurker of HPC pretty much since day 1, only recently started coming back on here - largely thanks this this thread (and the bubbly bitcoin thread, which unfortunately seems to have got somewhat derailed the last couple of days).
  2. sorry, yes interested in opinions as to whether mining shares are good value at this time.
  3. Seems like one of the few sectors that has bucked the trend and fared pretty badly over the last few years, along with commodities in general. Is now a turning point for this sector since most other sectors look to be nearing a peak?
  4. Are there any companies with platforms that allow you to trade in international stocks? I know some of the more well known ones (im thinking hsbc InvestDirect) give some access to US markets but i'm more interested in asian and emerging markets. Or is investing in funds the only way to go?
  5. In peoples opinions, who are the best discount brokers around? I already have an account with Hargreaves Lansdown where I have a couple of funds and quite like their online platform but was wondering whether there are any better/cheaper alternatives. I don't trade very often, perhaps a once or twice a year.
  6. My other half being my other conscious! I'm happily/unhappily single. I'm still waiting for that stunning, financially savvy brunette to walk through the door. Perhaps that lloyds fund should go on a holiday to se asia to resolve at least one of those issues!
  7. I've been keeping an eye on these for a while now and have been very tempted to have a punt on these rather than treat myself to a holiday. One half of me can only really see them going up, as in reality can things really get any worse for them? In reality since the government is so heavily involved with them they're just too big to fail and if they do fail then, then the country is surely doomed and the value of any shares will be the last of my worries. Plus lloyds looking to pay a dividend fairly soon can only mean good things for the share price? My other half is telling me to stay well clear of these trash banks since they'll be worthless for the rest of time. Better spend the money on that Holiday. What are people's opinions?
  8. Last year I quit my job to pursue an engineering degree. I'm currently 26. I have the opportunity to transfer to a university abroad for a year and am seriously considering it. My options would be Europe/US/Canada/Australia/NZ/SE-Asia/HK/China/S.America. I'd been seriously considering Singapore, mainly as I have spent a fair bit of time in SE asia (not Sing but most other places) and quite liked it. I have pretty much ruled out Europe as to study a technical degree in a different language would be biting off far too much IMHO. The other places I have very little experience of so I wouldn't really know what they were like to live and study in. Could anyone give me any advice or opinions on where would be a good place to live given my situation. I heard singapore was silly expensive, although I should think i'll be able to sort out some reasonable accommodation through the university. Also anyone who knows the engineering industry at all and thinks moving anywhere in particular would be advantageous, e.g. for getting work experience while I'm out there and simply living somewhere I'm likely to be working in the future etc.
  9. Thanks for replies so far. Anyway, my tenancy start date was yesterday and as expected the letting agent withheld the keys. Fortunately I found a place to stay for a few days. Now apologies but perhaps I haven't given all the details of my situation. The tenancy I have signed is a joint tenancy and as I found out yesterday, although all members have signed the agreement and have paid their deposit and agency fees, one member had not provided their completed guarantor form and their first months rent. I have contacted this person and have been assured that they will arrange this with the agent today. Am I right in assuming that the agent is within their rights to withhold the keys from me in this instance? Following on from this, I am obviously paying rent on the property but am not in possession of the keys. Am I entitled to any kind of refund on the rent I am paying now or does the tenancy agreement now end later (by the number of days I am refused entry to the property) or I am simply out of pocket. I also drove past the property yesterday and, from the outside at least, it looked like a bomb site. I assume the agent has not inspected the property nor made any attempt to clear it out before the changeover. Does the landlord have an obligation to ensure the property is clean before we move in? If it isn't what steps can I take to ensure it is (i.e. pay for a cleaner and charge landlord)? Also if I am not provided with an inventory at the start of the tenancy, can the landlord claim for any damages when we move out?
  10. yes, the letting agent has signed the contract as acting landlord.
  11. I have signed the contract on the property. They were asking for a completed guarantor form and some proof that a standing order had been set up, beginning a week before the tenancy starts. They have both these documents in their possession.
  12. I am expecting to move into a new property next week. I have already paid the agents fees, bond and months rent in full. However, the letting agent is threatening not to hand over the keys on the tenancy start date as they say I have not provided necessary documents in time. Can they do this and who can I complain to if they go through with this threat, especially bearing in mind I will be essentially homeless on this date as I have to hand over the keys of my current property on the same day.
  13. I recently signed a contract on a student let for the next academic year and have paid, in full, the bond and admin fees. The agent has agreed to carry out some work to the property in time for when we move in and has put this in writing, signed and dated. It was agreed and put in writing also that if this wasn't done a 50% rent reduction would apply until which time the work was completed. The agent is also asking for a confirmation that a standing order has been set up for a week before we move in, covering 3 months rent and that I have a guarantor form signed and completed. I'm not keen on having a guarantor, as I cant see why they cant credit check me (i'm a mature student, have rented plenty of places no hassle in the past) but I agreed at the time so i'll have to bite the bullet on that one i suppose. My issue is, if i'm paying 3 months up front before we move in, how can a rent reduction apply if they haven't done what was agreed? Can I claim back anything i've already paid, or at least withhold future rent based on the number of days the work hadn't been completed for (would they then go chasing my guarantor?)? Can they refuse to hand over the keys if I havent paid the 3 months up front or if the guarantor form hasn't been completed, since the contract has already been signed and deposit paid? Do I have to just pay the rent before I move in and get the guarantor form completed and accept that if they dont do what was agreed there is nothing I can do?
  14. We have verbally agreed with an agent a list of things we require improving/installing to a house prior to our move in. The agent has so far agreed in principal that our requests can be met and that he will arrange with the landlord to get this work completed. Obviously I'll be getting this in writing before we sign anything, however, how much water does something agreed in writing hold when it comes to them actually doing what was agreed? Would we be legally entitled to withhold rent before everything is completed, for example. Obviously we can be awkward with them when it comes to viewings etc if they dont hold their end of the bargain up but would rather it not come to that.
  15. bit of an update on my experiences. it sounds like most of the decent stuff gets snapped up in november/december before a july move in, which just seems crazy to me compared to what i'm used to. First off I can't believe the cheek of some (in fact virtually all) letting agents when it comes to viewings. Most of the properties we viewed, the agent as far as I could see gave virtually no notice to the tenants. If no one answered they just let themselves in and proceeded to let us trek through the house as we pleased. Most rooms had individual locks and if no one answered, again they just opened them up and let us wander around and in many cases people were in and just in bed but agent almost insisted we still go in and have a look. In a lot of cases there was personal stuff on display and one of them even boasted about some photos he'd took of stuff he'd found in ppls houses when they'd been doing viewings. Made me feel actually quite uncomfortable. Is this standard practice in the student landlord game since they probably just assume they can get away with it? Also many of the agents were charging upwards of £100 per person signing on fee, so for us as much as 1K for signing a contract and doing a viewing...makes me sick.
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