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Council estate capitalist

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Everything posted by Council estate capitalist

  1. I see many grants of probate at work, most of which are dated a few months after death so it's not taking that long - atleast for straigtforward cases where the will is all in order and there isn't a dispute in the background
  2. https://cdn2.comparethemarket.com/market/cms/energy-holding/index.html in the news today - Compare the Market have pulled their energy comparison service due to lack of availability of cheap energy tariffs.
  3. Ancedote but just compared energy as the current fixed tariff was about to end = 44 percent year on year increase. (Old tariff taken out Sept 2020): £718 yearly bill (New tariff taken out Sept 2021): £1037 ... and thats after selecting "Include tariffs we can’t switch you to" option on Comparethemeerkat. - if you don't set that option the cheapest was £1246. Ultimetely if this continues it's a 44% increase in cost for consumers and businesses. - many won't feel the pain for a while due to being in a fixed rate deal. Whose really screwed: - Those on variable rate tariffs (nasty increase notice in the post soon) - Large power users on half-hourly meters who aren't in a fixed rate tariff. - Small energy suppliers who will go bust (4 have gone this week) https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/sep/15/fire-shuts-one-of-uk-most-important-power-cables-in-midst-of-supply-crunch Prices surge to £2,500 a MWH. (So £2.50 a KWH) for Wednesday peak demand
  4. More than likely. I definetely think there is a certain "cliff edge" to it that when all the support ends their will be a wave of insolvencies, either going completely or restarting under a new name without the debt (pushing the problem onto landlords/suppliers/staff) The governement publish a list of employers that claim have claimed furlough. it's laggy though as it only goes up to May (June's fiqures are out 9 September) so sadly it will be November before we find out who was claiming in August. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employers-who-have-claimed-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme Anything above £1m a month in furlough claimed in May almost entirely related to either aviation, hospitality/leisure, or automotive.
  5. I've kept an eye on the insolvency stats. There will be thosands of duff small businesses out there, the usual clients of insolvency practitioners nationwide. The cafes/resteraunts with a large tax/loan debt, the over-expanded businesses, the kite flying businesses buoyed by loans from Funding Circle et al. + all the "walk-aways", businesses that exist on the thin line between the formal/informal economy where the owner will jingle-mail the keys back & pay the £10 administration fee to companies house and have the company dissolved. There's no incentive to call time on these businesses, better to keep them ticking over and pay any BBL/grant money out to the owners/employees before eventually calling in an IP - It's not wrongful trading providing they can show a rosy prediction that trade will return to normal before the cash runs out.
  6. I didn't realise this was a thing - I thought that you could just redeem on sale, or staircase up based on the 'Market value' Market value = the price an arms length buyer would pay as assesed by a surveyor, or by actual arms length transaction. I haven't seen how the security documents have been written but if HTB have the ability to impose their own definition of 'Market value'/change the method by which it is assesed that is wrong. If it's a proper 'equity loan' you should be able to bung it in an auction (with a reserve that covers the 1st lenders charge) and let the chips fall where they fall. I can see Homes England's position though on 'non-sale redemptions' where a future insurance payout/grant would provide a windfall profit to any leaseholder who redemed at a low rate. Although this is in some way similar to preventing HTB loan redemtions during a crash on the basis that the 'market value' is "artificially supressed". You can't have your cake and eat it. The loan either floats with market value or it doesn't
  7. Interesting that the article mentioning charging tenants. This is illegal under the Tenant Fees Act.
  8. I note that the application for housing was made in July 2011 and she was awarded a council house in 2016. Regarding benefit/housing rules it can be hard to A. determine that a 'change in circumstances' has occured and B. determine whether such change is material and needs to be disclosed. It is genuinely hard to remember the exact rules & exactly what statements you have made that might have changed over time. “Our room consists of bunk beds and another bed. I struggle to study in the circumstances and do not get privacy.” Take the statement above. - If you were to install an IKEA privacy screen in 2015 would that be a change of cirucumstances? Regarding 'struggling to study'. the length of time between application and award of housing is longer than most university courses. It would be entirely reasonable to assume that the housing decision maker would realise this is old info and not rely on it in making a decision.
  9. I wouldn't be suprised if all the major hotel chains had a "Winston Wolf" division to roll in and manage a crisis/write cheques.
  10. I assume most of these items destroyed are from third party sellers who use Amazon warehouses/fulfilment who don't want the surplus/returned goods sent back to them. I wonder if some of the items they destroy they receive credit for as part of their deals with manufacturers - I don't know but it's a possibility. Amazon do sell pallets of returned/surplus goods and they do donate surplus goods to charity so they are not destroying all returns. On the car front there is a website that shows how many cars of a specific model are still on the road - find the site and put in a 3-5 year old car to test the crushing theory. On exports: https://www.am-online.com/news/market-insight/2018/11/19/global-used-car-export-demand-driving-up-uk-wholesale-values Through a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association found that a total of 430,937 vehicles had been permanently exported from the UK between April 2017 and March 2018. “Based on current statistics around 20% of new cars sold will eventually be exported”, said a statement issued by BIMTA today (November 19).
  11. They've done it before. The repayment threshold was supposed to rise with inflation however they fixed it in place for several years in 2015 just as the first "post 2012, plan 2" loan recipients were graduating. The biggest trick is telling students that it's 9% of any earnings over £27,295. It technically is if you are paid the exact same monthly salary. I paid 34.75% due to overtime. No refunds!
  12. Shared ownership at 50% / 75% with the ability to buy the freehold for £1 (houses) when you've "staircased" up to 100% ownership (shared ownership is a leasehold arrangement) seems almost acceptable. Sure it's an overpriced newbuild and sure you'll be paying rent on the bit you don't own. But it's more of a poor financial decision than a crime in progress. 25% ownership of a flat where you're paying rent on the rest, + mortgage + 100% of internal repairs + service charges/major repairs (often 100%, not 25%) is just criminal.
  13. Not a fan of these. Discount has to be passed on so automatically narrow market. price goes up = only 70% of increase captured. price goes down = mortgage debt remains the same Not sure lenders will want to lend against these unless either: A. the LTV is low, B. mortgagees in possesion are exempt from having to pass on the discount when they sell. C. they are forced to lend by the government.
  14. Mostly subsequent sales. I.e someone selling a house before they are registered as owner. but that's a small minority & not a reason to derail a sale. LR will do applications in under 2 weeks if it's causing hardship. Technically I could buy a house at 1pm and sell it to someone else at 2pm... but many solicitors are unwilling to entertain a sale from someone who isn't yet registered as the owner. There is an interesting impact that many solicitors won't pay the estate agents their "referral fee"/kickback until the buyer is actually registered as owner. also solar panels/boiler grants - apparently some of these cause problems if the customer isn't yet registered as owner.
  15. Accurate on the delay. title splitting is a tricky one. Tell them it's for finance purposes and they will be more likely to do it. Depends which queue the applications in. If it's in the "simple house sale/remortgage" backlog it'll take about 5-8 weeks because those seem fairly easy for LR to do. - mostly just checking the paperwork and changing the owners name/adding mortgage entries. Ifit's in the "leases, lease extension, title splitting, transfer of part" backlog it'll take 9-12 months. - much harder to do, brain cells required to consider rights of way, covenants etc. That's if nothing is wrong, if LR find errors in the paperwork then the solicitor will have to fix it & it'll go into a different queue of 'solicitors replies'. They actually publish the current backlog, but many in the trade a skeptical that it's not longer given how long some take. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-impact-on-hm-land-registrys-services#impact-on-our-services
  16. Very laggy. Looking through the March Price Paid Data release. The file contains 87085 transactions. Column 3 of the file gives the date the transaction occured i.e the actual date of completion. Solicitors can then take about a month to put the application in & then it's probably another 6-8 weeks before the price is recorded. Out of 87085 transactions only 1435 actually occured in March March 2021 = 1435 transactions Feb 2021 = 9299 transactions Jan 2021 35283 transactions Dec 2020 15927 transactions Jan-Nov 2020 20415 transactions 2019 - 1995 4726 transactions (Yes. the March 2021 data release includes some really old applications that were never registered at the time)
  17. Yes, My housing rate was based on the LHA rate for that part of Rochdale. My understanding that in a private rental the DWP will pay the rent up to the limit of the LHA rate for the area based on how many rooms you need. LHA being the 30th percentile of rents in the area for the relevent size of property. There's mixed opinion on LHA/Housing benefit rates. I think previous it caused rents to go up considerably however now LHA rates has been reduced I think it functions to create ghettos by driving people to the "bad parts" of town where properties in the 30th percentile actually exist. In social housing the DWP will pay the full rent. less "bedroom tax". a 14% reduction for 1 spare bedroom, a 25% reduction for 2+ spare bedrooms.
  18. Nice to see an accounting, I couldn't work out what year these are from (the article is old + quotes a Daily Mail article I couldn't find). But assuming one were a couple both 25+ living in Rochdale with 2 disabled kids in 2021, renting and wanted to claim benefits. I calculate that one would be entitled to: min max UC Main element £596.58 £596.58 Child A UC element £282.52 £282.50 Child B UC element £237.08 £237.08 Carers UC element £163.73 £163.73 Disabled child premium UC £128.89 £402.41 Disabled child premium UC £128.89 £402.41 Housing element UC £458.33 £458.33 Child benefit - Child A £91.65 £91.65 Child benefit - Child B £60.66 £60.66 DLA for child 1 £102.27 £659.32 DLA for child 2 £102.27 £659.32 Limited capability for work-related activity element £0.00 £343.63 Total monthly £2,352.87 £4,357.62 Total yearly £28,234.44 £52,291.44 This is exluding any disability benefits the adults might get + the value of free school means/council tax benefit Total yearly (excluding DLA/Child benefit as these are not means tested). £23,952.24 £34,640.04 The variance between the "min" and "max" amounts is because Disability Allowance Rates vary wildly depending on level of disability + the "limited capability for work related activity" element is very hard to get. "back pain" or "anxiety/depression" won't get you there.
  19. Pathetic punishment if that is the only costs he will face. I hope the tenant brings a civil claim for all the claims he has against the landlord.
  20. Many landlords are also starting to realise how parasitic and useless these unnessesary middle man really are. Charging a 10% of rent receivable fee to "manage" a property but being absolutely useless when it goes sour. My favourite ones are agencies refusing to tell the landlord who the tenant is because "GDPR". Glad their scam of charging "setup" or "renewal" fees has been outlawed. I think many just exist by acting like it's a complicated business only they can do.
  21. Was a laugh seeing left-wing twitter fixate on this all day. Was obvious to me the £535 CCJ (£500 "debt" + the £35 court filing fee) was vexatious. Exposes something all too sinister though, that individuals/companies (predatory parking companies etc) can stop someone getting a mortgage, phone contract, tenancy, sometimes even a job just by filing a court claim which is not checked by a human.
  22. I've seen many auction legal packs for shopping centres (usually failing "destination" centres bolted on to an existing high street). The amount of peppercorn/£1 rent leases in some of the lower end centres is crazy. and often the landlord is picking up the rates/service charge.. common theme is that almost every lease granted less than 3 years ago is at £0 or equivalent of £0 (I.e there is a rent but the LL picks up service charge/rates liability such that any rent received is extinguished by costs). It's a dead parrot, a cigar butt. one good puff from the remaining lease terms of the suckers that signed up 10/15 years ago. Of the £0 tenants I've seen: These range from sham "art galleries" that are just a few prints on easels scattered about, run by a CIC/charity to avoid rates. (tenant being paid a reverse rent for such service) up to chain stores like Card Factory, Bonmarche, and others. "bag shops". seems a favorite as selling luggage/baggage only requires 1 employee, no fixtures etc. these tend to move around within a centre as units are rented/when a unit has been empty long enough to incur a rates liability for the landlord. (3 months I think). What will be common is longer and longer "rent-free" periods, or a rent free period where the tenant gets a years rent from the landlord as cashback (towards fit out costs) on day 1. On charity shops. I like them. it keeps stuff out of landfill & you can have a rummage and find a bargain. I don't like the way many have changed to more "boutique" charity shops selling heavily curated stock, mostly clothes at almost new prices. you should see how wasteful these shops really are. I can understand the gripe of local retailers aswell. you have a charity shop come in, get a good deal on rent (dedicated property team), have the balance sheet to support a quality fit out. they get their stock for free, staff mostly for free, pay almost no rates. - that's hard to compete with.
  23. I think there was a really bad backlog when the changed how applications were processed / changed how they were scanned. Most grants of probate I have seen (at work) have been within 2 months of death, some sooner, some later. The government website says "around 4 weeks" which I think is fairly accurate. I'm sure there a some that take much longer, especially "letters of administration" where someone has died intestate. For what it's worth I think some of the delay is overstated, either people including the form-filling stage or *some* solicitors sitting on the application forms before submitting them.
  24. I reckon this is for a number of reasons. 1. higher AUM = higher management salary. 2. it gives the appearance of diversification / makes them hard to compare to other retail only REIT's 3. if they sell they risk selling below book value 4. control over the whole of the development. Given how much Hammersons share price went up on the back of their "convert to rent" announcement it's probably the right call. Most likely, I've seen a load of "mixed use" developments where the shops are empty for many many years, or sold at auction very cheaply. Unlet because landlords want too much, the area isn't great + they are concrete shells. big money to fit out for a small business compared to taking on a "pre-used" shop... lots available right now.
  25. It is good to see dud businesses like Greensill, Footballindex, and buy2let cars going. When the tide goes out you can see who is swimming naked, and the tide hasn't even gone out yet! On buy to let cars, - I like how they advertise "0% default" They are not refering to the underlying leases, but to the fact that BTLcars has never defaulted. This is true of every scheme legitimate or not up until they day of default. Paragraph 4.10 et seq makes for interesting reading. https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/supervisory-notices/first-supervisory-notice-raedex-consortium-ltd-2021.pdf
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