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  1. Something totally stinks with this story, and there's a couple of crucial details which no one has picked up on. For a start he is/was a consultant, which means he would have put his earnings through a company to avoid the 40% tax rate. So for a start, all this that they have paid into the system is not as straightforward as it seems. The most optimal way to take money out of a private company is to the spread the earnings across both members of the couple and provide pay in the form of salary plus dividends. The max you can take out this way is £80k a year, anything above you leave in the company for a rainy day. Hmm funny they were earning £80k a year. The other thing, until the new thresholds came in for NI contributions this year, the most optimal salary to take before switching to dividends was £7,000. Hmm funny he earned that amount last year. The fact that they only ever earned the same as the tax thresholds for running a private company, suggest both these people are not as financially illiterate as they seek to portray, and also I believe they have money squirreled away somewhere. So why the dailymail story ? to Publicly plead poverty in such a way, while having cash stashed away as I believe. There is only once conclusion I can think of. I reckon someone is suing them (possibly one of his ex wifes), the money has been hidden, and now they are sending the message, don't bother suing us, we are homeless. If we want to dig, I reckon the answers will be in his company accounts which are publically available if some can find them.
  2. Hi All, Long time member and Lurker. Since the early noughties, I've been waiting for the right time to jump on the roller coaster that is UK house prices. With a very substantial deposit saved over the years, IR's at the lowest they can ever go, FFL and plus the other proposed schemes in the pipeline. So on Fri evening me and the other half, decided we have to finally give in and buy. Imagine our frustration when the changes to HTB2 were announced, sometimes if feels like you are destined to never own! Anyway my rant is not about that, my sentiments have been echoed by plenty posters on other threads and For a. However what is shocking, is the steep rise in asking prices I have seen recently, they are shocking. This maybe a local anecdote, but my area of interest is Croydon. The area has been relatively flat over the past 5 years, although it is London, it's far away enough for the prices not to have been rising, but not that far that it has crashed. I've been studying the house prices in this area since 2009, and can walk down many a street and start reeling out what a particular house sold for and when. So the asking prices I have seen recently are just shocking. Typical examples are entire streets that have never been able to get one house over the £250k stamp duty threshold, houses on these streets are now appearing in the £325k-£350k brackets. The amount of attempted flipping I am seeing is ridiculous, houses I have seen sold for £170k earlier in the year, being put back on the market for £225K is an example I have seen, but is not untypical. lots of places in around central Croydon and south croydon, a typical 2 up- 2down terraced house has been going for between £200k-£220k over the last few years, now they are all appearing well above the stamp duty. My final rant, one of the most noticeable things I have noticed over the past year, tis that despite the market picking up. The number of properties coming onto the market has been constantly falling to all time lows. Has our obsession with property finally reached the point, that when the market falling, no ones sells because they are "waiting for the market" to pick up. But when it does finally pick up, they wont sell because "we don't want to miss out on further rises". i.e. no one ever wants to sell because they don't want to miss out.
  3. As somone who has been homeless themselves in the past, and now works with homeless people in Croydon I found this programme of interest. The Bus driver married to the fishwife: I've seen people in their situation so many times I'm 100% certain i know what happenend to them. I.e. "lost housing benefit" forms, essentially what happens is when applying for housing benefit if you don't get proof of handing in your form, you can be certain the housing benefit people will claim the form has never been handed in. I know this to be true as I have had happen to myself, Fortunatley when I was threatened with eviction and the council had initiated court proceedings, I pointed out I would show the judge all the proof that I had applied for housing benefit and that essentially the same peoplen trying to evict me are the same people who have kept losing my benefit forms. Since I've started working with homeless people I have found that this is a commom occurence up and down the country with most councils. One member of staff admitted to me off the record that they regularly bin peoples Housing benefit and claim they were never handed in, as it's their way of being able to meet performance targets. On the flip side, this family should have been in more control of the problem like I was. I somehow get the impression that they handed in their form, it got lost, then they thought "sod it, not our problem they lost the form, we know we handed it in". I have heard this so many times, problem is, if you can't prove you handed it in you are stuffed. Furthermore it's more than likely they will have been taken to court several times and given the opportunity to clear the arrears, Judges rarely evict people from council housing on the first appearance. But likewise, as I have seen before, the fact they wern't thrown out at their first court appearance will have led to a false sense of security that the court would never put a family with 6 kids on the street. When it finally happens it usually comes as a shock. Cancer Woman: Something seriously a miss with this story, first off which everyone here seems to have missed, is that she likely had 50% discount on that house when she bought it, so she bought it for approx £25k. Run forward 17 years, she would owe about £8k on the principle which ties in with the £9k figure she quoted in the programme. Now given her circumstances, the pitiful amount she owed on the property, and the fact that as she pointed out she could make the payments easily on her benefits I find it hard any judge would have ordered her eviction, unless there was something else she wasnt telling us. She gave clue to this when referring to signing paperwork she didnt understand, I somehow got the impression she wasn't talking about her original mortgage agreement. Kevin The Banker: Though I would hate him and I would revel in my Schagenfraude, however I felt sorry for him and it's people like him who make my work with the homeless a pleasure, i.e. helping people who are genuinely grateful for the help you give them. and make the most of it to turn their lives round. £500K 100% mortgage people: As already said, must have been a serious amount of Mewing, because even with an IO mortgage HPI would have gave them a good amount of equity to be able to downsize to somewhere half decent. The comment about the cars, then saying they wasted it "cos they needed it for xmas" infuriated me. When your back is against the wall when facing homelessness, you make tough decisions not keep making the same ones that got you in that position in the first place. As mentioned earlier all of these people were ultimately the architects of their own downfall, and will have had plenty of chances on the way down to prevent it happening. However I got the impression from all (apart from kevin), that most expected the council to step in at the last minute with a fantastic property the likes an afghan family would get. But as cancer woman found out, there is a reason why the council won't reveal where your temporary accomodation is and will make you sign for it before hand.
  4. but we are not talking ferraris, we are talking housing, a basic right of life something which people on here above all should understand. regarding, my cousing he didnt eat and drunk white star/lighting, which was £1 a bottle for a 2 litre bottle which gave the equivalent hit of 8 pints pf larger.
  5. Il ive in the outskirts of london where the rent is "cheaper", I have a 2 bed flat, rent is £200 a week. Fortunatly I can easily pay this, but how can someone who is on NMW pay that when it's probably less than their take home pay ? everyone here is quick to work out the mathematics of how they can't afford to buy your own home, how come no one can work out the mathematics of being able to rent your own home on NMW ?
  6. I think everyone here is sadly mistaken if they think that these people whatever the number, are going to quietly move to outskirts of london and come into work everyday on tube to provide for a subsisitence living are totally wrong. The only thing that the article has right, is people travelling in om the tube, but it wont be to work, but to rob and murder. That is the nightmare we are facing, and the attitudes shown on this thread are going to be partially responsible for it. The simple fact is crime and poverty, are extremly closely correlated. When people become poor, the financial incentive commits crime increases. However more importantly the thing that keeps people from commiting more crimes than they do, i.e. their sense of right & wrong dissapears when they percieve that society doesnt care. In other words, if society doesnt care about me, why should I care about society. I'm from a poor council estate from the north east, I was brought up on benefits and trust me it was no bed of roses that everyone thinks it is. My childhood was hard and is not something i look back on fondly like the majority do. In the early eighties, things weren;t to bad. The majority of the households on my estate estate worked (prob > 90%), I would now say that proportion is now down to less than 20%. Here's a couple of anecdotes. A cousin of mine lost his job, in the 90's which was a good job. However he was unable to find another job which paid enough to support him and his family. The important part being "paid enough". yes he could have got "ANY" job, but at the time most of the mcjobs were paying £2 an hour in my area. no matter how much you twist the mathematics, this was not enough to support him, his wife and 4 kids. This still applies to a lot of people today despite the introduction of the NMW. please can someone here,please tell me how someone, even if they move to the cheaper areas in the outskirts of london, how they will be able to pay rent for themselves and their family if they are unskilled and uneducated and working in a NMW job ? anyway back to my cousin, he gradually spiralled into depression and alcoholism and spent the rest if his life on benefits until he finally drunk himself to death. The fallout from this is that his kids grew up on benefits and learnt from early age that society is neither fair and doesnt care. All of them of have ended up in prison at some point or another. The most recent being sentenced to 15 years from attacking an 85 year old lady around the head with a hammer in her own home. someone else I knew, who fell for the scam what was the YTS, i.e. he was sacked at the end of the 2 years to be replaced by another YTS lad. He learnt that society is con and that the way the world works is you take what you can get. After many years on the dole, he started to do this, and started burgling people in their own homes. one day he burgled someone and found that the lady was still in her house, so he went upto her bedroom and brutally raped her. He was sent down for a long time and I gather that the victim later killed herself. When he got out, I asked why did he raped her? His answer, was that the victim was the type who looked down on him (he robbed the house of a young professional couple on a middle class estate) and he was going to show her what it felt like to be humilated. I could carry on all day with these anecdotes, but they are the real fallout if what happens when society turns its back on its poorest members. Fortunatly the "home invasion" type of crime which my friend commited is extremly rare in the country, but a lot more common in the US, where there are examples of whole families being raped and murdered in their own homes. If people want us to carry on down the path of being an uncaring society like the US, then you must expect to have the consequences. You can't have your cake and eat it. This is a site for people who against the unfairness of being forced to rent because they can't afford their own home, please remember that there is "class" of people below us who can't even afford to rent.
  7. The sooner the UK breaks up the better, then the celtic nations can quietly revert back to the stone age where they belong.
  8. Heres a typical policy with it's killer clauses http://www.gicentre.co.uk/pdfs/BTL%20KF%202010.07.col.pdf WHAT IS NOT COVERED Malicious acts and theft caused by tenants. Loss or damage resulting directly from the home being used for any illegal purpose. The costs of replacing any undamaged or unbroken item or parts of items forming part of a set, suite or other article of uniform nature, colour or design if damage occurs within a clearly identifiable area or to a specific part and it is not possible to match replacements High risk property such as TVs, pictures, works of art and clocks Benefit will not be paid for legal expenses where: i) There are insufficient prospects of success. Benefit will not be paid for rent guarantee for: i) Any claim which would be excluded under the legal expenses cover. "insufficient prospects" is the real favourite, landlords if any of you are reading this, have a good think about this, if you have "sufficient prospects" of success would you need the cover. essentially you are not covered for anything your tenant does, the only recourse you have is to sue the tenant,to do so you need "sufficient prospects", do you honestly think if you have had the tenant from hell you will have sufficient prospects of success ?
  9. but prejudice and snobbery exist in the world of recruitement,maybe we should give this lad some credit, maybe he's realised that if he doesn't get into a decent uni it's not worth going anyway. Just a pity he didn't realise this before doing his A-levels at a cost to the tax payer, while his parents claimed an extra two years worth of tax credits and benefits.
  10. The problem is that they arn't though! I have erm, a bit of a confession here, I was involved in the pricing of a BTL product for a major insurer and it's one of the biggest scams going. It will be the next thing to hit the headlines after the PPI scandal. heres are the facts, the payout rates on BTL policies is 2%, the insurance industry standard for home insurance is 60-70% on standard residental policies. rent guarantee is the biggest scam, this is rarely paid out, at the company I was at, we had 50,000 policies, over the past 5 years we had 125,000 policies, we had approx 10,000 claims for for rent guarantee, we only ever paid out 6 policies for less than £10k out of £20,000,000 worth of premiums! Why is that ? because simply if a LL does his job properly he should never be out of pocket on the rent, i.e. serving the proper notices. if you dont follow the correct procedures, thus are out of pocket because of it, the insurance will refuse to pay. In fact think about it, if the insurance company don't make it next to impossible to pay rent guarantee, then it creates a moral hazard for the LL not to chase upon arrears Accidental damage is never paid out, why ? because you can sue your tenant (deduct from deposit for that), hence why Im guessing the OP is being asked to insure the LL possessions, which is another problem IIRC it's a fundamental principal of insurance that you can't insure someone else or their belongings. Contrary to what many BTL'ers think, Malicous damage by the tenant is not covered, why ? simple, you know who done the MD so sue them/deduct from deposit. basically the whole T+C's of the policy means that there is a way the insurance company can wriggle out of paying. We had it almost 100% watertight, and now heres the biggest scandal as it's a product we didn't ever intend on payout, we outsourced the claims procedure to a third party who basically went off a script of how to refuse a payout. Only very rarely did someone get paid out and trust me those that did, had wait a very long time and work very hard to get the payout. Yes, Im sh!t, but the upside was seeing all of these BTL'ers being screwed over, either through worthess premiums or even better when they had a tenant who had done 10k's worth of damage and the LL didnt get a bean. In fact BTL insurance tends to make LL's more relaxed thus increasing the chances of being out of pocket and it's usually the preserve of the amateur LL. The best bit about these policies is that LL's think that by taking a policy they are covering every angle that the almost risk free properdee business can be made 100% risk free, which is why they are so popular. Only, only if they knew
  11. Excellent find! it did cross my mind when i read the story, that something like this had probably happened. this shows the other problem with grade inflation,is the amount of students who think they are better than they are. I've lost count of the amount graduates I've met over the past few years who got 3/4 A's at A-level, who said they could have went to oxbridge, but didn't apply as they were not "elitist". I know damn well that every single one of them probaby gave it a shot and didn't get in because they were muppets.
  12. I don't see the issue here, if you're too weak to stand up to your boss/company, then that's you're own fault. What about pay rises/promotions ? it always easier to get them by seeking a new job, what about references ? trust me, if you're a "troublemaker" you will get a brilliant reference. About ten years ago I worked in an "excepted" profession for sunday working, in that I couldn't be forced to work on a sunday. We got a new area manager who was struggling to find staff for a sunday, he then decided to order staff to work on the sunday or be faced with "disciplnary action if they didn't". I agreed to work it, then 5 minutes before starting my shift on the sunday rang in to say i wasn't coming in. He asked if i was sick, told him I wasn't coming in because I didn't feel like working and was excersising my legal rights. come the monday, he called me and told me I had committed gross misconduct, I slapped down a copy of the ACAS handbook and pointed to the relevant section regarding sunday working. which stated for my profession that anyone disciplined for not working a sunday would be classed as automatic constructive dismissal. I walked out of that "disciplinary" with a promotion. If you don't learn to stick up for yourself, you deserve to be walked all over.
  13. just look at the A level subjects and projected grades, that tells you all you need to know about the person. When I applied, I got offers from 7 uni's despite not being bothered to turn up for the interviews or inform them of the fact. You could be Ian Huntley applying for teacher training, but if you have the right grades in the right subjects they will have you.
  14. Me and my partner are happily waiting in wings to pick up a cheap repo, we're not heartless b'stards we have said that when we do we will help any family move (chuck) their possesion out of said house.
  15. Maybe GDP figures should have goverment borrowing subtracted from them, so people can see what the REAL GDP growth is
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