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Everything posted by TheRenter

  1. To add fire to the argument, today I negotiated 1/3rd of the advertised rate for my latest rental property in Leeds, seems at the higher end of the rental market it really is a tenants market at the moment. It had been vacant for 5 weeks.
  2. I believe the Human Development Index is the most rounded indication of standard of living... http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/ The list probably confirms common knowledge.
  3. Thanks for the quick reply. CAB? Have full documentation regarding end of tenancy, don't think they would ever try that one thankfully. In your opinion: - should this be straightforward reclaiming? - should I add lost interest and distress damages?
  4. I'm in need of some sound advice. When renting through the estate agent chain Martin & Co, I encountered numerous problems and had trouble getting my deposit back mainly due to lack of customer service rather than anything else. Well, things have just got a whole lot worse, despite having left the property at the end of October last year. I have just pin-pointed a considerable shortfall in my bank account to the fact they have taken £850 rent for the last four months (via standing order) despite me clearly having handed back the keys and received my deposit back. You would think that given the hassle I had given them at the end of my tenancy my account would be the one they ensured they got right! I appreciate it is in my best interests to check they are no longer claiming money via standing order however feel this should be a given. Clearly I am going to approach them to receive the full £3400 back. However what is the best way to do this? Also, would I be best to include a sum to cover lost interest and the distress caused? - I know "distress" can often be over-used however trust me this is incredibly stressful! Any advice would be really, really appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  5. I too have learnt an incredible amount from HPC. Have I benefitted financially from the advice? Well I haven't bought but then as a potential FTB I have developed a relaxed attitude to getting on the ladder and don't feel the pressure my peers are facing from their friends and family. It has also helped me appear far more knowledgeable than I actually am on all matters contributing to the economy and at work (in financial services) have proved my reporting line all the way to the top wrong. So thank you. Still keep quiet about the site though. Think the name HPC has connotations of conspiracy theories etc and doesn't do this site justice e.g. if Financial Planner was quoted in the media as representing EconomicsOnline or something along those lines he would be taken far more seriously by far more people.
  6. Like any profession, you get good, honest workers and bad, dishonest workers. However, the difference with many of the professions listed in the original post is that there is a huge disconnect in the proportion of bad to good. I am fortunate enough to have never suffered the headaches and heartache of buying or selling a home and only have the horror stories of my family and friends to go by which do the aforementioned EAs reputation justice. From what I'm led to believe it is a largely unregulated business that contains a large number of lazy, dishonest, propaganda pushing (or if I tone it down "bad advice" pushing) employees. And when you have entire firms or chains adhering to the same immoral codes then you really have to reflect on the industry you're working in. From a distance, it is very obvious that EAs became fat instead of hungry when the times were good, throwing customer service out of the window, and as their industry will be the first to suffer in a recession will only become more ruthless to survive. And despite all of the above being common knowledge they are relied upon by those needing to buy or sell and are free of any financial penalties as a result of their practices. Unfortunately you buy the house not the agent or rank vender based on valuation and it is unfair that what is such an emotive purchase cannot be made quality of service as per any other industry. So in direct answer to your original post: no, not all EAs are liars, but the vast majority of the industry is. Oh, and I am a marketer and will probably lose my job if house prices buck the current "prices only go up" dogma and cause a recession. But then I'd like to think any prospective employers would rather take a chance with me then an unemployed EA or mortgage broker if we went head to head.
  7. House prices have fallen by 3.2 per cent in the past month as sellers cut property values to sell before the Home Information Pack (Hip) deadline. The average asking price fell by £7,590 to £232,396. December is a traditionally poor month for prices but experts said the so-called Hip effect worsened the fall. Last Friday's extension of Hip rules to cover one and two-bedroom homes added an extra 1.1 per cent to the fall, said property website Rightmove. http://www.metro.co.uk/money/article.html?...p;in_page_id=36
  8. I have no idea how to interpret this...inflation will sore, and interest rates will fall????? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7094208.stm The Bank of England has warned of a number of risks to the UK economy next year, in comments that analysts have said point to lower interest rates. In its quarterly Inflation Report, the Bank forecast the economy would slow in 2008 and inflation would accelerate. However, it added that even if interest rates fell by half a percentage point, it would still hit inflation targets. Analysts said that this signals that interest rates should dip next year from their current level of 5.75%. The pound fell to a four year-low against the euro as investors bet that UK interest rates would be cut before their European counterparts. Investors typically look for markets with higher interest rates as they offer better rates of return. Analysis on stagflation risks The pound also fell against the US dollar, though analysts pointed out that sterling had previously been trading at its highest levels against the greenback since the start of the 1980s. "November's Inflation Report gives a clear signal that a series of interest rate cuts lies ahead," said Vicky Redwood, an economist at Capital Economics. Uncertainty The Bank warned, however, that there was a lot of uncertainty over the outlook for the economy, particularly as the world financial system was still vulnerable to further shocks from factors such as surging energy prices. It noted there were some signs of a softening in house prices, but said that the link between the housing market and consumer spending was a complex one. At the same time, it warned that stock markets, which have rallied this year, risked a fall that could hurt the global economy. "It's very striking that despite developments we've seen in the last three months, equity prices are on average higher now than they were in August," said Mervyn King, the bank's governor. "There must be some downside risks there. That's factored into our projections. That's the bigger risk to the global economy," King said. Rate impact In its report, the Bank forecast that growth was expected to ease as the impact of five rate rises in 15 months, the current strength of the pound and the recent uncertainty in financial markets slows the economy. The Bank cut its 2008 economic growth forecasts to around 2.2%, following a similar downgrade by the Treasury. But the Bank also expects inflation to rise in the short-term as higher energy prices begin to bite. "Today's report appears to point to an easing in monetary policy in the months ahead to accommodate the Bank's weaker projections for gross domestic production growth in 2008," said Neil Mellor at Bank of New York. "But then somewhat higher inflation for 2008 could well prove a hindrance to the Bank's designs on policy," he added. The report marks the first formal assessment of the impact of the credit crunch that has gripped markets.
  9. Surely this will push inflation above 2% ??? http://www.bloomberg.com/energy/
  10. £2.50 a day!! Personally, being around the same age cannot imagine how anybody in this country survives on that let alone manages to save for a) their future, or emergencies e.g. boiler breaking, car repairs etc. And how on earth do you eat healthy on that. Granted that socialising (or not) is her choice, but it must get her down always having to say "no" when invited down the pub, on holiday, or practically anywhere else. One question I have to ask, but already know the answer to, how on earth did she get a mortgage that size with so little disposable cash to spare? Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. What frustrates me is all the bad advice that must have fuelled this purchase. And quite rightly, as everybody points out, things will get much worse before they get better. How anybody can believe that is a sensible amount to live on is beyond me. Poor girl.
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