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Antsy

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Everything posted by Antsy

  1. Good idea - ta! But any idea how you do this?
  2. Currently doing all this via the court service website, and at a court that's convenient to my workplace, not him - just to be awkward. I have already grassed him to the lender about 18 months ago - they turned up one day on the doorstep as he / she'd been defaulting on the mortgage payments. Naturally, i was as honest as possible... I just want to make sure I get as much cash out of him as I can as compensation for the inconvenience, though I note that the small claims court pays interest at 8% which is a dream compared to the current base rate. I am just afraid that all his assets are in the woman's name and he will claim poverty and end up paying it back at £2 per week. Plus he also let himself into the place before the last month of our rent was up (we had an overlap with the lovely new flat) and started painting. During the course of this he threw out a bag with all our old rent agreements and proof we'd paid the deposit to him via the estate agent (which has now gone bust). But I do have bank statements with an amount on them - just hope it's enough for the court. Apart from this I love renting - current landlord is suffering £3K of work on the building (this is aside from the 1k annual service charge)...
  3. Well, it has come to the point that we are going to have to go to small claims with our old landlord to get the deposit back. Just to summarise, he agreed to give it back in full as we left the house (spotless, I might add), then kept stalling (for 8 months...). So I've done the warnings by letter and left him a message on his mobile and now it's time for the formal stuff. SO... does anyone know where's a good place to get legal advice about it? Citizens Advice is a nightmare as they're so busy. The matter is complicated as we lived there for just over 3 years but he 'sold' the property to his partner halfway through without telling us. (after that we signed another year's contract before the freeholder who lived upstairs told us it had been signed over...) So, should we get back interest on the deposit from the time we sold it, and do we have any case to sue him for return of the rent after the time the flat was 'sold'? Technically he didn't own it, so did he really have any right to our rent? The questions are endless...
  4. Have said this on another thread, but friends in Falmouth's 2 bed terrace was valued at 180k. they sold it for 158k in the end, after being stuck in a chain for ages. I *think* the sale has gone through (haven't spoken to them since Xmas). They're buying a 3 bed outside the town. That was originally 220K but was reduced to 208 by agreement with themselves and the vendor). Falmouth is ridiculously overvalued. I was pleased to see in the Sunday Times that work on the Carlyon Bay the beachfront monstrosity has mysteriously halted and buyers have been given their deposits back, though...
  5. I know - especially in Nunhead. Who wants to live there? We are looking for a 2 bed with garden for no more than 150k, so the wait will go on (and on). Whoever bought my ll's old place must be nuts. Either a very amateur BTL or someone desperate with way more money than sense. Can't wait till their solicitor gets their hands on the lease, either... converted from shop without council building inspection after, ongoing dispute over ground rent, question over ownership of outside walls. It's a nightmare. We felt like we were entering some kind of remake of that Tom Hanks movie, The Money Trap. Except that after spending all our cash, rather than a mansion we'd be left with a one bed flat. Pah.
  6. one and two beds seem to be fetching around 5% below asking price. ll's place was on for 149k and sold for around 144 according to the agent. It's only 1 bed and has wet rot in the bedroom floorboards, needs the kitchen and bathroom ripping out as they're knackered. Bathroom was carpeted about 10 years ago, so you can imagine the state of it... and it needs a new boiler. We were offered it for 129.5K but declined after the survey came back. Will be interesting to see if their sale goes through and at what price...
  7. Yep, some things are shifting. Even my landlord's overpriced (and full of rot) old flat. I have been keeping my eye on the websites and there is definitely some turnover. Pretended to be a potential buyer for ll's place earlier this week and the (surprisingly honest) ea told me it was picking up again after a really bad Sept to Jan period. I say honest as he said he'd rather the mkt ticked over rather than went up any more as he feared continued rises would bring a crash and he had been through the business of having 20k of neg equity on his house last time around... On the upside, some reductions further out to the SE, though. Hope it spreads in soon. Oh - and he didn't immediately try to sign me up for email harassment, either, so business can't be that bad? Sigh.
  8. ... and then they get stuck in a house for a year desperately holding out for someone to offer them the price they paid for it, all the while hating the sight of each other. Hmm.
  9. Lovely Bodmin... my home town. It is going to get hit hard if the market goes into a proper fall. All those 3 bed ex-LA's up in Bangladesh are going to be a bugger to shift. Especially at £150K+. I nearly choked on my Christmas pudding while reading a copy of the Cornish Guardian on a visit to my folks this Xmas.
  10. Have a look at the number that have been ripped up and chucked in bushes outside buildings with a number of flats in them... yes, that old trick is going strong....
  11. Don't know where she is looking, but send her to look in either Property World in Sydenham or Haart at Crystal Palace and the words REDUCED on several of the properties may give her some clue as to what may be about to happen. Think it was hometrack, but Lewisham prices reported down by 3% in last 12 months, and that's WITH the increases from Jan 2004 to June factored in...
  12. Which bit? Crystal Palace / Penge / Sydenham area is having a sudden rash of 'to be sold by auction' boards. I put this down to either a spate of repo's or owners in deep denial hoping that people at an auction will lose their marbles and bid up to the prices...
  13. We just didn't declare the cat this time - landlord has since seen her and didn't mention it. The place has a cat flap, anyway... probably historical, but we thougt it was ideal when we looked round!
  14. Lewisham down 3 per cent - a celebratory beer for me tonight, I think! Now, if only someone would tell the local vendors this, we could all be a lot happier.
  15. Aw. I have a bit of a soft spot for smackheads and goths. Last time I went to the World's End pub there (big one, right in the middle of it), there was a woman chasing smack off some foil at the next table. And she wasn't even trying to be subtle.
  16. Agree - I can see this in SE London. On a walk through Crystal Palace last week, even Haart (home of the ridiculously high house price) has reduced banners across a handful of properties, though all are in the Norwoods. Further into London, eg Palace, Gipsy Hill, things are holding up a bit better (or their owners are being more stubborn, make of it what you will...). I'm hoping the rot will spread inwards, of course - a bit like a giant drain.
  17. Exactly - last summer we were faced with the choice of buying a one bedroomed flat that we would have to have shared with our son until he was almost 3 (not good, and looking at things now, it probably would have taken another 2 years to sell...meaning he would be an only child for a long time unless I converted the space under the kitchen sink into a second bedroom ) or renting a big 2 bed flat for the same money. Guess which we chose? we decided to bugger buying a house, have kids and then wait for a crash / better income to mortgage ratio in a few years if the market just flatlines and we have to rely on inflation to bring prices to a better level. At least with renting and young kids you don't get big *surprise* bills for broken boilers etc. I have enough sleepless nights from the 1 year old teething, thanks!
  18. Good point - and it also highlights why we have to live in London rather than going to somewhere cheaper outside it (it's nnot worthwhile as the enormous train fares wipe out any gain in lower property costs. We are on a low wage as it is 1 full time and one part time salary. Mrs A works in publishing (not many jobs outside London) and i am public sector. However, I have been trained to work in an inner city school and they are dying for decent teachers. So: much as I don't want to, am I defrauding the taxpayer by a) taking the training, saying thanks and buggering off to leafier climes and reneging on my social responsibility or taking the interest free 50k. Someone, I forget who, asked why they should subsidise my housing. If they had read carefully, they would see that this is my point... Our parents managed to buy / live on a single income and raise a family, so why is this generation beeing forced to work into the ground and employ someone else (on minimum wage) to bring up their kids while they do so? I think I am going to leave these boards alone for a bit - the whole thing is making me very, very depressed.... Though even Rosie Millard mentioned the c-word in the Sunday Times today...
  19. I think our situation is fairly typical of many London FTBs - not all are young professionals, and many professions don't pay that well now owing to the huge number of grads coming through (thanks, Tony et al). Both just turned 30, 1 kid, joint salary 35k... willing to pay 750pcm for mortgage which will buy about 120k. add this to the 10 - 12k deposit and you have a buying power of 130k. I don't want to live in Clapham, wandsworth or similar trendy place - quite happy with slightly grotty SE London, thanks, but getting a 2 bed place wouldn't be possible at the moment. I don't think we're asking too much - do you? (serious question). Luckily we will shortly qualify for a key worker loan but having to depend on the taxpayer rankles. (But not as much as the fact my tax pounds will be propping up someone's BTL pension from next year - what's all that about?). The market has serious problems and I despair. I really do...
  20. My old ex-rental flat, SE13 put on the market in July 2004 was reduced from 152,000 to 148,750 in September but there are still no takers (it has 1 bedroom and needs new kitchen / bathroom / possible 3k of wet rot and no double glazing). I wonder why?
  21. Does Chelmsford have Loot or some other free / local paper? If there is a university / college locally you could even check out their website or notice boards. It's in the landlord's interest to rent to you directly as they have to pay a big finder's fee to the EA as well as pay through the nose for having the tenant referenced. PS It's time to come clean about my dirty secret - I used to be a lettings agent for Countrywide up north 10 years ago, but it was only for 5 months after I finished University and mainly because the job came with a car!
  22. It all depends on the individual renting to you. But if the flat is vacant when you look at it, chances are they will want you in within a few days if you can do it. They can fax your employer etc for references and ring experian or whichever credit agency that day (which they will no doubt do to ensure you're not a bankrupt about to become a squatter in their house...). it costs them under £10 to do that so don't let them rip you off! PS if you do have to take them to court it costs £80 and if the court finds in your favour the landlord has to repay you your costs.
  23. Forgot - I know this sounds bad and I don't mean to cause offence, but remember that you have to keep the tenancy for 6 months once you have signed. So if you and partner fall out, you are both still liable to pay up.
  24. Firstly, make sure you get a proper assured shorthold tenancy agreement, a thorough inventory of the place signed by the landlord and also take photos of any damage/ existing wear and tear in case there is a dispute over this and return of your deposit when you move out. Keep all receipts of money handed over until after you move out and the deposit return cheque has cleared through your bank (leave it about a month after you paid it in, just in case the crafty bugger tries to cancel it or it bounces) plus records that you have paid council tax and any rates during the tenancy. As the property has been empty a while he may be a bit desperate. You can try and bargain him down - good points are eg. saying you'll sign up for a year. Unfortunately you are going to have to find a deposit as this is essential and it would be a very novice landlord who would rent a place out without one... I have been renting for 10 years and have not come across one yet! Despite doing all this I am about to take my ex-llord to court over a deposit, so it just goes to show you can't be too careful... good luck!
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