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Renters Make For A Better Community

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Yesterday it dawned on me that a lot of the areas in my city considered the most `vibrant`, and community oriented.. are full of renters. You know places with unique little businesses, lots of people on the street walking around, and people of all ages and different social classes together.

While too often owner-occupied areas seem dead zones community wise. Each yard fenced off, and not interacting with the community. Each owner jealously guarding their little plot. Guarding a fortress that you are not allowed to step foot on(and they not allowed to step foot on any of their neighbours land). While being terrified people from say a lower social class came in and lowered the value of their property. But renters don`t really care, its not their property that goes down in value.

I was reading about the negative change when an area went from rental units, to seriously overpriced condos. The owners of the condos, many of them former renters, gen xers.. all of a sudden became nazi like in enforcing the rules, and drawing up all sorts of rules.. holding strata council meetings, bitter and emotional disputes between neighbours etc..

And the reason was simple, they had a real and huge stake in the game. And they felt stuck where they were. As renters the option is always there, don`t like it, move next month somewhere else at little cost. Just having that freedom, allows the people to not worry so much.

I realized there is this talk of how vibrant and community oriented cities used to be.. but back pre-ww2 most people were renters. It seems there has been a correlation between the decline of community and home ownership at least in Britain. I am sure there are other factors.. but this line that home ownership builds community might not actually be true.

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Terms & Conditions of Non-Assured Tenancy.

I must admit, I have a property (2 bed terraced in Manchester) which I have rented out since 1995. I have been forced to bring to effect new terms. Here they are breifly :

1. Deposit equal to 3 months rent. Plus bond of 3 months (Non repayable) for on ongoing improvements per 12 months rental period.

2. Guarantor, must be homeowner, willing to guarantee equity of home against non payment of rent, min 75% equity.

3. Rent must be paid by standing order, returned orders charged at £35 per order.

4. No parties

5. House must not be empty of residents for any 3 day period, if so tenancy cancelled.

6. Any damage to property must be put right, else tenant is liable to 60 months rent to cover damage or greater if amount exceeds penanlty amount.

There are more, but i cant be bothered to copy them.

I have had full occupancy since 1999, always let to students. Keep them on a tight leash. Any complaints go into the file name B I N.

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Re the terms on your renters above - 3 days with no one at home and it's game over? Are you insane? So they aren't allowed holidays then?

rest seem quite sensibly designed to minimise your risk of loss. Out of interest, does that mean you can charge slightly lower than market and attract a better quality of tenant?

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All those "owners" want more space, and places to park their cars.

The combination of loss-of-density, and "making cars happy", kills the vibrancy of a city.

Hong Kong remains highly vibrant, and gets more so every day. People feel less need for cars, and they are willing to live in dense communities. It helps that this city is well served by excellent public transit.

Loss of density definately seems to hit hard. Another factor is the way zoning is done. For neighbourhoods to interact imo they need common public spaces with places you have to go to.

But I`m thinking it might even go beyond that. Just like I think democracy is destructive.. when you give people ownership in an area, they seem to regulate it until it dies. Whereas a landowner with thousands of rental units is generally absent and not caring about the little things. It becomes almost a form of anarchism

The regulations like no businesses in the area, or at least restrictions on when they can be open.. nowhere that plays loud music.. chasing edgy shops out of the area that are perceived to lower the value.

No doubt cars and density play a large role. Like cars cut a dagger between each block, seperating them. And the constant roar of the machinery going by, overwhelms almost everything. The cars also allow people to be isolated from the community, and drive exactly to the destination. Exemplified in some of the worst way by condo buildings with gates all around it, and cars drive in buzzed through by security. Instead of interacting with the community, they block the community out.

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Re the terms on your renters above - 3 days with no one at home and it's game over? Are you insane? So they aren't allowed holidays then?

Don't worry, the rent is so high they can only dream of 1 night in Fleetwood.

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RENTERS, WALKERS, and STREET CARS - are a pretty good formula - (though bloated car owners may not agree)

The left have been trying to push the working class onto 'public transport' since the Communist Manifesto demanded 'centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State'. But the evil working class bastards keep buying cars instead of doing what their betters -- who get Zil limos because they're important people, far too important to have to spend half their day on a bus -- tell them to do.

Clearly the working class should be beaten until they demand that the state confiscate their cars and force them onto buses.

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RENTERS, WALKERS, and STREET CARS - are a pretty good formula - (though bloated car owners may not agree)

Why a Streetcar Is Something to Be Desired

[Editor's note: This is the second of eight excerpts from Patrick Condon's new book Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post Carbon World. This series, running Wednesdays and Thursdays for four weeks, offers just a sampling of Condon's vital guide for green planning; interested readers are encouraged to seek out the book.]

U.S. and Canadian cities built between 1880 and 1945 were streetcar cities. It was a time, very brief in retrospect, when people walked a lot but could get great distances by hopping on streetcars.

By 1950, this system was utterly overthrown, rendered obsolete by the market penetration of the private automobile. Both walking and transit use dropped dramatically afterward, all but disappearing by 1990 in many fast-growing metropolitan areas.

The collapse of that world constitutes a great loss, because the streetcar city form of urban development was a pattern that allowed the emerging middle class to live in single-family homes and was sustainable at the same time. Streetcar cities were walkable, transit accessible and virtually pollution free while still dramatically extending the distance citizens could cover during the day.

The planning literature occasionally refers to the streetcar city pattern, but seldom is the streetcar city mentioned for enhancing human well-being or lauded as a time when energy use per capita for transportation was a tiny fraction of what it is today.

This is tragic, because the streetcar established the form of most U.S. and Canadian cities. That pattern still constitutes the very bones of our cities -- even now, when most of the streetcars are gone.

To ignore the fundamental architecture when retrofitting our urban regions for a more sustainable future will fail. It is like expecting pigs to fly or bad soil to grow rich crops.

Accepting this premise, it may help to examine the forces that spawned this distinctive urban pattern and to understand which of these forces still persist. A "day in the life" story will start to reveal this genesis and help us read more clearly what remains of this urban armature.

/more: http://kunstlercast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3826.0

There is a common view that Henry Ford and the other rising car oligarchs conspired with government to drive the streetcars out of business. The truth, however, is that they couldn't compete with the internal combustion engine in the form of first buses and then cars and had to resort to unfair legislation themselves in an attempt to stay viable.

Oil shortages and rising prices could mean we have come full circle in the near future and the streetcar or something like it will return. Kunstler is right that it was a disastrous misallocation of resources in building suburbia in the US. Already the poverty rates are climbing much faster in suburbs than in cities and that is in part due to a tripling of gasoline prices over the last 20 years.

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Yesterday it dawned on me that a lot of the areas in my city considered the most `vibrant`, and community oriented.. are full of renters.

While too often owner-occupied areas seem dead zones

Sherlock Holmes was a renter for the best part of his life. And he was often called to investigate deaths and other crimes in owner-occupied areas :P

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'vibrant' is estate agent talk for 'high chance of being mugged' or maybe less threateningly "constant traffic noise"

also as a.n.other poster said, these areas also tend to be child-free zones, mainly inner city areas full of flats for singles n couples

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Are there any children in these vibrant communities? Sounds like the OP's ideal is a place full of students and 20-something professionals.

Of course in areas which are let almost exclusively to students (and a few 20-something professionals) there's barely any sense of community due to the high annual turnover of renters and it's like a ghost town in summer as the students aren't there half the year. And you can tell which streets are student ones because the front gardens have been paved or concreted over.

Edited by rented

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Each owner jealously guarding their little plot.

My favourite example is 'no turning' signs in driveways on long narrow lanes. Whenever I see one I feel like driving in and turning round, even though it'll leave me facing the wrong way!

;)

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Are there any children in these vibrant communities? Sounds like the OP's ideal is a place full of students and 20-something professionals.

Sadly not too many kids in many I am thinking of. Like you said often students, 20 something professionals, and retired old ladies, and a few political rebel types who like the cafes and the community.

However there are other ethnically vibrant areas, with large amounts of public housing mixed in where there are children too. Those urban children often interact with each other far moer than suburban kids. Hanging out in public parks, school grounds, and generally having a free run of the neighbourhood.

That unstructured playtime among kids is looked at as a negative thing today amongst middle and upper Britain.. but in days gone before cars kids of the neighbourhood used to get together and run around all day playing. With the parents demanding they be back for supper.

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My favourite example is 'no turning' signs in driveways on long narrow lanes. Whenever I see one I feel like driving in and turning round, even though it'll leave me facing the wrong way!

;)

That is pathetic and sad. Its like I am saying while home ownership sounds like this great idea.. in reality most people are not responsible enough to use it. Anywhere you look people use their ownership to block out the entire community from the boundaries of their yard. Even putting fence up so deer can`t get in.

If one person did that, it doesn`t really matter. But when everyone does that and all the land is privately owned.. you get 99.9% of the area of the communitiy off limits to everyone of the community.

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Well given how I was woke up at 4am in my rented flat by some arsehole drunkenly singing last night, I beg to differ. If its who I think it is, he's the out of work smoker living on the floor beneath me.

I cant wait to get away from life's scum and into my own owned house, where I will fit one of those mosquito things if anyone's kids annoy me.

Renters dont give a toss about their environment (generally speaking.) So its not uncommon to find junk mail just chucked on the floor, last nights McDonalds packet there as well, even empty bottles of beer.

Are there any children in these vibrant communities? Sounds like the OP's ideal is a place full of students and 20-something professionals.

10 years ago, no definitely not. Now days yes, mostly from ethnic minorities who dont realise a flat is no place to drag up a child.

By vibrant, Im assuming we mean stinks of curry in the public areas. Yes it does. lovely.

Edited by Johnny Storm

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Terms & Conditions of Non-Assured Tenancy.

I must admit, I have a property (2 bed terraced in Manchester) which I have rented out since 1995. I have been forced to bring to effect new terms. Here they are breifly :

1. Deposit equal to 3 months rent. Plus bond of 3 months (Non repayable) for on ongoing improvements per 12 months rental period.

2. Guarantor, must be homeowner, willing to guarantee equity of home against non payment of rent, min 75% equity.

3. Rent must be paid by standing order, returned orders charged at £35 per order.

4. No parties

5. House must not be empty of residents for any 3 day period, if so tenancy cancelled.

6. Any damage to property must be put right, else tenant is liable to 60 months rent to cover damage or greater if amount exceeds penanlty amount.

There are more, but i cant be bothered to copy them.

I have had full occupancy since 1999, always let to students. Keep them on a tight leash. Any complaints go into the file name B I N.

TBH, If I was a potential tenant, and those were the terms, I'd tell you stick to go and stick the agreement somewhere...

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Terms & Conditions of Non-Assured Tenancy.

I must admit, I have a property (2 bed terraced in Manchester) which I have rented out since 1995. I have been forced to bring to effect new terms. Here they are breifly :

1. Deposit equal to 3 months rent. Plus bond of 3 months (Non repayable) for on ongoing improvements per 12 months rental period.

2. Guarantor, must be homeowner, willing to guarantee equity of home against non payment of rent, min 75% equity.

3. Rent must be paid by standing order, returned orders charged at £35 per order.

4. No parties

5. House must not be empty of residents for any 3 day period, if so tenancy cancelled.

6. Any damage to property must be put right, else tenant is liable to 60 months rent to cover damage or greater if amount exceeds penanlty amount.

There are more, but i cant be bothered to copy them.

I have had full occupancy since 1999, always let to students. Keep them on a tight leash. Any complaints go into the file name B I N.

the contract sounds unenforceable and possibly invalid - wear and tear etc, quiet enjoyment (being able to go on holiday for example, basic stuff)

still, your bad if it gets torched heh

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Yesterday it dawned on me that a lot of the areas in my city considered the most `vibrant`, and community oriented.. are full of renters. You know places with unique little businesses, lots of people on the street walking around, and people of all ages and different social classes together.

1. Poor people make better communities, because as they get richer they acquire their own little nests and no longer need the community.

2. Young people make better communities, because as they get older they acquire their own little nests and no longer need the community.

Not universally true of course (what about the sink estate?), but it fits your renter vs o-o distinction.

My own experience is that college-centric student life made for a fantastic community that I've never encountered before or since.

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Well given how I was woke up at 4am in my rented flat by some arsehole drunkenly singing last night, I beg to differ. If its who I think it is, he's the out of work smoker living on the floor beneath me.

But that's a 'vibrant community', mate; you should be glad you don't live somewhere boring where everyone has their own house and your neighbours don't keep you up until 4 in the morning.

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In fairness neighbours in suburbs figure out ways to be annoying too. Like every neighbourhood has a heavy equipment guy whose yard and house is under permanent construction. And since he works that construction happens during the evenings and weekends.

Or when you buy a house, and then your neighbour sells to an Indian btl.. and packs in 10-12 guest workers in the house.. who come and go at all hours.

If you have enough money, like nearing 1 million pounds you can get into the really nice areas with lawyers and doctors and such who have strict residential tarriffs.. but that cuts both ways. You have neighbours watching each other like a hawk for any infraction to the code. The old ladies peering out from behind the curtains, watching what plants you are putting in your garden.

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Or when you buy a house, and then your neighbour sells to an Indian btl.. and packs in 10-12 guest workers in the house.. who come and go at all hours.

Uh, but the title of this thread is: 'renters make for a better community', so having 10-12 'guest workers' renting next door will improve the community, not make it worse.

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TBH, If I was a potential tenant, and those were the terms, I'd tell you stick to go and stick the agreement somewhere...

You either accept the terms or you look elsewhere. I have estate agents ringing me up all the time saying they have tenants and do I have other properties. The way I see it, its like this.

I own the property and I will let it to whomever I wish. I will not sell the property underneath you and turf you out. But I do expect the rent to be paid on time and the property to kept to the agreed terms. Its a landlords market.

Since the collaspe of the housing market, us landlords can pick and choose and take it from me, in Manchester, we are picky who we let to.

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  • 245 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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