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About Hippogriff

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  1. Hippogriff

    long term housing rentals

    Most Landlords want long-term Tenants. However, when handing over an asset worth that much, it's always wisest to start out with what's termed a "short-term let", i.e. a fixed term of 6 months, that then either gets renewed or, preferably, moves to SPT (rolling month-by-month). If the Landlord is running their property as a business this should usually mean long-term because no-one wants Tenant changeover. The risk can often come when Landlords start to let out their previous home because they have moved for work, or moved in with a new partner to try it out... then they might be back... or they might decide to sell up. There are legal limits (or restrictions) on the length of time an AST can run for... if it's over 3 years it needs to be drawn-up differently, so you're unlikely to find those for residential. What you can't really expect a Landlord to do is jump in with both feet with a person they know little about... too risky.
  2. Hippogriff

    Lewis Wadsworth - Any opinions?

    You are entitled to your opinion. Your opinion, in itself, is definitely not a fact. Your opinion, or the facts, may definitely be useful to someone else. But you seem to think your opinion is fact, which is isn't... it's an opinion, as you rightfully say... opinions can be based on facts. What I think was questioned by someone else was whether your opinion was expressly intended to mislead others. I am sure it was not... however, now everything is out there it almost feels like your opinion is worth just that little bit less. Everyone should remember, as a Tenant, an Agent is not their Agent... they're not on your side. Yes, you are paying them... in fees (soon to change) and your rent often will go to them (not the actual Landlord) but that never means they're your Agent, they work for the Landlord - the Landlord is their client and the Tenant is not. The Agent will (or should) look after the interests of the Landlord only. There are bad Agents who are only interested in getting as much money from both sides as possible. In future this should only be transparently from the Landlord's side... however, it's likely that will be recouped. I am firmly of the opinion that Tenants should size-up their Landlord at viewings if at all possible - look for properties advertised by Agents like UPad (which will be Landlord-managed)... there are bad Landlords obviously, but Tenants shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that because an Agent is in the mix the whole thing is going to be run more professionally, more smoothly.
  3. Their email replies used to commit them to a [proper, non-automated] response within a certain timeframe - I think it was 7 working days? - but they never ever met that target. Not once. I pointed it out to them, brutally, and I think I might have been responsible for them removing that from their automated emails. They now make no claims as to when they'll get back to you - their automated response just constantly says they're experiencing a very high volume of emails - what a surprise. What I did notice in there is this... which might make you elect to send an email, get the acknowledgement, and sit back... "We will aim to put a hold on any recovery action whilst we deal with your enquiry, although there will be occasions when this is not always possible."
  4. They are bumbling and tardy fools. I always send everything via email - council.tax@sheffield.gov.uk - you get an immediate automated reply... acknowledgement of email, which I keep as proof. It can take, like, 6 weeks for them to do anything, it's ineptness of the highest order. They are fond of sending me entirely speculative Council Tax bills for a property I let out to students - they just keep sending the bills whenever, it seems, they feel like it's worth a try. I keep records of all changes in occupancy I send them. I got another letter today asking me if I wanted 'help' with my empty property... it's not empty... the Council Tax team has told the Private Housing team that it's empty, in error... the Private Housing team has then jumped on it, confounding the error even further. If you do get through on the phone - be prepared for them to ask you to send them an email with all the details. It's rare I have had to deal with a department so bad as SCC Council Tax.
  5. That's just their legal costs. It's not including the price of the freehold (freehold reversion) itself. The total cost to you would also include your own costs plus the cost of the thing you actually want to acquire. Where is the sense in it? Well, the sense is that you own it, then, not some other party. However, if you are talking hundreds of years then you can see the sense in sticking to what you have today. In shorter timeframes it can be imperative you do something about it, or if you want to make alterations that are expressly forbidden, or require the approval of the freeholder... then it might start to make sense too. Doing it for the sake of doing it doesn't often make that much sense.
  6. OK, you want an argument, I'll duck out now... same old Sheffield Forum.
  7. Not disagreeing strongly, but sealed bids are generally perceived as being good for the Seller, whereas eBay's public / transparent bidding system is generally perceived as being good for the Buyer... so definitely different.
  8. No problem. If you're willing... what was the original list / asking price when it was advertised for people to see? Was it £300,000, £310,000, £320,000? You usually imagine it's less than the offers going on, for obvious reasons... if you purchase over the asking price (which is often based on at least some kind of cursory valuation - Estate Agent type) then as long as you realise you're then effectively straight into negative equity it's no problem... that's no special kind of problem if it's your forever home anyway... only if you plan to realise the money in the bricks and mortar at some point... oh, and if you need a mortgage and the amount it's gone over by is just a daft number (which it could be). ---------- Post added 05-11-2018 at 10:20 ---------- You're right that it's not unfair, though. Everyone is playing by the same rules (you hope).
  9. The skill... as when buying any house... is not to fall in love with it and to try and treat it as dispassionately as you can. It's easier said than done, I get it. But think about it this way... Agents will often try their hand at listing a house higher than what it's really worth... expecting buyers to haggle down (I have never once paid full price for any property, and I've bought 10, edit: 11)... so they will increase it, better for them if they're on a percentage deal. Now, no real issue, you think - because it's just supply-and-demand... if there's plenty of people interested, why not go to sealed bids and offer £10,000 more, £20,000 more? Because you can run into trouble if you need a mortgage and the mortgage company sends round their own Valuer who reports back... "huh, this house is worth £250,000" and the mortgage company says "OK, that's what we're willing to lend on" - not £270,000 - and that can leave the buyer needing to make up the shortfall via an increased deposit. So you need to be careful. Nothing much wrong with supply-and-demand as a concept, but you need to be working the numbers with an objective eye too. ---------- Post added 05-11-2018 at 09:29 ---------- I think it's a double-edged sword if you realise you've overpaid in a sealed bid too... you'll have the short-term sweet taste of a victory, but potentially the longer-term buyer's remorse... whereas the others who 'lost' will actually have had a lucky escape. I know that I would walk away from such a situation.
  10. Hippogriff

    Termination of contract

    You don't need proof that it was received, strictly speaking. If you send something by First Class post and get a free proof of postage, it is considered served 2 days later (you don't need any other proof of receipt). As a Landlord, who might need to send a Section 21 to a Tenant, I send 2 copies, First Class, and get 2 proofs of postage. The trick is falling for Recorded Delivery or something you need to sign for - a recipient can easily ignore that, and then it really wasn't received. If the AST you have says that it's OK to send notices by SMS, WhatsApp, email etc., then it is. If it doesn't then it's not. It should have a section in there about how to communicate. What you have done seems OK to me - but there's little point in keeping a copy for yourself... it proves nothing, and certainly that copy isn't winging its way to your Landlord. I have not experimented with WhatsApp for Tenant relationships yet, but I may well do this, or suggest it. It's a really good way of [both sides] having a contemporaneous record of whatever's going on, plus the sending of images would be a great bonus for reporting problems etc.. I just need to remember that the 2 blue ticks certainly do not mean a message has been 'read'... as WhatsApp would like you to believe.
  11. I am making an assumption that there'll be a stage where it costs you something to do something, defend, protest, what-have-you... but there'll be a long time before that arrives where you can be obstructive and it will cost you nothing. I think it would be delicious to have the person forcing the issue (against your will) to pay his Solicitor just that little bit more in fees, for writing you various letters etc.. That may well be the child in me... but I would probably not roll over quite so easily. I might even relish writing a few letters back, off my own back, asking for clarity from his side about certain stuff... they may engage, they may not, but it all just frustrates the other party. I would certainly not agree to any price any Estate Agent came up with, on principle... make this something that's worked for... appointment after appointment, you need to be present, obviously - and to fit your own diary. You can probably get to the stage where a hearing date is set (if that's how it works) before you have to pay anything, and at that point it's possible you can just relent, intentionally... and you've incurred no costs, but have been a great thorn in their side. Maybe you can even go all the way to the end without it costing you a penny (I don't know). Only as an example, I once protested / appealed a Council Tax Band and the VOA did reject my appeal and eventually I ended up in front of 3 old gents in Doncaster, putting my case, and the VOA Listing Officer did the same - I won, but if I'd lost I would not have had to pay anything to anyone. Maybe what's to happen here is much the same, but maybe with a Court... plus, it might be a nice day out. It was for me. I would probably research the mechanisms of this "Application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees for an Order for sale of the property". It doesn't seem right (at least to me) that someone can bring some kind of action against you (without you having done anything wrong per se) and it end up costing you any money, just because you want to say "nah, mate".
  12. I believe - from last year - there used to be three airlines that would go from Turkey to Northern Cyprus - but now there's only two. So travelling there just got a little harder. I think it was Pegasus that stopped (not 100% sure). My own experience of this says it's actually easier (logistically) and can also be cheaper to go into Larnaca and then get yourself across the border (of course it depends where you're headed in Northern Cyprus)... but you can fly direct to Larnaca and avoid the Istanbul rigmarole (landing, shuffling through the airport to a gate seemingly deliberately located right at the other side, waiting, boarding, taking off again - and doing the same on the way back). Jet2 go into Larnaca via their bus-planes full of drunks (if you have noise-cancelling headphones - or are one of the drunks - then it's bearable).
  13. Further misunderstanding... the Landlord would incur SDLT (+3%) and transaction costs each time that 'trick' was tried. Great for Landlords. Jeez. It was all going so well n'all...
  14. Hippogriff

    Changes to SCC tenancy conditions

    The need for a refund implies something kind of went wrong. That's what the OP is really saying - if you pay what you want to pay, when you must or want to pay, then you retain more control. Trusting a third party to a Direct Debit might well mean that you shouldn't lose out in the case of mistakes, but mistakes can be made and then you'd be in the situation of trying to arrange a refund... a possibility that should not have arisen when you retain the control.
  15. Hippogriff

    Landlord licensing

    Government types (and I don't need to explain that further, they are their own type) are not capable people. They don't know how to incentivise people into doing the right thing - for everyone. There are ways to help Landlords to help Tenants to help everyone, but the Government type mindset doesn't work in that way - they prefer high-handed apply-to-all legislation. They prefer to use a hammer when, often, a scalpel is required. If the Tenancy Relations Officer / Team at SCC focused on bringing each rogue Landlord to task using all the existing legislation available, it would send a message, then onto the next rogue Landlord, then the next - and each time material positive changes would be being made to people's lives. They'd rather come up with a policy, or booklet, or directive - one that all the good Landlords will adhere to anyway, one that all the rogue Landlords will ignore - again. The largest rogue Landlords could be a focused project for someone in the Council - and they could feel really good about their wins, time after time. But they don't have the mindset. Rather than these types being rewarded for new initiatives - they could be rewarded for successful convictions (if that's the right word) of rogue Landlords... but, surely, the reward of them knowing they'd done some actual good would be enough? Selective Licensing I cannot believe is the answer; it doesn't seem to have been, yet.

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