Buying a house (and renting)

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Drumstick
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Drumstick » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:55 pm

Allegedly Rishi Sunak is to annouce a six-month stamp duty holiday.

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Grumpy David
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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Grumpy David » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:56 pm

Drumstick wrote:Allegedly Rishi Sunak is to annouce a six-month stamp duty holiday.


Comes in with immediate effect and lasts till 31st March 2021.

England and Northern Ireland only (as Scotland and Wales have their own versions) and main beneficiaries are really those buying between 300k and 500k so primarily southern England with next to no benefit in NI.

Also confusingly I thought it wouldn't apply to people buying additional homes either as a BTL or 2nd home or because not selling the current home (letting out instead) and buying a new home to live in.

Makes it quite a generous tax cut to those buyers since a 450k home for example would have been 26k (a home mover would pay 12.5k) and now you pay the difference so in that price example you pay 13.5k. Not a big fan of landlords getting a tax cut! Their tax saving in that example is actually much greater than the FTB who would have paid 7.5k in that scenario.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Ecno » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:15 pm

My girlfriend's landlord has just replaced her fridge after it wasn't working properly.

The replacement is a fair bit smaller, which she's quite upset about as it wasn't massive to begin with. Does she have any rights to tell the landlord to get a better one which matched the original?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Drumstick » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:04 pm

Assuming the old one was his fridge to begin with, no.

Assuming the old one was your girlfriend's fridge, still no. But she can always ask kindly and see what the landlord says.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Errkal » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:43 pm

Unless the tenancy agreement specifies an amount of fridge space no.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Red » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:47 pm

If it's that small, she could just buy a cheapo fridge of her own and put the little one to one side?

Worth asking the landlord nicely but doesn't sound promising.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Clarkman » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:49 am

Grumpy David wrote:
Drumstick wrote:Allegedly Rishi Sunak is to annouce a six-month stamp duty holiday.


Comes in with immediate effect and lasts till 31st March 2021.

England and Northern Ireland only (as Scotland and Wales have their own versions) and main beneficiaries are really those buying between 300k and 500k so primarily southern England with next to no benefit in NI.

Also confusingly I thought it wouldn't apply to people buying additional homes either as a BTL or 2nd home or because not selling the current home (letting out instead) and buying a new home to live in.

Makes it quite a generous tax cut to those buyers since a 450k home for example would have been 26k (a home mover would pay 12.5k) and now you pay the difference so in that price example you pay 13.5k. Not a big fan of landlords getting a tax cut! Their tax saving in that example is actually much greater than the FTB who would have paid 7.5k in that scenario.


Do you know of any advice online for people thinking of capitalising on the stamp duty cut to buy a second property?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Grumpy David » Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:39 pm

Clarkman wrote:
Grumpy David wrote:
Drumstick wrote:Allegedly Rishi Sunak is to annouce a six-month stamp duty holiday.


Comes in with immediate effect and lasts till 31st March 2021.

England and Northern Ireland only (as Scotland and Wales have their own versions) and main beneficiaries are really those buying between 300k and 500k so primarily southern England with next to no benefit in NI.

Also confusingly I thought it wouldn't apply to people buying additional homes either as a BTL or 2nd home or because not selling the current home (letting out instead) and buying a new home to live in.

Makes it quite a generous tax cut to those buyers since a 450k home for example would have been 26k (a home mover would pay 12.5k) and now you pay the difference so in that price example you pay 13.5k. Not a big fan of landlords getting a tax cut! Their tax saving in that example is actually much greater than the FTB who would have paid 7.5k in that scenario.


Do you know of any advice online for people thinking of capitalising on the stamp duty cut to buy a second property?


Quite a vague question! 2nd property for use as a weekend holiday home? A property to let out? A property for a family member to live in whilst you live in the current home? A property to move into whilst you let out the current home?

I've not seen specific advice relating to it other than newspaper articles critical of the tax cut getting extended to those above groups.

Main thing that applies to non BTL purchases are most lenders have stopped offering 5% or 10% deposits so 15% is the new normal. If you're doing a BTL then no change in still needing 25% deposit. However even with a large tax saving, I'd be reluctant to do a BTL purchase. High tax on entry, high tax on duration and high tax on sale. Plus the future risk of tougher tax changes and tougher regulations and the element of risk (all eggs in 1 basket, nightmare tenants, being highly leveraged) means I'd generally recommend maximising use of the Pension and ISA allowances before exploring BTLs.

Where it might make some sense is if your total personal income and rental income keeps you below 50k but even then I think there are better options.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Grumpy David » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:23 am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53391516

'No DSS' letting bans 'ruled unlawful' by court

A judge has ruled that blanket bans on renting properties to people on housing benefit are unlawful and discriminatory.

The "momentous" court ruling found a single mother-of-two had experienced indirect discrimination when a letting agent refused to rent to her.

She ended up homeless with her two children, when her case was taken on by housing charity Shelter.

The judge ruled "No DSS" rental bans are against equality laws.

Previously cases backed by Shelter - and first reported by BBC News - have established that "No DSS" landlords and agents are guilty of indirect discrimination, but the cases were settled before any court heard them in full.

In February 2018, single mother Rosie Keogh won compensation for sex discrimination from a lettings agency that refused to consider her as a tenant because she was on state benefit, but the case was settled out of court.

District Judge Victoria Mark heard this latest case in York County Court on 1 July, and ruled: "Rejecting tenancy applications because the applicant is in receipt of housing benefit was unlawfully discriminating on the grounds of sex and disability".

And this was, therefore, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, she said.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: "This momentous ruling should be the nail in the coffin for 'No DSS' discrimination.

"It will help give security and stability to people who unfairly struggle to find a place to live just because they receive housing benefit."

Single mother, Jane (not her real name) had been looking for a new home on October 2018 after being subject to a "no fault" eviction by her previous landlord.

She said: "I was shocked and found it very unfair that they wouldn't even give me a chance.

"I had excellent references from both my landlords of the last nine years as I've always paid my rent on time and I had a professional guarantor.

"I could have paid up to six months' rent in advance because my parents lent me the amount.

"When the letting agent wouldn't take me because of a company policy, I felt offended that after all those years when I have prided myself on paying my rent, paying my bills, being a good tenant, it just meant nothing.

"When I realised I was going to be homeless because I couldn't find anywhere, I felt sick to my stomach."

The letting agent in the case cannot be named for legal reasons.

The ruling of indirect discrimination is due to the fact that women and those with disabilities are disproportionately more likely to be in receipt of housing benefit, and therefore disproportionately affected by blanket "No DSS" bans.

The successful case is the latest step in the charity's End DSS Discrimination campaign to stop the practice, which excludes thousands of people from renting homes each year - and the charity hopes the ruling will send a clear message that landlords or agents who continue to refuse to rent to housing benefit claimants risk legal action.

The legal action was also supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Nationwide Foundation and barrister Theresa Buchanan at Garden Court Chambers.

A survey for the charity conducted by YouGov in December 2019 and January 2020 found nearly two-thirds of private landlords either do not, or prefer not to, let to people on housing benefits.

Rose Arnall, the Shelter solicitor who has led the charity's legal challenges on the issue, said: "This is the first time a court has fully considered a case like this.

"It finally clarifies that discriminating against people in need of housing benefits is not just morally wrong, it is against the law.

"This sends a huge signal to letting agents and landlords that they must end these practices and do so immediately."

Responding to the ruling, Chris Norris, policy director at the National Residential Landlords Association, said: "No landlord should discriminate against tenants because they are in receipt of benefits.

"Every tenant's circumstance is different and so they should be treated on a case by case basses based on their ability to sustain the tenancy."

But he added that the government could support tenants by ensuring benefits covered rents entirely.


I would imagine the precedent set by this would force BTL lenders and BTL insurance to remove the exclusions for DSS tenants too.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by That's not a growth » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:44 am

It's a fantastic move in the right direction, but reading the Guardian article on it this morning concerned me:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/202 ... ngs-agency

Although the ruling, made in a virtual hearing on 1 July, does not set a legal precedent, Shelter said it sent a warning to landlords and letting agents that they should end the practice. Five similar cases brought by the charity in recent years were settled out of court in Shelter’s favour.


So from what I can tell, this case is ruled unlawful - but time will tell if it changes things as a whole. But it's a move in the right direction.

But also there's this:

But he added that the government could support tenants by ensuring benefits covered rents entirely.


The idea that you're in a place in your life where you need benefits, but even the amount you receive aren't enough to put a roof over your head - their sole purpose! - is ludicrous.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Tsunade » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:06 pm

The max amount of housing benefit where I am is £127 a week (to my knowledge). Anything over that has to be paid from your benefits/wage, even if it's only a couple of quid. I know the amount does change depending in where you live, so somewhere like London would probably have a higher threshold compared to here.

When looking and waiting for a place I found that there are loads of landlords that refuse DSS tenants. Theres a dedicated website called DSSmove that has places on it, half the landlords don't answer the ads they've put up or bother to take the advert down once the place has been let. Most of the places on Rightmove don't allow DSS tenants either.

It's crazy that some landlords think that people on DSS are going to wreck their property if they let to them. Some people are just down on their luck and can only get by because of their benefits. Most just want a clean room to sleep in. Theres probably only a very small handful that think it's okay to wreck the place and leave it like that.

That being said, landlords can be right scumbags even without refusing DSS. I've read a story of students just down the road from me being broken into 3 times because the landlord refused to change the broken lock on the window. They've had to resort to hiding all of their electronics when they go to lectures because of it. Their neighbours apparently keep being broken into too, because their landlord won't fix the broken back door.

My landlords, Birmingham city council, are pretty bad at repairs too. Me and the old git downstairs have been complaining about the broken guttering outside since before Christmas (its leaking onto the building, causing damp in mine and old gits bedrooms, the walls arent cavity walls). They've only just put the scaffolding up to fix it, 8 months later. I also had to get lawyers out before because they were messing me about with a mould problem we had.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:59 pm

This is probably a stupid idea, but I was thinking about this earlier and wondered how stupid it actually is.

I was daydreaming about the freeholder of my building suddenly making me an offer to buy the flat, in my daydream it was a ridiculously high offer, so much that I could buy the house of my dreams etc etc.

That’s obviously not going to happen, but would it be silly to write to the freeholder and offer to sell it to them? House prices have gone crazy around here since I bought the flat and so I should have a fair bit of equity. Looking at recent sales on the street, it would be a very good profit if I got anywhere near those sale prices. Far more than I would ever have expected to make from the place.

Which made me think that I could offer the flat to the freeholder at a reduced rate to market value (to tempt them) under the condition that no further demands for money are ever received. I have nowhere else to buy at the moment, but I was also wondering if they would go for a very reduced price, with a proviso that I remain in the flat for 1 year after the sale goes through (with no rent!). That way I could park the money in with my savings, ensure no further demands for money are received and save up some more while not having to pay a mortgage/service charges. And have a much more leisurely move when it actually happened. Obviously there would be a big risk of not buying somewhere in time, but I have plenty of family that would put me up temporarily if needed.

Of course the freeholder almost certainly wouldn’t go for it. But, in principle, is it that ridiculous an idea?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Hime » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:42 pm

The bit that jumps out at me is why would he buy the place off you and let you live there rent free for a year?

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:50 pm

Hime wrote:The bit that jumps out at me is why would he buy the place off you and let you live there rent free for a year?


Because they'd be buying at a massively reduced rate from the market value. It wouldn't be rent free, it'd be part of the sale price.

They probably wouldn't go for it, it was just a thought I had to get the pricks off my back while giving me time to buy another place.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Victor Mildew » Fri Jul 17, 2020 4:52 pm

I'd put your rent up just for suggesting you cheeky bastard

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:00 pm

Victor Mildew wrote:I'd put your rent up just for suggesting you cheeky bastard


That's one thing the banana splits can't do, the ground rent is fixed at £100 a year. :lol:

The other advantage for the freeholder company is they'd avoid the seemingly inevitable court case that's going to happen as soon as the Property Ombudsman makes their ruling.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Bunni » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:34 pm

Put a bid in for a lovely flat a couple weeks ago and got knocked back. A flat across the road, same size, same layout (but slightly less nice decor) went up yesterday so we're off to view it tonight. Basically a formality cuz we're probably gunna bid for this one too.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Drumstick » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:43 pm

Moggy, I don't think that's a crazy idea at all, but I would wait until the PO inevitably rules in your favour. These strawberry floaters cannot be trusted.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Moggy » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:49 pm

Drumstick wrote:Moggy, I don't think that's a crazy idea at all, but I would wait until the PO inevitably rules in your favour. These strawberry floaters cannot be trusted.


Oh yeah it's not something I'd rush into. Was just a silly daydream that I suddenly thought might not be too terrible an idea. I'm not doing anything until the PO makes a ruling, I just know they will be wishy washy and the freeholder will ignore it. I desperately want to get out of here and desperately want to avoid court - even if I'm pretty certain I'd win!

Looking up rent around here, I'd hope the freeholders would he interested just on that basis. They'd make a killing just from charging ridiculously high monthly rents to some daft students.

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PostRe: Buying a house (and renting)
by Hime » Fri Jul 17, 2020 5:54 pm

Has he ever approached you about buying it before?

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