Tag Archives: rents

service charge mar16-oct17, water bill half yearly

11 Oct

london 3.20pm 17.5C sunny tuesday 2016

i just remembered my half yearly service charge bill for the flat came a few days ago. i filed it away, forgetting to  put it aside to pay it and had forgotten all about it,  until just now when i passed the shop where i usually pay it into. when i got home i took it out , and saw that the closing date for payment is 21oct. so there is still time to pay it. glad i did not forget entirely. 

it is £575.41. for the 6months march2016- oct 2017. it is an estimated bill.i should think it will be about £1200 for the year. not too bad really. there are no lifts in these estate, so that is one big expense that is spared us and that i think keeps the amount down. 

 the water bill came in this month as well, it is £156.87. half yearly bill paid in two tranches. we dont have meters, as we all share the common tank that brings water to our bathrooms. it is of course way cheaper than paying rent. i cannot imagine how much i will have to fork out for this two- bedroom flat if i have to pay private rent on it. i am just glad i can live here without worrying about being kicked out by a landlord for not paying his rent. rents can only go up and up. that i think is the big reason why we should buy our own flat and pay off the mortgage on it. 

Digital StillCamera
people have joked that the british  still have separate hot and cold water taps. well i have only a cold water tap, so i am even more old fashioned than usual. the hot water used to come from a gas burner fixed on the wall, but it has long ago gone kaput and i have never got it repaired. and i now dont use hot water anymore to do my dishes. it is surprising how effective just using washing up liquid to clean , it gets rid of oil and fat too. of course i always throw the fat away first into the rubbish bin rather than down the sink hole and all traces of fat is removed by the washing up liquid. u dont need hot water at all. and the odd times when i need hot water, i just boil some in the kettle. 

Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com

20 May

Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com.

this one tells of how public housing is so starved of funds many repairs are not done and the housing has deteriorated. new york has controlled rents kept so keeping rents artificially  very low. for those of you who want more public housing, this is a cautionary tale. london used to have this problem, too, but with the bill to allow residents to buy their flat, at a discount, many of these housing estates were able to get their repairs paid for by those who bought, and finally allow the council to undertake the huge task of bringing them up to scratch.

my case in point is this flat i bought in 1991. the estate was very run down, and council was only able to start the repairs when about half the flats were sold, so that the repair bill can be part paid by the leaseholders.

i recall my share of the bill for a 2bd room flat was £20,000 . that was in 1998. without this contribution the buildings would never be renovated. i knew of this bill before i bought the flat in 1991, so was able to budget for it.

the cleaning of the walls revealed lovely red bricks where previously it was black. so that was a nice surprise. but what i want to say is public housing is all very well, but there must be an element of a sinking fund in the rent charged… and ring fence that fund so that future councils wont be tempted to raid it and spent on other things.

at the moment, london has this policy about rents for council flats , that it must be 80% of commercial rents in the area. a lot of people complain that it is not right, but u can see if it is too low, than there is future trouble ahead when the place gets very run down. at the moment it is about £850 a month for a 3bed flat, £650 a month for a 2bed in this area, rather similar to the public housing rent given in that article in new york. (i think these figures are not normal. my examples are from two pensioners living in their homes for a long time so they do get a discount.)

it is not related to income,(unlike in new york, where it is 30% of income which means one neighbour can pay significantly higher than another living next door;

here in uk if u are low income, u get it all paid for by housing benefits. but the govt is bringing in a cap on benefits so that is why so many are having trouble living in london. unless they work, when the cap does not apply. hence u see so many previous households on benefits where no one works now have one working.

goings on in london

19 Sep

The evening standard today is giving away a voucher for a free pint at young’s pub. You don’t even have to get the evening standard today as u can print the voucher online
There is a branch near me, across the river in Vauxhall, in the st george high rise block of flats beside the river. It is valid from 19-22sept2013.
I might go there on my way back from seeing the Battersea power station open house on Saturday. It is that time of year again when you can visit and look inside buildings in London free.
It is the only chance to see inside that power station before they close the whole area to make flats.

That is the nice thing apart from anything else about living in London. You get quite a lot of freebies.

And you can get free tea from royal albert , the bone china makers, as they do their annual free tea parties around London. This year they are not doing so many venues, and I only heard of it today. The London venue in Bloomsbury is over, but u can catch them at parson green. I have gone to them last few years, but this year I will miss it as I don’t fancy going to parson’s green.
It is not central London.

And of course u can get a free coffee at waitrose with your waitrose card.

News in the standard about the flats in the Olympic village being advertised for sale in kuala lumpur,Malaysia,this weekend;  £320,000 for 2bdroom flats; specially mentioning there wont be any social housing in the block. Newham council have allowed them to build the social housing in other areas. Rents in those Olympic flats will be £310 a week, for a 1bd room , £370 a week for a 2bdroom.£475 for 3bdroom, £515 for 4bdrm. Still rather expensive I think. but then maybe that will be the rent when the flats are built in 2yrs time. those may be the rates they quote for the Malaysian buyers as many will be buying to invest. i read somewhere that the flats are tiny, being meant only to provide bedrooms for the sports people, with no kitchen. it depands on how they configure the rooms. And can they knock two rooms into one to make a lounge? i daresay they must have thought there is a big demand in malaysia for such flats, seeing that the battersea powerstation first phase was oversubscribed. and those flats were more expensive than these. 
Advert for new homes sparks ‘no riff raff’ row
The picture of the block of flats accompanying the article are not that great to look at, quite ugly in fact. dont u agree? it looks like council flats or they look like post war buildings. no wonder they have to paste a notice on it saying no social housing in there. haha. 

 Added. 22.9.13 i just had a thought. the st george’s high rise tower in vauxhall had flats on the lower floors selling for around this price a few years ago. also, remember to slot in the service charges, that can be quite high in these high rise buildings.

money is not what it used to be, in that the £ has dropped a lot in value. that is why a labour mp can come up with the statement that £60,000 a year income is not rich. at first u think that is a silly statement, but it is really a true one. after tax it will be about £40,000 and when u consider what u can buy nowadays that is really not that much.