Monday, 06 July 2015

F451's posts

  • Posted in: Surveying Elderly and people with Learning Disabilities

    F451's post | 18/01/2012 10:48 am

    Face to face surveying with these groups is valuable.

    In terms of the elderly who have vulnerabilities, making them aware that they will be contacted for this purpose with definate arrangements for doing so assists. Offering the option to have the survey explained and then self completed or completed with help allows wider participation. Clearly feeding back the outcome of the survey and where there views have been taken into account adds to reassurance and well being.

    The same applies to people with other vulnerabilities, including those with learning disabilities. Avoid using the carer as a subsititue, but do consider using the carer as a translator where communication difficulties might make it difficult for you to understand what the person is telling you.

    Making your demands for having the survey completed fit within their regular timetable will ensure you get their views without causing excessive disturbance.

    If you approach groups such as MIND and AGE UK, they can assist you with their experience, but don't rule out resources such as Housemark who may have a study available, or be able to point to housing providers who have a positive track record with such surveying of resident and client groups. Bernslai would come to mind as likely to have something to share in this area, as would English Churches. Outside of Housing, Livability may be a source or a signpost you can gain from.

    The bottom line though is result interpretation - for the best understanding of outcomes you really need to structure the survey so it tests expectations as well. For instance, asking someone how good the repair service is may tell you they think it good, but asking them in detail what a good repair service looks like in terms of speed, effectiveness, cost etc and then how the service they received compares tells you so much more.

    Hope this proves of help to you, and do come back and share what you find with the rest of us Paul.

  • Posted in: Proposed Right to Buy Amendments...

    F451's post | 18/01/2012 10:18 am

    An automatic offer to repurchase should be the first covenant attached to Right-to-Buy. This would allow the local authority a mechanism to keep the 141 pledge by the government, so long as the government does not continue to make off with the proceeds of the sales, with buy-backs.

    A anti-subletting covenant would be useful in ensuring that taxpayer funds were really used to give tenants a hand up and not give a prospective buy-to-let landlord a hand out.

    The tenure conversion idea, where a struggling home owner can convert to a tenancy, was one of a few positives to be thought of by Labour - but it needs greater backing and funding to make it have a real effect. However, as a mechanism to increase the availability of affordable housing there is the potential for up to 4 Million homes to be purchased and rented back under such a scheme, as this is the estimate by lenders of the numbers in mortgage difficulty currently. Now whilst the owner will be the immediate tenant, what is avoided is the owner needing to be placed by the local authority into private sector accomodation as homeless etc, or for the local authority to do what it has had to do since the Tories ensured RTB as a regressive action, and use a social let to rehouse the failed owner.

    The additional bonus of course would be that by increasing the social housing stock by such a factor would restore the original flexibility and cost saving volume that once existed. This would allow truly affordable rents (saving masses from the benefit bill) and also the prospect of moving within the stock as one's housing needs change over time (reducing under and over occupancy issues).

    Of course, nothing like this would ever be agreed to as it would undermine the sole objective behind each of Shapps's policies, namely the total erradication of social housing and the social exclusion of those associated with it.

  • Posted in: Problem tenants

    F451's post | 18/01/2012 9:56 am

    It's called 'insurance' nonny - I suggest you ask an insurance agent or your financial advisor for details - but simply you pay an agreed sum (the premium) against loss of rent through fraud, inabilty to let, breach of tenancy, and/or loss through damage or theft of fixtures, fittings or furnishings. In the event of any such loss the insurer pays an agreed sum against that loss.

    It's a simple concept that even the least competent of private landlords should be able to understand - getting them to understand it as a business expense and profit protection may be difficult though as it involves paying up front!

  • Posted in: How Many Applied?

    F451's post | 06/01/2012 8:37 pm

    I'm off on a retreat so look forward to someone posting with an answer later this month.

    I'm also looking forward to the Housing Minister continuing to be called to account for his vile statements and antisocial behaviour. Maybe he will be evicted!

  • Posted in: Problem tenants

    F451's post | 06/01/2012 8:24 pm

    Precisely Jono - do remember that next time you feel the urge to blame tenants for failing to negotiate rents that they can afford etc - one sided negotiations tend to feel like Wendy's experience.

  • Posted in: How Many Applied?

    F451's post | 06/01/2012 4:35 pm

    Last November, the Audit Commission issued Invitations to Tender (ITTs) to 15 potential providers who met the pre qualification requirements in relation to the small bodies' procurement for outsourcing the work of its Audit Practice.

    Potential providers issued with the ITT were:

    Baker Tilly UK Audit LLP;
    BDO LLP;
    Bishop Flemming;
    Chantrey Velacott DFK LLP;
    Clement Keys; Deloitte LLP;
    Grant Thornton (UK) LLP;
    Haines Watts;
    Littlejohn LLP;
    Mazars LLP;
    Menzies LLP;
    Moore Stephens LLP;
    PKF (UK) LLP;
    consortium led by UHY Hacker Young LLP;
    Wilkins Kennedy.

    As the deadline for tender was 5pm 06/01/2012 it would be interesting to discover how many, and who, applied.

    The primary contracts were tendered to the deadline 5pm 16/12/2011 - again who applied?

    Those invited to apply were:

    BDO LLP;
    DA Partnership Ltd;
    Deloitte LLP;
    Ernst & Young LLP;
    Grant Thornton (UK) LLP;
    consortium led by Haines Watts;
    Menzies LLP;
    consortium led by MHA Audit LLP;
    consortium led by Moore Stephens LLP;
    PKF (UK) LLP;
    pwc LLP;
    RSM Tenon Audit Ltd

    Or will this remain secret for another couple of months?

  • Posted in: Problem tenants

    F451's post | 06/01/2012 3:07 pm

    I think Nonny you'll find the benefit cap will deal with that for such landlords as all they need to do is wait for the arrear to occur and then evict - might take a couple of months, the tenant may have been a good tenant for years, but as soon as they become an 'evil benefit claimant' they can be thus evicted, deemed intentionally homeless, and move to the nearest gutter.

    This isn't a dig at landlords, but clearly the evil that is our government.

  • Posted in: Problem tenants

    F451's post | 06/01/2012 12:33 pm

    So you don't think that they should have resolved the matter through individual negotiation Jono?

    Oddly, the same laws that protect the tenant from unfair eviction protect the lanldord from losing their property from unfair occupation. The issue then is one of expediency. Something that I'm sure you will relate to Jono - part of the reason the process takes as long as it does is the presumption that the parties should resolve the matter through individual negotiation. As the law supports your basic rule of life, is the law wrong or right in this matter?

  • Posted in: Problem tenants

    F451's post | 05/01/2012 1:28 pm

    Wendy - you don't make it clear about the size of property your tenants are renting. Is it self contained flat, in which case your rent levels seem reasonable?

    Regardless, what is your opinion of the benefit cap - is that going to make the situation better or worse (i.e. will more landlords suffer your experience or less in your opinion?)

    The other thing that would be interesting to learn from you is whether you think those landlords currently charing thousands per week (in certain cases) will reduce their rents as a result of the cap, or simply wait for their tenants to default and evict them?

    We lack private landlord views on these matters on this forum, so it would be great to hear yours.

  • Posted in: The maddly twittering twit

    F451's post | 03/01/2012 5:16 pm

    Others would include:

    Tossing the Homesearcher

    Rowing the Galley (Shapps favourite!)

    The Announcement Relay

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