Life in England: the housing problem

On peculiarities of the housing stock in the UK

Residence permit? -No, not heard

To begin with, the concept of "residence" in the UK do not exist. Proof of residency is a utility bill or a bank, sent to a specific address. But this does not mean that legalized very simple. For immigrants often becomes a problem. To open a bank account, without which it is impossible to get a job, you need proof of address, and do not take off your house without a bank account. But the work is hardly built up without a bank account. If you do not have friends who can perekantovatsya first time, it is a vicious circle. 

Agencies and private landlords require tenants references from previous landlords and help with the work. Without the guidance and help is hard to remove a decent room / apartment from a good agency. It is certainly possible to rent an apartment for cash at any ushlyh post-Soviet leaders who make themselves felt through the Russian newspaper, they do not need any confirmation, but it is fraught with all sorts of problems. 

Types of ownership of the property / land of the landed aristocracy

In England and Wales there are two main types of home ownership: leasehold and freehold. There are other schemes of tenure, but such details are not going to go away.

Leasehold is essentially a leased property
Freehold — Freehold Property

The fact that the land and property on it — a little bit different. You can buy an apartment for rent, but you can not buy the land on which the house with an apartment, then you can not become the full owner, land — a key concept. Therefore, all apartments come under leasehold. This means that you have the right to hire a certain number of years, usually from 99 to 120. It also happens to 999. Rent is possible to transmit a legacy to the expiration of the lease term, but there are some nuances, is not always possible. When buying a leasehold there are some restrictions on construction works in the purchased space, each case is different Plus you have to pay tax on the land and pay the costs of repair and maintenance

Freehold — Freehold. Although there will not clear up with the modifications. There is a concept in the UK listed buildings — it is a national register of buildings of architectural and historical value. 

Possession of architectural value / c will not see

In many listed buildings fall into private homes. The owner of the house has no right to change anything in the building without the permission of the relevant authorities. Under no circumstances should such a building should not be neglected or in poor condition, it entails criminal liability for the owner. If repair is required, do not change anything. Roughly speaking if the roof is made of red slate and it sprung a leak, then replacement should be the same slate of the same type and quality. This applies to everything, down to the door handles and shutters. If the house by the river and it is periodically flooded, it can hardly be something to do with it, for example to equip a dam, etc. Everything should stay the same as it was in "Before the time." 

Such laws allow you to keep the wonderful architecture in Britain, the British general are very sensitive to such things, for which I have great respect for them. British architects are leaders in the global industry of architecture by law. Create a truly wonderful new building. If it's kind of an old building in the final useless, it rarely completely demolished. Almost always left untouched facade and then finish building the entire building. 

Mortgage / payback to the grave

In Britain, there is such a thing as the property ladder (ladder of real estate). The bottom line is that the most important thing is to get a mortgage at least for something, at least for a shed or studio flat. Then a few years later to re-sell the bank and the money from the growth in property prices is to buy a better house. Sometimes, to finally get a decent mortgage on a house, go for decades. The average price of a house, which they bought for the first time people are relatively young age of 250 thousand pounds. (This is not a mansion). The interest rate on the mortgage of approximately 5% plus 0.5% of the bank of England. The interest rate is lower than in Russia, but here and interest on bank deposits is much lower, so the banking system credit / store money is about the same everywhere and balanced, bankers extra penny just will not give up. 

A couple of years ago, HiFX has conducted a study which showed that 40% of Britons want to leave the country to get rid of the mortgage debt. Mortgage payment (mortgage) amount to about 70% of the income of the middle class Briton after tax. Every 5th pensioner in Britain still owes on the mortgage in the tens of thousands. 

Etymology of the word mortgage — this pledge / guarantee to death. the way it turns out in fact to ordinary people. 

Utilities / price issue

In the middle is the following:
Electricity: £ 50
Water: £ 30
Gas: £ 50, if there is no gas, electricity, respectively, is more expensive, especially during the heating season. 
Council tax (council tax): approx £ 100
Total for the month all together about 200 pounds or 10 thousand rubles

The quality of housing / bugs in the Karelian cigarette case

If you take a homogenized version, the quality is poor, to say the place is disgusting. Khrushchev in Russia by UK standards is quite decent lodging. There are nice buildings, with excellent communications — this is usually quality new construction (there are also cardboard), or converted Victorian and Edwardian houses, when a thorough repair is taken sensible real estate management company. Is such a pleasure is usually very expensive.

House of the old buildings are damp and dank, because everything is always saved and saves on heating, single frames. The big problem mold, the fact is that in Britain recently emerged construction standards (similar to guests), which is required by the ventilation system in the house, a very large number of houses, where it simply does not matter and mold, plus dampness. Often, if the ventilation is installed, it really does not work for whatever reason. In terms of space — very boring. The houses are no customary in Russia or in the continent porches. It's more of these halls. Very narrow. Property owners are trying to squeeze the maximum profit, so often crushed by placing the maximum number of "corrals" that is, apartments. In own apartments or houses typical building layout is very cramped, there is the spacious corridors or hallways. Usually the more space — living room, which is combined with the kitchen and serves as a dining room. So notorious taps without mixers. The kitchens in the main stand mixers, but in the sinks in the bathroom — no. But you get used to it quickly

On the face of the building can look very thoroughly and beautiful, but inside is what I described above.

In many homes, old carpet continuous surfaces (except for. Flooring in the kitchen), I can not stand them, collect all the dirt is not changed for years, if not decades. 


Communications / pipes are often brought out when hit the abnormal cold, then all burst.

Heating here is bad. By the beginning of the 70, only 15 percent of homes in Britain had central heating. Often the houses have electric battery. Their peculiarity is that they burn oxygen, it becomes stuffy, and the heat from them is not very much. If high ceilings, all the heat is accumulated near the ceiling. The bathrooms are often not provided for heating at all (cultural feature of the English associated with this, I will describe later). It should be noted that the bathrooms in houses and apartments gained mass distribution in Britain just after the war, to make do rubdown with a damp sponge and hand basins, and somewhere up to the 70s — taking baths once a week was common. 

Often in older developments set "Titan", a word what!, Which heats the hot water. This water is only enough time to quickly wash and then have to wait until the next portion will heat up. Shower head so it's easier to bathe with her tears, and sometimes roar hunting in the cold. In newer homes use power shower, it's a good option 

With regard to any household pests: Cockroaches are not found in any case, I did not see them, but the bugs and mice is start. But best cockroaches than mice or especially bugs. For the first time in my life I met with bedbugs in London. They bite so that later spotted going, scratching, carry infection. Horror really is. If they are bred, all — down the drain. It is necessary to call the special people for persecution. And thus it is necessary to pack all the stuff and put in one place, and it is desirable to take out of the house. Harassment bugs is almost like moving. Terrible hemorrhoids. 

Sometimes the feeling that the walls are made of cardboard. How Mayakovsky wrote about American building of the century, "cigarette case made of Karelian birch." This definition is applied and to Britain. Sometimes it does seem that it is not at home, and cigarette cases, sound is very bad. In the old Victorian house floors in my opinion with voids and hardwood floors. The floorboards creak unbearable. If a house is divided into several apartments, it is best to choose on the top floor, or the creak of the brain endure, the feeling that you have someone walking home, you hear every move. 

Types of houses / paradise for speculators

In Britain, there is no concept of a studio apartment. Analogue studio apartment is one-bedroom flat. Number of rooms designated bed-rooms. Usually it is a small bedroom, and a reception room, kitchen. Most kitchens in the apartments are a little nook, even if well with the window chatso without doors if the apartment ventilation is poor, then imagine all the charm of weather proof kitchen smells. Therefore, a two-room apartment in the Russian understanding of such housing can not be considered, but rather poltorashka.

In England, the houses are mainly low (with the exception of municipal buildings, which are 10 and 20 storeys are). Most apartments are divided into two levels: the first floor is the bedroom. This does not mean that such a large apartment, it may consist of two rooms at all. There are houses of this type is called a house, but in fact it is a vertical flat

Cunning speculators in real estate, especially in large cities, baryzhat masterful. Break up the house (especially if it's an old building) on the cubbyholes and drive it on the market. Everyone has heard about this concept probably a studio flat. This is a nook where in one room and a kitchen and a bedroom and lounge and all that you want. Here is an example of a studio


And it is in a rather posh house, do not even think that there might be some little cages. It is the center of London, the price of the rent no bills approximately 1000-1200 pounds a month (about 50,000 rubles). Usually there is a so-called live young sprofessionaly who work 12 hours a day and only come to sleep


But this is not the limit ushlosti speculators. Another invention is called bed-sit. It has a bedroom, along with a kitchen, a bathroom and toilet are shared for multiple tenants. Price in the center of London about? 600-700 per month


This I did not write about cage homes on the basement level, and there are … well baryzhit very profitable real estate

For these reasons, the British in the big city live up to 35-40 years in almost communal environment rent rooms. 

The standard type of housing development is a solid rank of terraced houses, and rather sad spectacle common in large cities, an analog of the sleeping areas of Russia, in such homes tend to live a middle class family. Often among the ranks of twenty-story towers stake municipal apartment block. 


Take a look inside? An example of how such houses usually equipped. 


Pay attention to the mess in the bedroom, people are not steamed and spread these photos on the websites of real estate. Typical back-garden — backyard, mandatory for the average Englishman.


Here is an example single bed-room, so it's not a pantry, this bedroom in the house. Such indeed often dealt separately. People who suffer from claustrophobia, in England it is better not to go. 


There are also detached houses and semi-detached houses. This is when the house can stand alone or have a common wall with another house, too, is typical of the middle class. 


Here are the most common examples of old buildings: the house of Victorian and Edwardian era. property in such houses is already more expensive than in terraced houses 



A significant portion of the housing stock is social housing (council houses), ie housing for the poor, which provides state-in. Building of this type began with the 60s when the influx of immigrants, and when I finally realized the right of that housing stock is obsolete. 

Social housing undervalued (eventually buying back some of this housing and then rent in the rent), mainly due course inhabiting contingent. But if we take only the physical quality of housing, it is not all that bad. The walls of cardboard, yes, and the design is bad, but the central water heating in the winter you can walk around the apartment in his underwear (I had forgotten what it is like living in a house of old buildings), central hot water, even drown, all batteries, the water pressure is good, No intolerable creaking floorboards.



Watch this clip massive attack, by the way well-known film director Michel Gondry. Yes, of course not filmed in a real house, but I can say that in layout and in general on the general atmosphere of a typical public housing, though exaggerated

In the past 20 years in Britain has become a very popular remodel the old warehouse or factory premises for residential homes. These houses, warehouse conversion, become expensive mainly for upper-middle class, because in contrast to the typical housing — there is a lot of space, massive walls and generally considered to be fashionable and trendy. London's Docklands just such notable buildings. 



Example of good quality apartments in the houses of new construction



Fragment of a house valued at several million. Notice how thin walls (visible through the windows) and single frame. Heating battery and if provided, is very small somewhere near the wall, since the windows do not. At home I have the same window as soon as the moved was delighted, and in winter to experience all the "charms"


And finally hit the start of the 80s madness «our house». Great song and a comic clip that describes the life of an ordinary working families. He was shot in the former stables. Incidentally stables in cities (mews) has long been remade into homes and are considered a prestigious housing. Clip ironic of course, is hardly a working family could afford such housing. In the video, there are kinds of Buckingham Palace. He was shot in the north-west London, at the end you can see some of the types of homes that I described above.

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