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  1. In my local paper the council are reminding people that due to the roll out of Universal Credit,and the way it is paid, our rents will go 4 weeks into arrears, they are hoping that people affected pay small amount each week from now until December when UC will be rolled out in my area to offset those arrears. There is an option to have UC paid in advance to cover the change over, this advance will be recovered over a 6 month period. If that's right then I will be £75 short on the first 6 payments of UC if I choose to have the advanced payment, which is quite a large proportion of my benefit IMO. It is though they have taken 4 weeks from the future plonked it into the present and said we dont pay benefit for the future so what we will do is loan you the money to get by, but we want it back before the future has arrived, they will soon clock on that they could take 3 months from the future and borrow us all the shortfall if they rolled out UC payments on a quarterly basis saving the government zillions. IDS I salute your accounting wizardry.
  2. I pay rent monthly but it is worked out on a weekly basis. I am granted 2 x week rent free payments per year. For the financial years 2007 - 2008 and 2013 - 2014 I have been charged 51 weeks rent their response to my questioning as follows... "It is wholly possible that the accounting protocols used would set the weekly rent and then multiply it by 50 or 51 but in the context of your query this doesn’t matter. Your query was inclined towards us making charges that sometimes assume that there is more than 52 weeks in a year and the fact is that there is more than 52 weeks in a year. Ie 365 days in the calendar or 366 in a leap year but 52 weeks multiplied by 7 days equals 364 days. This one or two day disparity will occasionally, every few years, even itself out by there being 53 Mondays in a year." I can't argue that there were 53 Mondays in those years but I do not recall there ever being 371 days in the year. Grateful for any assistance or advice on this matter.
  3. I am thinking of moving to a retirement flat. I currently receive Pension Savings Credit and Council Tax Benefit. If, when I move, I have the same capital and income would I be entitle to help with the ground rent and service charge? Also, I assume the if I did there would be limit to this or does it depend on the number of bedrooms? Thank you.
  4. Hi. I am currently going through with a DRO (debt relief order) and it's taking longer than I would wish, plus the guy from Citz Advice is not really helping at all. I get back tonight and 2 letters. One is from Collectica, saying I now owe them £215, £140 of the remainder of the fine and £75 for their BS fees. I have been paying this weekly, missed a week here and there but generally up to date, it was for a motor fine with courts. This is not in the DRO as fines can not go in dro. However the 2nd letter is off CCS Collect. Saying I owe upto £300 for variou HMRC stuff. This fine is in DRO. They have 'threatened' with action if I do not pay them etc. They say 'our clent hmrc has authed us to recover full amount due. we regret that if no payment in 7 days or an offer to pay etc we will advice cliebnt to litigate amount due with court costs and court fees. This is in the DRO so what's going on? Can anyone shed light on these 2? I have been working in the library on new business ideas all day and the last thing I want to come home to is this ****!
  5. I am in the onerous position of having to deal with SIMARC who are the agents for my freeholder. I missed the payment of ground rent in January of £60:00, I have now received a demand for £120:00 which I believe is unreasonable. The only method of payment is via the SIMARC web site using credit or debit cards, neither of which I have access to at the moment. I have emailed SIMARC explaining the situation, but I cannot obtain a reply or any form of communication. They have also threatened further costs, if I do not pay the full amount within 14 days. Is there any further steps I could take? Regards
  6. I am unable to find any other articles on this and sadly this site doesn't allow you to read the full article http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Finance/article1516387.ece
  7. I currently rent my home from Home group in the North East. I have received my annual rent increase letter. However it has been brought to my attention we are paying a higher band of rent than a friend of mine who lives in the same size house just 10 houses away, on the same estate but different street. Now I'm not talking a few quid difference I'm talking £30 per week difference which i think is extortionate. With this in mind I did a bit of searching and found a valuation office agency electronic rent register and found tenancies in my street moving in after us where the rent is shown as £20-30 less than what we pay. Can anyone advise if I should query this and how I should do so? thanks for your time!
  8. Can anyone help on this one? We haver taken over a small business (fitness centre) this is in a larger building (a rugby club house) and is leased from them. The rent in 2008 was £10000 pa. We have half the first floor for an office, changing rooms, reception area, studio and gym, total area 350 sqm. The other half of the first floor belongs to the rugby club and has an office, reception area, changing rooms and a bar/conference centre/kitchen, total area 350 sqm Both premises were valued by the VOA in April 2014. We are valued at £16250, the other half of the first floor is valued at £7000. At first sight, this seems horribly iniquitous (as well as putting us at a major disadvantage relative to other local fitness centres) and I'm trying to work up to the formalities needed to contest this. But before I start, am I missing something obvious… is there a reason that I don't know about which will explain the discrepancy?
  9. Hi everyone Just looking for some advice really Rented a property for four years Me and the missus decided to move We no longer had any contact details for the landlord so we contacted the estate agents through email The said just email over a months notice that were leaving and they would forward it to the landlord We moved out on Friday not hearing anything from the landlord Having not heard anything from them in the four years we lived there I assumed they had retired abroad This evening my parents receive a ****ty phone call from the landlord saying we had left the property without giving notice and that we owe them a months rent (My parents where guarantors) The landlord left a contact number so I text saying I had given notice with the estate agents and they said they would contact them as I no longer had contact details for them The landlord has come back with that because I didn't give a months notice I will need to pay rent for another month until January fifth. My response has been that I used all reasonable means to give notice and would be happy to provide all email correspondants with the estate agents. She is insisting that I owe another month. So where do I stand please?
  10. I'm currently on the receiving end of a S21 notice, and I'm trying to find out if I have grounds to contest this. I moved into a flat in 2001. The landlord wasn't really bothered about being a landlord, so he didn't do any of the expected things, like gas certificates or maintenance. TBH this wasn't a problem as the rent was very low, and I'm a pretty practical guy, so I was happy to look after the place, and renovated it from top to bottom. The place is an awful lot nicer than when I moved in. I could go literally 5 years without so much as speaking to him on the phone. He's moved several times without notifying me of a new address, all I've ever had is a mobile phone number. This was the days before deposits had to be protected, so I didn't worry about that. This was a periodic tenancy from the start, not a fixed term that rolled into a statutory periodic tenancy. In 2009 we met and he put the rent up by a small amount. I agreed to this as it was a pretty modest increase. Nothing was written down, definitely no Section 13 notice, but I started paying the higher amount straight away. There was nothing in the original AST about varying the rent. My question is whether this should be regarded as a variation of the old tenancy agreement, or a new agreement. This is significant as if it is a new agreement, then he needed to put the deposit into a protection scheme. If not, then I can't defend the S21 on that basis. At the time I was unaware of the distinction between the two and the implications if our arrangement all went south - as it has done now. What would the characteristics be of a new agreement versus a variation of an old one? How strong is my argument that he should have protected the deposit as we effectively had a new agreement post-2009? Thanks for the help.
  11. Good Afternoon All. I was really looking for some advice on way's I can move forward with the following situation: My partner, son and I live in a housing association property and pay £870 per month for a 2 bedroom house. As of February 2013 I had to change jobs due to my previous company making redundancies and jumped into the next suitable job for financial security purposes etc. I went from a 30k a year salary to 23k per year and my partner takes home roughly £650 per month as she works part-time due to being the primary carer for our son. Unfortunately as we both have bad poor credit scores we need to use payday loans to help us get throught the month but now are in a situation where we are taking them out to help with living and the cost of rent! Each month we are needing to pay back the previous loan and take out another one and the amount with interest has gradually increased as we have needed slightly more each month as we are loosing a lot of money in interest. The problem we have now is that the maximum loan I can take out just about covers the rent but we'll have nothing else to live off of for the month. I'm not too sure what to do with this one, I don't want to get into rent arrears or have a payday loan we can't pay back, especially as I can't imagine them being that flexible. Is there any support or advice out there to help manage housing association rental arrears as I don't see any other solution to get us through the month then to pay less on the rent? Unfortunatly there isn't anyone we could ask to burrow the money from. Thank you for your time.
  12. I had a very bad experience recently. The car I had taken on rent suffered scratches on the doors. Over the weekend while the car was with me, I went to some garages and they told me that they could fix the dent and the fresh paint for 150 quid. I decided that it was best to report to Enterprise since you would prefer to get it done from your approved garages. The branch charged me £ 1000 excess and said that would take 3 weeks to settle invoices and refund the amount after deducting repair cost and other charges. Also, I was told that I would be shown the estimates for the cost of repair and that it would be a transparent process. The branch also gave me the number of the garage where it was to be sent for repair. I contacted the garage and they told me that the estimates were sent to Enterprise. While the garage told me that they can't disclose the amount, the Enterprise branch and Enterprise accidents claims department said that they havn't received the invoice. After 3 weeks when I again up their accident claims cell, they told me that the cost of repairs was over £900 and accounting for handling and other charges I was liable to pay about £ 1050 quid. That's a RIP-OFF. By my estimates and allowing enough margin to get it done from a enterprise class garage, all put together should not have crossed £ 250- 300. Extremely disappointed with the whole process. The lady on the phone told me that I could get a competitive quote and contest the claim. Now with the car repaired, how on earth can I get a competitive quote from other garages. A month after the overcharge, I am still awaiting repair charge details.
  13. Hi, I'm a new user so hope I've started this thread in the right place !! I am planning on having an extension built on to my property and the plans have been passed by Stockport council. I emailed the Ground Rent company and informed them of the intention to extend. They replied to my email and asked me to forward copies of the plans which I did. There was no mention of "Admin Fees" in the email. Today I have received a letter from them stating "We wish to confirm that the fee in connection with considering the possibility of granting the consent is £600.00" This will take 10 working days and if I want to expedite sooner then a further £144.00 is required. How can they justify that kind of fee ? Their statement only says this is for "considering the possibility of granting consent" so they could just say No ! Help !! Thanks
  14. My mother passed away a few days ago. She was a protected tenant in a large housing association / housing trust. An officer of the trust has informed me that she was in rent arrears prior to her death, and that until the flat is cleared rent will continue to be charged. She had been living in the property (and another property in the same HA) from the early 70's. She was the sole tenant, there was no-one else living with her & no-one stands to continue the tenancy. She was a hoarder therefore it will take some time to clear her rubbish & belongings (little of value). She had very little of value, and i've found recent credit card statements indicating she was in thousands of pounds of credit card debt. There may be other debts. She was in receipt of pension credit & housing benefit. The rent included heating & hot water, therefore the HB would not have included that, so the HB was not for the full amount. There may be other HB deductions. I am her next of kin (sole child). My questions are : 1) is the HA right to claim a) rent arrears prior to her death b) to charge rent while the flat is unoccupied but being cleared of her belongings after her death ? given the amount of stuff she has hoarded, this will probably take a month or so. they have verbally offered to allow 'approximately two months' if needed. 2) re the credit cards she owes money to (the one i saw was ' m&s credit'). and other loans she may have. What happens following someone's death? I suspect her estate will have very little value. Do the CC companies claim it from the estate, chase the next of kin for the debts owed ? or are they written off ? any help appreciated i have never been in this situation before.
  15. Hi, I don't know really what I can expect to achieve however the basic gist is that my mother and myself are currently on the council waiting list for a more suitable property for her needs without going into detail this would be a single story 1st floor property preferably a Bungalow or House with a downstairs loo which could be converted into a bathroom. Having spent months eagerly awaiting new properties to be added to the list of available housing each week (and then registering an interest in the ones which appear to be suitable) we have observed a worrying number of the most suitable properties are not available to for us to register an interest as they are being let under a new government scheme which allows the housing association to charge up to 80% of the retail market value, because of this they also implement other caveats such as employment & minimum earnings etc. Now our feeling is that the housing association should not be letting Bungalow's or smaller property under this scheme, surely these types of property should be set aside for the elderly or tenants who have long term medical conditions making other property unsuitable? My understanding is that this scheme was devised to allow housing associations to garner more revenue to then pump back into building new homes, however surely they should then be focusing on large family homes to rent under this scheme? As then their is a higher likelihood that those types of tenants will be able to meet the higher rents and minimum earning stipulations written into the tenancy agreement... Can anyone suggest a course of action to take regarding complaints etc. and who we might make traction with on this matter? Many thanks,
  16. I have been personally dealing with my landlord for over a year now without any legal support to correct being overcharged for rent at my residence for 11 years. During my tenancy (before march 2013) I was issued with court costs as my landlord made applications to the court to recover rent arrears held on my account. I signed a tenancy agreement for a 1 Bedroom apartment in 2002. The rent was set and I never questioned it (Why would I??). In March 2013, I found out that from the start of my tenancy I was registered as a two bedroom tenant paying rent for a two bedroom accommodation. This came about as I received a letter from the council requesting payments from me to pay for an unused bedroom space. When I notified my landlord they adjusted my rent account to reflect the rent their tenant's would normally pay for a 1 bedroom property. In addition, they also debited payments from my credit balance to cover the outstanding court costs. I didn't agree to any of this nor was a new tenancy agreement issued to me. - (Do I still have a legally binding tenancy agreement contract with my landlord)? I used their complaint procedure to request returning the court costs to my rent account as I believed I should not be held liable. My initial complaint was overruled and was told by my landlord that they were justified in their actions as my rent account still would have been in arrears even after the adjustments. I used my old rent statements, with the correct rent charges to calculate any outstanding arrears before the court applications were submitted and found this not being the case. Again following their complaint procedures, I re-submitted a compliant insisting that the court costs transferred from my credit balance should be returned to my rent account. After nearly a year on, my landlord agreed and confirmed my calculations and produced a gesture of good will (GOGW) of £190 to draw a line in my complaint. I did not agree with the (GOGW) and issued my final formal complaint to return all court cost's. Eventually, (as of last month) my landlord refunded my account with the full court costs suggesting that refunding the full amount was way of compensation to me. I am in desperate need of sound advice as to what rights I have as a tenant, if I am being treated fairly, do I have any entitlement or due compensation, who should i contact for legal advice and generally just being in this position as I feel that my landlord is not being up front with their obligations.
  17. Dear All, I have another small query for you regarding housing benefit overpayments due to rent free weeks! I received a call from my Mother saying that she had been contacted by her landlord, or rather a member of staff (a national social housing group). My Mother tried to explain that they (landlord) informed her that she owed them just over £500 due to Housing Benefit overpayment! Before going into detail regarding the above, I should let you know that my Mother receives, and has done for a number of years, pension credit entitling her to full HB and CT. The HB has always been paid direct to her social housing landlord. I will also add that my Mother was also paying off a HB overpayment at £xx per month. In fact, almost a year ago, I had noticed on my Mothers bank statement, that a DD was being paid out but she could not recall what this was for. After some digging I found out that this DD related to this HB overpayment, which had not only been paid in full but was still being taken from my Mothers account. This resulted in a credit to the amount of around £900, being held in my Mothers landlords account. I spoke with a member of staff who confirmed that my Mother had indeed overpaid this HB overpayment to the tune of £900 and that they would arrange for this sum to be paid back into my Mothers account. This has now taken place and as I say, some months ago. Now, arises the present predicament. My Mother has received a call from her landlord, in which they explained that her HB has been overpaid due to the fact that HB had been paying rent for the 2 rent free weeks per year since my Mother moved into her current address. I have been told that this is in the tune of around £500 and had mistakenly been included in the above £900 that my Mother had overpaid to her landlord. I was also informed that there were a large number of tenants renting property from this social housing group who have been caught in the same trap and face having to pay differing amounts back. Now, although I have not had a chance to discuss this face to face with my Mothers landlord, or a member of their staff, a few queries arise! The 1st and most important being, is my Mother liable to repay the HB that had been paid direct to the landlord due to a problem with notification of rent free weeks? This takes me back to when my Mother moved into the current property and that it is more than likely that it may well have been a member of staff of her current landlord who would have completed any such HB application form. If, as suspected, this is the case, surely it would have been down to member of staff who completed HB application form to include the correct number of weeks for which HB is being applied? I cannot fathom how my Mothers landlord has the ability to request that my Mother repay any amount of HB when this is no fault of my Mothers, as far as I can make out. Since my Mother took tenancy she has always been entitled to Pension Credit and as such, to full HB and CT. The only matter where My Mothers circumstances have changed was at the beginning of this year when she was diagnosed with Alzheimers. At that point I made contact with AgeUK who completed and submitted a application for Attendance Allowance which was ultimately granted. This then entitled my Mother to a higher figure of PC due to the Severe Disability Premium being added. However, this would have no bearing on my Mothers entitlement to HB. Bearing all of the above in mind, until I am told/shown anything to the contrary, am I correct in thinking that this or any amount of HB overpayment paid on the above basis, is/should be classed as unrecoverable due to the fact that it has been caused by official error? In a nutshell, once my Mother signed tenancy agreement, her rent has been paid in full by HB direct to her social housing landlord. My Mothers repayment of previous overpayment of HB (relating to different property/landlord) which had caused a credit of some £900 to Mothers current landlord, as explained in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 above, should have no bearing on current matter. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that my Mothers landlord should have notified my Mother once that previous HB had been repaid and not have kept collecting this once it had been paid off. All responses and replies gratefully received.
  18. Hi I am new to the forum and am looking for a little help. I have a tenant who has basically stopped paying her rent. After some abortive attempts to evict her I am nearly there but she has run up over £1000 in unpaid rent. Can someone advise how I calculate interest on this unpaid debt as it is increasing every month so there is no specific date that the debt is incurred. The only way I can think of is to treat each monthly payment as a separate debt and add up the interest charges individually. Will money claim online accept this as I don't want to jeopardize the claim by calimng the interest incorrectly. Many thanks
  19. Ok... I was staying with friends near manchester, it then became a formal agreement (paid in part by benefit and part cash). They proved to be quite odd people so I went in search of work in London, found work, after about 5 weeks in London at friends places I decided to move here so I informed my landlord I had some money, and wished to return to collect my possessions and settle up the money I owed them for keeping my stuff in their home. They immediately put all my belongings into storage at another of their properties, opened my post (looking for an "address") sent me a (dishonest) bill and claimed further debts I know nothing about. In my post are cheques for the work I have done that I cannot now get. This put me into quite a bad financial position as I was unable to move into the bedsit I had planned as they have my post and all my tools etc. Ive been running about trying to make up this impossible sum. They are now threatening me with further legal action and interest. To make matters worse I am in the middle of custody battle/access battle for my daughter and they are withholding my legal documents and post. I have no doubt this is because they want the valuable mountaineering equipment and tools I left behind with them. They wont even let me inspect them, or have a friend look at my items. What do I do now?
  20. I am currently an assured tenant after inheriting my mothers regulated tenancy. It's a home I've grown up in all my life and after my succession I've had nothing but trouble with the LL - they actually said, in court, they never wanted me to stay there and begrudge me living in the property despite it being my home all my life. I had a feeling this would happen but it appears the LL wishes to put the rent up. I was open to an increase because I can appreciate that the rent previously had been very low however I'm effectively being priced out of the property. He's increased the rent 4x for a property in which all the fittings, fixtures, carpets etc are mine. I don't think this is fair and when I've challenged it I was told my option was to leave. I know exactly what his game is.. I know that my situation is relatively rare so I can't find much in the way of advice on Assured Tenancy rent increases. Is there a limit to how much he can raise the rent by? I feel begrudged being strong armed into paying what I feel is quite steep for a property that has been maintained by family and myself in recent years; market rate is one thing for a place that's got all the amenities but the bathroom and kitchen need some essential work and I don't want to be paying him over the odds if he's not going to come in and put all that right either. I've also been told there are no fair rents for people in my situation; the tribunals are all gone. All help or advice is appreciated
  21. Hi, first of, just to let you know what I have: Assured Shorthold Tenancy (6 month fixed) which started 16 Nov 2011, it's now a monthly periodic. The letting agents, only having just ventured into private letting (monthly) for the first time ever, issued me with an AST which is a bit of a frankenstein AST. By this I mean: When dates and "months" are mentioned, they used the lunar (not 28 day calendar) as reference. Tenancy, as quoted "The tenancy begging -3 Oct 2011 and is for a fixed term of 6 months and ends on Mid-day on 03 April 2012 subject to terms in this agreement." Rent, quoted as "Total Monthly Charge £450" Rent is to be paid, in advance for the following month i.e. from the 3rd of the month to the 3rd of the next. Then when they mention under "changes in rent", this is how the terms are listed out: We may review the rent due for the premises at any time after six months from the commencement of the tenancy, provided you are given 4 weks notice of such charges We usually increase rents with effect from the First Monday in April each year, but reserve the right to increase on another date. We can reduce the rent at any time. The on the 9th October 2012 (part way through the month 03 Oct - 03 Nov) they wrote to me the following: What happened is that the rent change happened mid-month i.e. 03 Mov - 06 Nov was £450 / mo then 06 Nov onwards was £495. The Shelter helpline have told me that how it works on month periodicals is that: 1) When notice is served, that notice period starts at the first day of the next period and if the notice period continues into another period, the notice changes take effect from the start of the next period from the notice period end date. 2) Rent changes can only take effect from the start of the period after after the notice period has ended. (or something to that effect) I got a little confused as the council told me a whole other story (which I will explain later in the thread).. Am I right in thinking that, the notice period should have started as of the beginning of the next i.e 03 November meaning that the rent increase should have taken effect as of 03 December 2013. Another question, looking back at the history of my account, this has happened each of the 3 times. In one case I received a letter in April stating that the rent wasn't going to increase that April, but it did anyway in November? Can they do that? Finally, the rent increase in question here has been in dispute since it happened. Whilst disputing it, I notified the Council to get the HB raised to cover it so I don't go into debt because of credit reports etc... so they did. The dispute happened for months and months with no budging from the LL. Finally, the person who was handling the dispute left the company entirely and left it all to a bunch of people with no organisational skills. From here on (mid 2013) noe o the repairs are being done, which I'm also disputing, amongst others things and somehow the whole dispute "vanished"... Early this year I received a letter about "arrears" of about 2 weeks (as HB weren't paying the full amount). I contacted them, set up a payment arrangement and make it VERY clear in writing and with each bank transfer that they are nothing but "TOKEN" payments. I've asked time and time again to review the dispute as the increase wasn't even agreed, plus all their dates are wrong, but they seem more interested in collecting arrears. than dealing with this. Can someone have a nose over this and have a look at how I could approach this? Cheers, A
  22. Hello, Me and 2 of my friends viewed a flat in London we liked it enough to take it off the market and then paid the full deposit and first months rent. Then when we went to move in (after signing the contract) there was no one to check us in or do an inventory check then when we finally got the keys we discovered that the flat they had 'given' us was in a different building, much smaller and worse condition than the one we viewed. We tried to speak to the agents but they denied ever being in the property we viewed and refused to show up at their office on the day. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to resolve this issue because we don't want to live in the property they provided as it is nothing like the one we viewed in the first place! We also have photos of both properties one with the agent themselves standing in the one we viewed. The estate agents we used are quite a large chain so they can't disappear over night or anything like that. Thanks in advance, Jacob
  23. Hi I need a new tenancy agreement for a standing tenant taht is always up to 3 weeks late with the rent. Does anyone have any templates that can be downloaded Thanks Mike
  24. Hello, I will start by saying that we are a group of three international students who share a property. It turned out our landlord did not pay his mortgage and we received an eviction notice on late April as the property was to be repossessed. The landlord of course "went missing" and did not answer to any phone calls or emails. We (the tenants) applied for a stay of execution and we got one until the end of our tenancy (30th of June 2014). We already paid the 1st month following the court's decision (May) and we are left to pay the final month of our rent (June). The mother of one of my flatmates is a Cypriot lawyer and she told us that given the circumstances we are not obliged to pay June's rent if none of us stays in the property on June, but she might not be very familiar with UK's laws. Under any other circumstances we would pay June as normal. So my questions are: a) Is the contract valid until the end of our tenancy, even though the flat was supposed to be repossessed on May and we delayed the process by getting a stay of execution? b) Do we have to pay June's rent even though no one of us occupied the property on June?
  25. Good afternoon lovely clever helpful folks, We are in a housing association property and do not receive any housing benefit. We have always paid our rent in full on time, however last year when they hiked up the service charge and rent they did not increase my direct debit amount properly. I was unaware of this as my direct debit goes straight out my account and every year when it increases they have always changed the amount automatically. Anyway when I got a letter saying i was in arrears last September i agreed to pay more money on top each month to start paying towards arrears. However this will take forever to pay it off and I wish I had more of a fuss at the time as it was their maladministration as well as my foolishness that resulted in the arrears getting so high. Now I am unable to successfully bid on a bigger property to move to as I am in arrears, even though I am paying it off. Do i have grounds to request that they clear some of my arrears? Thanking you kindly in advance for your advice xxx
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