[Ben Reeve Lewis on DJs …)
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a low tolerance for radio DJs. Smarmy annoying buggers with their perpetual cheerfulness and unfunny jokes.
One of the weirdest is Peter Young who does the Saturday afternoon show on Jazz FM whose voice sounds like a town crier who has just re-learnt how to speak again after a long illness, with every word over-enunciated as if he is ushering a sinking ship full of deaf people towards the lifeboats using a megaphone.
Trouble is, he plays my kind of music where nobody else does, loads of funk, soul and acid jazz. Most of my Shazam tags come from his programme so I have to put up with his oddball voice to find stuff I haven’t heard.
For every gem by Incognito, Maceo Parker or Trouble Funk urging us to ‘Drop the bomb’ there is also the torture of the same radio adverts over and over again. Jazz FM currently have one about landlord insurance, voiced by Harvey Keitel reprising his Pulp Fiction role as Winston Wolf, saying “So you’re a landlord, a wiseguy” to which the other actor announces sheepishly that he isn’t in fact a gangster, just a landlord.
I cant ever recall hearing an advert aimed at landlords before, maybe a sign of how many there are now as the PRS gets bigger by the day.
I read on Property Industry Eye that Rightmove are planning to launch some adverts on Channel 4 for their rental arm. The article’s author Rosalind Renshaw commenting:
“The advert shows tenants find their happy when they find the right property (let’s just hope they don’t lose their happy when it comes to handing over the deposit).”
Buffoon free zone?
While the Americans are again astonishing and frightening everyone with their unpredictable embracing of buffoons as leaders in the form of that nutbag Trump, the London Mayoral race slowly grinds into gear through which hopefully the capital can one day be a buffoon-free zone.
No surprises for guessing who will be getting my X in the box and it certainly aint gonna be this public school twonk even if he is promising to get London building at 1930s levels again.
Zac Goldsmith who in 2009 admitted claiming non domicile tax status to avoid paying anything out of his £200 million fortune is the Conservative’s hopeful.
Why is it that wherever you go in the world millionaires always want to throw their hats into the ring and run for public office? Can’t they be satisfied just sitting at home counting their money instead of wanting to create policies and ratify decisions that impact on the lives of the vast majority whose needs and dreams they have no understanding of and even less empathy for?
If jobs in political office paid £30,000 a year and side jobs as directors of companies they privatised were banned I wonder how many of them would be so keen to kiss babies?
Overcrowding in Cambridge
A Cambridge landlord was caught out this week cramming 8 beds into a three bedroom house. Receiving a fine of £15,000 for breaching housing regs. To be brutally frank, when I was working in Lewisham council’s rogue landlord team we probably wouldn’t have left the office for 8 beds.
47 in a 9 bed house was my most notable result, followed by 30 beds in a two bed flat, reduced to 22 when we raided it a second time a year later and 30 beds in a three bed house where the beds were shared on a rota as residents moved between day and night shifts.
I was training Cambridge council’s homelessness unit a few weeks back and they were telling me about the amount of HMOs in town, having a large student population, so I wasn’t surprised to read, also in the Cambridge News that 200 investigations against rogue landlords had been launched in a crackdown on illegal evictions, and poor property conditions.
Testament to the difficulties of obtaining criminal prosecutions in this field is the report that out of 282 investigations the year before only 1 landlord was successfully prosecuted.
New penalties coming
The hit rate among local authorities may well rise after April when the mooted Housing Bill is expected to become enshrined in law. The new Act will create new penalties, faster in their execution and allow councils to keep the money instead of handing most of it back to government, thus providing scope for councils to reverse the trend in job cuts and employ enforcement teams of one form of another, all self funding through the penalty system.
I was at a meeting last week with the GLA and CLG and a last minute amendment being talked about will cause many jaws to drop if it comes through……trust me!
New laws, new landlords?
When you write on housing stuff you tend to get press releases sent to your inbox. Usually I ignore them but one landed in my tray this week about rent rises that I thought interesting for one particular comment:
“With demand continuing to rise and the anticipated exit of amateur landlords from the market, rental values in 2016 are likely to continue on this upward trajectory”.
For a while now Tessa and I have been seeing all this new legislation as the death knell of the amateur landlord. it appears we are not alone.
The press release represents a large property letting organisation so they have a vested interest in seeing the exit of amateur landlords, as evidence by the use of the word ‘Anticipated’ but it does seem feasible that the death of the ‘Rigsby’ is at hand and the rise of the company let is on the horizon.
Bad thing or good thing? Difficult to say although I would note that working in harassment and illegal eviction land 90% of your work is with individuals rather than corporate portfolio players.
What made me smile this week
I can’t find the link at the time of writing but go onto you tube and put in “Dog dressed in spider costume”. That will get you to the whackiest clip doing the rounds.
A guy with a friendly small dog made a spider costume that when seen in bad light does look surprisingly scary as it scuttles towards you looking for all the world like a two foot Tarantula..
Add some large web-like scenery and subdued lighting with a couple of hidden cameras and watch the screaming begin, particularly the bloke in the subway who is so scared he actually runs into the web as the spider-dog trots around the corner minding its own business.
Sheer genius. I laughed and laughed.
See ya next week.