[Ben Reeve Lewis cares about the planet, but …)
I care about the planet.
I hate corporate greed and how it affects the Ozone layer, I hate the notion of factory farming and what it does to the environment and the oceans – but hands up, I just can’t be arsed with green politics and issues when it actually comes down to doing something..
Whereas I would happily join an anti-war or capital punishment march the plight of Whales or the polar icecap is not going to get me holding a placard.
Recycling is a pain. Why can’t I just dump everything in one bin like when I was a kid? What are bin men for?
I leave the phone chargers permanently plugged in, my computer left on all night and try as you might you just can’t get your kitchen and bathroom clean with anything other mental, landscape stripping chemicals.
Sod all that Ecover crap. Wouldn’t even get smears of egg off my breakfast plate.
I remember when I lived in Taunton for a few years we had 4 bins: general household waste, tins, bottles and cardboard, each with a fortnightly collection which if you missed left you with mounds of rotting rubbish in the backgarden attracting rats from adjacent fields
It’s very un PC to say so but I’ll bet many people privately feel as I do. You know it’s important but at the end of the day……………..
Or maybe not.
Tenants caring about the environment
I read this week that a YouGov poll surveying tenants reveal that we are apparently getting more eco-conscious by the year, 80% thinking that their landlord should do more to make their properties more environmentally friendly. 55% stating they would choose a rental property with a smart meter over one without.
But that’s an answer to a specific question. 80% of tenants might expect landlords to make properties more environmentally friendly but would 80% bother to do it themselves?
The tenants upstairs from me had a smart meter put in a couple of months back but they are all 20 something young professionals who are probably more in tune with eco stuff.
But not our Ben
Personally, I don’t actually know how smart meters work and have even less interest in finding out, my usual trick is to not pay my electricity bill until they are about to cut it off, then I clear the bill with the money I had in the bank all along – just to annoy them.
But I’m fractious like that. Probably what makes me a good TRO. If your job is arguing for a living you’ve got to be comfortable with confrontation. Personally, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if there wasn’t some sort of ongoing row in the background.
New York Evictions
And the TROs of New York, or their equivalent, have certainly had their work cut out this week fighting the combined forces of one Joel Israel and his family of landlords who have been busy trying to defraud and illegally evict tenants in their houses who were protected by what they call ‘Rent stabilisation’.
The basis of the scheme seems to be forcing stabilised tenants out, knocking down the building and sticking up houses not covered by rent stabilisation schemes. Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said:
“New York has zero tolerance for those who seek to defraud or discriminate against rent-regulated tenants trying to make a home for themselves and their families,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release. “Together with our state and local partners, the Tenant Protection Unit will further crack down on unscrupulous landlords and ensure that those responsible for this reprehensible conduct are held to full account. The state is committed to protecting tenants’ rights and ensuring access to safe, decent, affordable housing statewide.”
Oooohh? A Tenant Protection Unit! I fancy that. Wonder if they have a decent uniform. The yanks have always done better uniforms than us brits, not to mention shinier badges.
Anyway, uniform day dream aside, the Israel brothers pleaded guilty to all charges, none of which satisfied one tenant who said “He should be in jail”. Yes but it rarely happens either side of the pond love.
Although you might just get banned, as happened to 6 Glasgow landlords this week for renting out unfit properties.
5 of the 6 got done for housing related stuff like no gas safe certificates, no insurance etc while landlord number 6 added to his vile recidivism with convictions for assault and intent to rape. Council leader Frank MacAveety said:
“Members of the private landlord registration team deserve great credit for bringing these cases forward.”
But I wonder if they have a uniform?
Paying for pests
Returning to the states briefly, I notice that in Ohio another landlord has been found guilty of making his tenants pay for pest infestation another example of strange, state laws.
In the UK a landlord wouldn’t be held liable unless the infestation resulted from disrepair and while a council will fix rats for free everything else you have to pay for in most districts I know.
When asking an EHO colleague once about where mice come from and who would be responsible, he said “If it ain’t a result of disrepair then them is your meeces”.
So despite whatever local ordinance you have in Ohio people you don’t have my sympathy, get your hands in your pockets like us sturdy, rugged Brits.
What made me smile this week.
I wrote a few weeks back of the double-edged pleasure of discovering a new author that you like, the initial pleasure tainted when you run out of their books to read but this week I accidentally fell over the wonderful Lawrence Block.
Author of over 100 brilliantly written pulp noir crime fests, full of sassy woman, fedora wearing bent cops and doomed armed robberies.
100 books from the 1950s onwards. Think of that?
See ya next week