“Ben’s Newsround on a Monday?“ you’ll be asking. “Whats going on?”
Well although Ben sent his newsround over last week, I didn’t get it. Which is why I did one myself at the last minute. But now I have Ben’s version of the news, I don’t want to deprive you of it – so here it is. On a Monday.
We’ll do something else this Friday.
A fondness for the North
I think I’ll move to South Tyneside, its where my mum’s side of the family are from and I lived up that way for about 5 years and remember the area with great fondness.
The reason I fancy it now is that there doesn’t appear to be any rogue landlords at all.
The Shields Gazette tells us that the local authority hardly ever have to prosecute because, as a council spokesman says:-
“Where the problem identified is the responsibility of the landlord, we contact the landlord and work with him and the tenant to ensure the property is brought back into a state of good repair.
In nearly all cases, landlords cooperate as they are aware that the council has a number of enforcement powers including prosecution if they fail to comply with a Statutory Notice and being liable for costs if the council has step in and undertake remedial work.”
OK, admittedly I fell on the floor laughing at that one.
Rogue landlords so scared of council enforcement powers they give up their wicked ways and become beacons of light in a sad world.
Sorry folks but what utter bullshit. Speaking as one who has been taking these bums to task for 27 years.
Tell it like it is, please Councils
The article goes on to point out that South Tyneside Council has to trim £119 million from its budget and this is hot on the heels of other cuts already made and therein lies the real reason for the parlous state of prosecutions. There ain’t nobody to do ‘em.
Prosecutions of any kind take time and resources. I know, I’ve lost count how many I’ve done. The paperwork alone is staggering, not to mention the various appeal processes.
I just wish the council spokesman would come out with it and tell it like it is, not try and make out that their rogue landlords are different from everyone else’s or hide their inability to tackle problem landlords in their statement:-
“(The council) prefers to work with landlords to resolve issues and has recently taken court action against one problem property owner”.
I think it would help everyone if local authorities stopped trying to make it sound as if all is well and its business as usual. Not standing up and shouting about cuts is how politicians get away with imposing more.
As the sorry state of Britain’s housing market continues to slide down the gutter and desperate attempts are made to look like it isn’t, I read with not a little astonishment of the Loughborough Building Society’s plan to create buy to let mortgage for students to become landlords of their flatmates.
Apparently, the plan is to use a proportion of the value of the parent’s home as security against the mortgage on an HMO, with the idea that the rents will cover the slightly higher mortgage interest rates.
It’s called “Buy for Uni”.
The devil in the detail being that when the property is sold, presumably at the end of the course the student/landlord, being a first-time buyer, is exempt from Capital Gains Tax which it wouldn’t be if it was the parent’s second home.
Of course, even the casual observer can spot that you need financially secure parents in order to pull this one off.
Lib Dem peer Baroness Grender commenting:
The reality of our broken housing market is that it works for some people and not for others. Those with wealthy parents can get ahead of their peers and onto the housing ladder early. But everyone else who can’t turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad face a very tough struggle
I remember a case back in the 1990s where 2 elderly sisters renting to students were taping their conversations in secret and listening back to them before tackling them over issues that it came to light, could only have been known if the conversations were being taped.
The nosy sisters found themselves in court on a harassment charge.
In summing up the judge said:
So. We have the case of 2 women taping the conversations of a room full of students and then listening back to them. I have to say I am having trouble separating the offence from the punishment here.
Module homes to the rescue?
West Midlands mayoral candidate Beverley Nielsen has been laying into the growing trend for module homes as a solution to the housing crisis, claiming it will de-skill and ruin the building industry in her neck of the woods who can supply quality, locally built products.
De-skilling of construction workers being an issue going right back to Robert Tressell’s ‘Ragged-trousered philanthropist’ in early 20th century.
She comments that people want homes built to last 150 years as opposed to these modern day prefabs.
I agree to an extent but as with the end of world war 2, with so many homes destroyed by bombs, people need places to live and choice isn’t high on the list right now. In fact, many of the pre-fab communities became attractive places to live.
The Excalibur estate on my old patch of Lewisham always had a lovely villagey feel and was much loved by the residents. The roads being so narrow and twisty that they couldn’t be used as rat runs and so people could walk safe.
It wasn’t just about the buildings but the communities that lived in them.
However it’s all to be knocked down now anyway, to make room for some hideous monstrosity to let out at ‘Affordable rents’.
Beverley, I get your point but needs must when the devil drives.
What made me smile this week.
Finding out that Frazzy has booked us a week for Xmas in New York for free, flights included, on one of those new-fangled triple decker jobs that look like they should be able to fly.
Benefits of living with a travel agent.
See ya in a fortnight