[Ben Reeve Lewis is working up to gig No 2 ..]
Can white men sing the blues? Is the age old question ,to which I retort as the Bonzo Dog band did, “Can blue men sing the whites?
Well the weekend will tell.
Blues is a great international language because of its common structure. Once you know the rules you should, in theory, be able to play with anyone but I’m still nervous in that I will be stepping on stage with a band I’ve never met before, with nary a soundcheck or a run through.
Seat of the pants stuff but I’m looking forward to it.
So in between learning solo patterns in A major and C# Minor pentatonic runs what has been going on in housing land?
My beady and increasingly sarcastic eye was drawn to a revealing article in the Telegraph on a decidedly one organisation’s plan to stick the boot in to Rightmove and Zoopla that will make it harder for people to market their properties for sale.
A leaked email from ‘Agents Mutual’ that fell into the Telegraph’s welcoming hands states:
“OnTheMarket are very keen on persuading their members to hold back instructions for a while from whichever other portal is used (one of OnTheMarket’s rules is that their members can only use Rightmove or Zoopla – not both).”
If you don’t pick up this piece of skulduggery at first glance it is saying that agents are being urged to hold back properties that their clients want sold in order to damage it’s rivals.
The email goes on to say:
“Many members see merit in deferring new listings everywhere except their own websites,”
Lawrence Hall of Zoopla pointed out:
“This is not in the consumer’s interest and is problematic for sellers who should be seeking maximum exposure for their property…After all, 9 out of 10 property searches are now conducted online and not being in front of any major part of this audience is likely to result in the seller leaving money on the table,”
Of course Mr Hall, as head of Zoopla is displaying as much self interest as Agents Mutual so to an extent it is a case of “Dear Mr Pot……..Yours sincerely Mr Kettle” but he is right in highlighting that it is the property seller who will be damaged by what some in the industry merely see as acceptable competitive practices.
And people wonder why agents aren’t trusted.
Lewisham success in the Courts
Over in the land of the homeless there was a fairly important decision about the rights of homeless applicants when placed in temporary accommodation. It was a case between the London Borough of Lewisham and Z.H.
This being a landlord law piece I wont bore the reader with the extensive and complex legal angles (which is a great get-out for me as the truth is I struggle to understand all of them myself) but the upshot is that Lewisham won the case.
Writing it up on the LAG Blog, QC Andrew Arden began with:
“Homeless persons advisers are rightly aghast at the Supreme Court decision”,
An astonishing opener as every homelessness adviser I know cheered when it came through. Had the decision gone the other way then homelessness caseworkers would have been forced to obtain possession orders every time they wanted to get someone out of temporary accommodation.
So why did Andrew take this strange counter view that homelessness advisers would be ‘Aghast’? Well, he was defending the case and lost.
As he went on to say in his piece:
“The delay in commenting on it reflects the need for my blood temperature to reduce from boiling point to a mere simmer!”.
I wouldn’t exactly say this was a sour grapes article, he raises several salient legal points but all the same, I reserve the gloating rights.
The end of Retaliatory Eviction?
If you haven’t heard of MP Sarah Teather’s ‘Tenancies (Reform) Bill‘ then where ya been hiding?.
The aim is to prevent retaliatory eviction, whereby a tenant complains to the council about repairs and the landlord responds by whacking in a section 21.
I’ve been following landlords comments on various fora about this for a while now and observe that it seems to be about as popular as a fart in a phone box but this weeks news is that the bill has been published in full ahead of it’s second reading and already has government support so it might just be a done deal.
For the record landlords are already prohibited from serving the s21 no fault grounds in certain circumstances, notably where the deposit hasn’t been protected or the property is a licensable HMO but the landlord doesn’t have a licence.
The Bill proposes to extend this prohibition where the landlord doesn’t have a gas safety certificate or the council has served an improvement notice within the past 6 months.
Reading the comments below the piece in Inside Housing ‘WW’ has also been keeping his eye on landlords comments on it and found this doozy.
“If this progresses, I’ll be serving all existing tenants a s21 and being doubly cautious for future tenancies.- No benefits, 5 year secure UK work history, no self employed/zero hours, income 4x rent, mature tenants only, larger deposits, s21 at the 4 month point, traceable lifetime renting history, tenant paid professional inventory, home owning guarantors, rent guarantee insurance etc etc.”
Ok….So retaliatory eviction in protest at a new law to prevent retaliatory eviction?!?!?! Kind of makes the case for the new law in my book. Also some nice liberal views there.
If all landlords followed this person’s line then the queue outside the homelessness units would be 5 times as long, as hardly anyone would qualify as a tenant.
My humour betrays my real feelings on reading comments like that, which actually makes my ‘Blood temperature boil’, like the inestimable Mr Arden’s. [There is a preliminary look at the new draft here – Ed]
What made me smile this week.
Being shown how to turn off all the background features on my iPhone that have been draining the battery for years.
Walking into the living room last night to find that Frazzy had bought a raspberry pie and incomprehensibly stored it in the laundry bag without telling me, so I could remove it out of harm’s way.
Our 8 month old Cocker Spaniel found it and his head was covered in pureed berries, just his satisfied, happy smile shining through. Needless to say the laundry had to be done again.
Se ya next week.