[Ben Reeve Lewis enjoys the snow...]
Snow, snow, glorious snow.
I love the stuff and have been so fed up watching the news where everywhere except London has been getting loads, but we finally had a little bit of it this week.
I was so excited I took a picture from my office window.
Doesn’t it just make the back of the take away look magical?
The dumped fridges and broken window in the door of the flat above looks so enchanting.
An unusual rent
In fact its magical and enchanting all over around my way as this week’s local paper proved, running an article on local landlords placing ads on Craigslist offering rooms to let in return for certain favours.
One landlord looking for a tenant to wear lingerie whilst doing the cleaning and another in Catford offering a room rent free if the tenants let him watch them ‘avin it off.
All very Sid James.
My favourite being a Charlton landlord who sweetens the pill by adding bizarrely:
“”I also have a supermarket under the building I live but I am not rich (YET).”
Quite how this is supposed to entice “Naughty ladies”, as one Eltham man seeks, is a bit of mystery unless there is some form of supermarket perversion I don’t know about.
I feel a novel coming on – “50 Shades of BOGOFs”.
Going up! (again)
Well I just have to mention the proposed increase in repossession fees at the county court ably covered by Tessa on Wednesday
What a farce. The second increase in less than a year and I am on the landlords side with this one.
Yes the court fees will ultimately be passed onto the luckless tenants but as any housing association or council will tell you, chasing FTAs (Former Tenants Arrears) is a thankless task.
If the tenant is on benefits then you’ll likely get £3.75 a week towards it all and it comes to a point which all FTA officers will tell you, where you have to calculate if the cost of tracing and recovery and balance it against the amount being chased.
Retaliatory eviction law resurfaces
Despite being a signally landlord unfriendly concept, government actually backed it, so it was bound to end up somewhere.
I’m not going to explain it here…….do try to keep up, but the RLA have predictably trashed the notion, saying that the PRS is the:
“Only part of the housing market that is growing when the sector needs to attract further investment to meet ever growing demand”.
The root and branch of this argument (Oh yes….. I know I said I wouldn’t explain but like a dog with a bone……….) is that all a nightmare tenant has to do to avoid eviction is to make a complaint to the council’s environmental health team to invalidate the section 21 notice that has been served.
Complete crap!!!!!!!!!!!….and I’m being polite with that phrase.
The reluctant EHO
Do you seriously think that experienced EHOs would have the time, let alone the resources to back up a spurious tenant claim with a works notice that would then require them to do weeks of back-work to enforce a complaint that was rubbish in the first place?
In my experience, EHOs, like lawyers are cautionary creatures and the least reluctant in any rogue landlord enforcement team to start throwing notices all over the place just to annoy a landlord or defend a rogue tenant’s rights to occupy.
The RLA’s Alan Ward said:
“We have always been vehemently opposed to any landlord who commits a retaliatory eviction.”
Strong words but what is the RLA doing to launder it’s own dirty linen exactly?
When an industry denies and fails to deal with a problem then outside forces will need to intercede and the amendment to the ‘Deregulation bill’ is exactly that.
The End of the Line
As a London tenant frequently talking of my peers forced to relocate by spiralling property prices I read with interest a piece in the Evening Standard about where they are fetching up.
Of course the homeless, if they are unlucky enough to make a homelessness application to a council operating the ‘Homelessness suitability order’ will end up in Cardiff or Manchester, but cash strapped buyers will likely end up in Grays, Thurrock. The other side of the Dartford Tunnel.
I’m going to upset residents of Grays, Including Frazzy’s mate Carol by saying it’s the arse-end of the world.
Sorry guys. It may be cheap but its grim, grim, grim.
Departure from Grays
As a 9 year old my family sailed to Australia as £10 Poms in the 60s on the SS Iberia from Tilbury docks (by Grays).
Even then, as I looked over the shining faces of the hopeful families holding on to rolls of ticker-tape connecting them to their loved ones until the boat pulled far enough out to break the physical and emotional bonds the turgid face of Thurrock was revealed and even at that young age I understood why my family were heading for the sun and leaving their nearest and dearest to the industrial Essex wastelands and still remaining bomb sites of Hitler’s worst..
What made me smile this week
Simply a wicked article on 24 Dash called “The Wednesday whinge” by Max Salsbury.
24 Dash is a news blog largely for the social housing sector and this week Max decided to create a questionnaire that would reveal the political leanings of respondents for the election.
For example:…my comments in bold:
2) Could your tenants buy their own home if they worked harder and watched less daytime TV like ‘Judge Rinder’ which is getting rave reviews and is really rather good?
- a) Of course not and that’s deeply offensive….Labour
- b) A very small minority but I can’t say that out loud….real people
- c) Yes ….Tory
4) Will social housing be your sole criteria for voting?
- a) Yes, because it’s central to everything – health, education, security and all-round happiness…..Labour
- b) One of them. I’m also concerned about global warming and penile implants…..UKIP
- c) No, but I may pretend it is to look good at work……Me!
- d) Actually, the correct singular is ‘criterion’ ….My pedantic mate Phil Weedon
The humour in there will be understood by any of you social housing workers reading this.
See ya next week