[Ben Reeve Lewis is relieved …...]
Writing Newsround this week on a Wednesday evening I am struck by a sense of relief.
Relieved that voting will over by the time everyone reads this and we can all get away from the sheer desperation of our politicians with their emotional pants down.
The frankly embarrassing, begging, pleading shenanigans and orchestrated photo calls will be over and whichever of these idiots gets in we can all relax for another 5 years of more lies and incompetency.
I will have voted for what is to me the best of mediocre bunch of visionless dwellers of the pigs trough and believe me, there wasn’t much in it at the end of the day. I just didn’t want to waste my vote.
Over on 24 Dash the ‘Wednesday Whinge’ summed up my feelings exactly:
“Housing-wise, I’m not sure it’s so clear-cut between the three major parties – none of them appear ready to tackle the crisis head on. Housing has been mentioned a fair bit in the campaign but so often in the context of increasing homeownership.”
Indeed sir……same old, same old and not an innovative thought among them.
I shan’t be commenting on the elections anymore. I’ve had enough and can lighten up again and look for the madder stories.
Almost coronation chicken ..
Do any of you subscribe to the glamourous property website ‘Curbed’? I get a daily email. Round ups of multi million pound villas and New England clapboard retreats which is entertaining in a property porn kind of way.
This week a report came down of a family who let their property out through holiday portal ‘AirBNB’ which resulted in a drug fuelled orgy which left the owners with $60,000 worth of damage and their shoes filled with raw chicken.
“There was mayonnaise on the furniture” ran the article, so almost Coronation Chicken, except not quite in the same receptacle, a crucial culinary mistake.
Watch out for skim sites …
AirBNB have been coming in for a bit of media flack lately. I had never heard of them until about a month ago when a client phoned up and complained that they had paid rent and deposit on the website and the house didn’t exist.
Turned out it wasn’t AirBNB but a ‘Skim site’ which looks like the one you want but actually isn’t.
There are versions for our own passport office website and several other government portals including the DVLA which charge more for services than the original, so look closely at the URL folks before you pay a £20 surcharge thinking it’s the government fee.
Secret figures come to light
Homelessness caught my eye this week as usual with the news reported in the Independent that secret figures that people have been sitting on for some time have finally seen the light of day.
Said figures being the statistics for the deportation of the homeless from home boroughs.
Boris Johnson said of welfare reforms:
“You are not going to see thousands of families evicted from the place where they have been living”
Trouble is Bozza, for the period of July 2011 to September 2014 the total figure for London is actually around 50,000…….oops! Exactly what you said wouldn’t happen.
The leaked figures elucidate:
“Between July and September last year there were 423 families sent out of Greater London, including 115 families sent to Essex, 96 families sent to Kent and 24 to Birmingham.”
No wonder the authorities sat on the statistics.
Most of this is a direct result of the benefit cap, which if Cameron is actually back in by the time you read this, will be cut by a further £3,000pa, meaning the hidden stats will rise again.
But hey….who cares about the homeless when Britain’s Got Talent is entering a crucial phase and there’s a new royal baby to coo at.
Inside housing subscription shock
For the past few years of writing Newsround I’ve often found leading stories on Inside Housing, the housing professional’s bible but now it seems I am blocked because they have introduced subscription rates where I now have to pay.
Its not a huge amount but I wonder how many readers will vote with their feet? Many of my colleagues keep updated on news with the site but have now signed off in disgust, their organisations refusing to pay the subscription.
I’ll be watching this with interest to see if the subscription fees get lifted as readership drops. I could pay £64.50…hardly breaks the bank but the organ is read mainly by public sector staff and their organisations wont stump up just to keep their staff updated.
Who’s going to break the stare first? Me or them?
Probably me, I need the updates.
What made me smile this week.
Now this end-piece crops up earlier than usual this week as it’s a more involved story.
Nearly Legal ran a very interesting story of a landlord/tenant disrepair piece that made me laugh out of familiarity and is in fact a cautionary tale when it comes to a certain kind of landlord seriously misunderstanding the legal process.
In a recent thread on Landlord Law Blog I entered into a discussion with posters about the fact that Section 8 proceedings are essentially an allegation by one party against another and that accusations of these sort are rarely as clear cut as people would like to think.
Enter the entertaining case of Williamson v Khan. Birmingham County Court. Claim No: 3YS66585 (12 March 2015).
The landlord was accusing the tenant of all sorts of misdemeanours and rent arrears. Trouble is he was completely clueless in his accusations against his tenant. A fact commented on by the judge who said:
“Even after extensive cross examination of the point it was clear that not only did the Defendant have no idea what sums he alleged were outstanding but neither did both counsel or the Court. Despite repeated efforts to understand the Defendant’s case on the point I was, even by the end of the case, still unclear as to how he alleged he had calculated the alleged arrears. Indeed, by the end of the case both the Defendant and his own counsel accepted that they did not understand how the Defendant’s counterclaim had been calculated”.
In fact, the Defendant admitted he couldn’t even be certain how the sum of arrears in the judgment debt had been calculated.”
In writing the article Giles Peaker says:
“Mr Khan’s credibility went out of the window when it became clear that he was lying about the number of properties he owned, which was between 71-81, not the 25 he stated in evidence. He also lied about leaving the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme, when he had actually been expelled. He then went on to say he ‘couldn’t recall’ being prosecuted in relation to any of his properties.”
Readers? Welcome to my world.
I know that Landlord Law Blog readers are decent souls, trying to do the right thing but would add that they often underestimate the kinds of nuttiness that people in my line of work have to deal with.
As Kurt Vonnegut almost said “Sometimes something is so insane that the only sane response is to laugh”
See ya next week.