[Ben Reeve Lewis has finger issues…)
Isn’t it great when people have a finger missing?
I’ve met a few down the years and I always love the fact that the accepted tradition is to never tell the same story about how you lost it, thus creating an aura of mystique. My own finger damage hasn’t recovered since my Xmas tumble and I have been referred to the hospital to see if they can straighten it out.
Unfortunately it’s just a bit bent which is hardly noticeable to anyone but me, depriving me of the opportunity of telling people fantastic stories about having damaged it battling painted tribesmen up the Orinoco River or losing it to frostbite trying to climb the Matterhorn wearing only Speedos for a bet.
Instead of the sad truth, that I tripped on the steps of the station fumbling for my Oyster card whilst a tad pissed. Where’s the glamour in that?
More Court closures
And the housing news this week is singularly lacking in glamour when we learn that access to justice has had two kicks in the teeth with the announcement that a further 86 out of 460 courts are to close in the coming year, in an effort to save £500m and that the cost of N244 general applications to court is to rise from £155 to £255 despite widespread criticism and condemnation. Several senior judges have been weighing in with the verbal punches to the N244 plans, including Master of the rolls Lord Dyson who said:
“Ordinary people’ who fall out of the safety net of fee remissions are being deterred from taking their cases to court. He added that small and medium-sized businesses – ‘the sort this government says time and time again they want to encourage’ – are being put off seeking justice.”
Court closures will lengthen eviction times in an already stretched environment.
Seeking a 28 day adjournment might not sound too bad but bear in mind the full wording is “Adjourned to the first available date after 28 days” – meaning the next free date available in the court’s calendar. I once got a 28-day adjournment for a client facing mortgage repossession which in reality turned out to be three months because the court was so overstretched.
Great news for my client because they managed to sort their debts out during that time. Bad news for the mortgage lender who lost the possession application but then who gives a toss about them anyway?
Driving families apart
The Telegraph ran an interesting story this week titled “Why property prices are driving families apart”. I thought it was going to be a searing piece on the homelessness crisis, ably covered by Giles Peaker over on Nearly Legal but no, it was actually about the terrible tragedy of middle-class families forced to buy properties in the living hell of rural Yorkshire while the husbands work as consultants in London all week.
The scandal. How do they cope?
Stressed out mum Natalie Willmot almost weeps into her Muesli when she says:
“She misses Greg of course but they try to cram their life as a couple into the time they do have together. Thursday and Sunday Nights are boxed-set nights and on Saturdays we go to the gym, cinema and restaurant together. Then Monday comes and she’s a temporary single mum again – her day revolving around the drive into York to pick up and drop off the children as well as managing her own business”.
Only in the Telegraph.
I could write a piece for the Telegraph on the people I meet all the time, forced to live apart because they can’t get a tenancy on a zero hours contract, are sofa surfing with different in-laws because they aren’t eligible for homelessness assistance or are eligible for assistance but have been farmed out 100 miles from their home area because they can’t afford London rents.
But that isn’t the Telegraph demographic so I won’t bother.
A housing deficit in London
And it is likely that swathes of consultants will be forced to doom their families to lives in rural purgatory for some time to come as 24 Dash warn us that whoever takes over from Boris Johnson in May will inherit 22% housing deficit in the capital a fifth behind its stated aim for new housing in 2016.
Funny how the Tories are great at making speeches, pounding their fist into their palm whilst saying “We will build more houses to solve the housing crisis” whilst getting worse and worse at actually doing it by the month.
MD of developers Stirling Ackroyd says:
“Politics and personalities aside, today’s housing deficit is deepening and the electoral clock is ticking. The mantra in 2016 should be planning, planning, planning.”
Sorry, but shouldn’t that read “Building, Building, Building?” and why do politicians try to emphasise something’s importance by saying it three times? “Education, education, education”…..”Location, Location” the property show being less important because it only says it twice. Same with New York, New York.
I’ve heard that under Sharia law all a man has to do to get divorced is to proclaim “I divorce you” three times.
Maybe there is magic in it. So I’ll say this of George Osborne and Iain Duncan-Smith “Liar, Liar, Liar”. Lets sit back and see how that works.
Nothing to do with housing …
My favourite story of the week comes from the Croydon Advertiser headlined:
“Buttock spanking church ;’ Cult’ minister told worshippers “She had to be disciplined’ court hears”
This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with housing but how can you ignore a headline like that?.
Who would you discriminate against?
Finally, Tessa ran an article earlier in the week about landlords not renting to DSS which garnered more than a few comments about discrimination but I read this week that a landlord in New York was nearly fined £5,000 for refusing to rent property to a pregnant woman and partner
Where does the madness end? but before I get on my soapbox about this I confess that there are people I would also discriminate against if I were a landlord.
I would refuse to rent to anyone madly religious or right wing for instance. Fans of Saturday night light entertainment TV and soaps would also find themselves on the street in Ben-land, as would people who listen to Coldplay, Michael Macintyre and manufacturers of Marzipan.
We all have our lists and far be it from me to take the moral high ground.
What made me smile this week.
Seeing the new Coen Brothers film ‘Hail Caeser’ with George Clooney. Not one of their best but with still more surreal laughs and bizarre dance routines than you can shake a stick at. Definitely worth catching
See ya next week