Is there an Election??
Less than a week to go and we can be free of the nonsense.
I have my political allegiances but frankly, I would vote for Steve Bannion or Genghis Khan right now if it would shut the media up on Brexit, education, the NHS, Police cuts etc, etc.
Sure politics are important but party politics has to be just about the most dull topic outside of the life-cycle of drying paint and I’m sick to death of hearing about it.
Can private renters swing the vote?
Given what I do for a living and writing this regular piece I was marginally drawn to this article last week on reasons why private renters could swing the vote on June the 8th
But was quickly disabused of any interest when I realised it’s not news per se, just another guess, this time based on the following:-
“The renter swing vote was calculated by multiplying the electorate at the 2015 election by the proportion of the population that rent privately according to the 2011 Census. This was then multiplied by 30%, the proportion of private renters who told a Survation poll that they were likely to vote for a different party at future elections.”
Puts me in mind of the old Monty Python sketch about Penguins having smaller brains than humans:-
“The first thing that Dr Kramer came up with was that the penguin has a much smaller brain than the man. This postulate formed the fundamental basis of all of his thinking and remained with him until his death. Now we’ve taken this theory one stage further. If we theoretically increase the size of the penguin until it is the same height as the man and then compare the relative brain sizes, we now find that the penguin’s brain is still smaller. But, and this is the point, it is bigger than it was”.
It’s the constant speculation that wears me down.
So what really did happen this past week?
Well landlords everywhere will cheer when they hear that for once, not being vilified in the press they have been somewhat the hero of the hour when Manchester bomber Salman Abedi’s landlord identified the flat he was renting to him as the bomb factory itself, which led to further arrests.
Dogs in flats
Following a link on the same website, I found this distinctly non-news story from a couple of years back from the Residential Landlord on the value of allowing tenants to have dogs.
Being a massive dog fan I couldn’t agree more but also can’t ignore this item from the NLA that 28% of landlords report their properties damaged by dogs
This same story also reports that there are worrying statistics that tenants intentionally defy their agreements and burn candles, keep pets and redecorate.
Hopefully not all at the same time!
I have to say guilty as charged on all three counts there but come on……..I’m a private tenant, not Rudolf Hess and my redecoration involved expensive Farrow and Ball paint in a very tasteful black……
I jest. Duck egg blue.
Mumbai Leases a hit in the UK?
Ever eager to see what’s going on in the rest of the world I tagged this article from the Mumbai Mirror on a government U-turn (where have I heard that before?) of a new rule that would allow Landlords to raise the rent by 25% if they carried out repairs.
Now, even I’m sure the most strident of UK landlords, such as Fergus Wilson wouldn’t push for a rent increase having carried out repairs you would think. But I was asked to trawl through a tenancy agreement last week by a London borough and came across a clause that not only said that tenants would be liable for the parts and labour for any repair reported but that also any repair would allow the landlord to increase the rent.
Maybe the landlord is just from Mumbai, who can tell?
Which leads me nicely onto curries …
And speaking of Fergus Wilson and Indians I notice that his famous refusal to let to Indians and Pakistanis because of the curry smell might just put him the wrong side of a prosecution by the Equality watchdog.
Personally, I don’t think he has gone far enough in my book.
Curry is reportedly now the national dish of the UK, in front of fish and chips. I myself cook at least two a week so he should ban me and the rest of us Brits.
And while we are on the subject it’s not just Pakistanis, Indians and British people who eat curry. Japan, South Africa, Trinidad, Jamaica, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and many more have their own indigenous curries.
Mr Wilson? I’m with you all the way….ban us all and then you won’t have any tenants to let to and can slide into retirement with the Stegosaurus and the Mammoth.
Or if you are one of Mr Wilson’s curry munching Brit tenants here’s a tip for you. Get a dog. You might be in breach of the tenancy agreement but the smell of the dog will probably overpower the smell of the curry.
Right to rent in Jeopardy?
And yet again, while we are on the subject of discrimination in the PRS you might be pleased to read that the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to challenge the lawfulness of the government’s ‘Right to rent’ legislation
The article on 24 Dash reports:-
“The JCWI ‘mystery shopper’ test found a would-be tenant with a British BME (black and minority ethnic) background enquiring about a house without a passport was 26% more likely to be turned down by landlords than a British applicant person with a passport.”
Fair enough but that isn’t necessarily indicative that landlords refusing to let to someone without a passport is the result of them wearing sta-prest and 14 hole Oxblood DMs. It could mean that the landlord doesn’t want to get fined for getting it wrong.
It’s the law that is discriminatory as opposed to the understandable caution of a landlord risking fines and even imprisonment in extreme cases. This point needs to be emphasised whenever the subject comes up as it does in the questionable article title “Government policy encourages landlord discrimination” – a sloppy heading from an otherwise excellent housing blog.
What made me smile this week
Reading the latest outing from one of my favourite and yet still relatively unknown crime writers Adrian McKinty “Police at the station and they don’t look too friendly”.
A Detective Sean Duffy novel set, as ever in 1980s Belfast and perhaps the funniest in the series so far. Check out this line: “If it wasn’t exactly chaos in the police station it was doing a very good job filling in until real chaos turned up” and the brilliant joke “Why don’t blind people go skydiving? It scares the crap out of the dogs”.
See ya in a fortnight