I think I’ll move to Iceland
Not the supermarket you wag, the country, coz I’m heartily sick of this bloody heat. I’m not built for more than a few days of it.
Twenty years ago I spent 3 months back packing around India and must have been the only traveller jetting back into Heathrow that was overjoyed to see fog and ice.
Winter comes early
And so it was on Monday that I was pleased to have to put the heating on for an hour. Bliss.
I’m currently bent over the keyboard with a cup of tea and a sausage sandwich trawling through the week’s housing news wearing a lumberjack shirt and feeling normal again with not so much as a square inch of blue sky visible through the back door.
God is in his heaven and all’s right with the world!
A new ruling in the balance?
This weekend sees the closing date for the consultation period on the interesting case of Cardiff v. Lee (Flowers) 2016, for which many landlords may want to chip in quickly.
It’s one of those cases that gets thrown up every couple of years that causes a bit of mild pandemonium, like Spencer v. Taylor or Superstrike v. Rodriguez.
In case you missed it the decision revolves around whether or not a landlord with a suspended order hanging over the tenant should be forced to apply to Court for a warrant where the tenant has breached the terms, instead of just going straight to bailiff’s as has been normal practice.
It’s not something that I’ve had to encounter
I haven’t had to raise any defences of this kind in my cases, which are pretty routinely applying for already granted possession orders to be set aside because the s21 was invalid in the first place, landlords having so far failed in general to grasp the requirements of the Deregulation Act.
All of which might well be avoided if you agree with Paul Shamplina’s view that eviction specialists should be regulated as reported on Landlord Today,
I dare say Tessa would have a strong view on that as well. [Paul is right. And Landlord Law is a member of the Property Redress Scheme – Ed]
The eviction procedure
This has always been difficult and is now even more so since the Deregulation Act came in. For many landlords, it’s like a game of snakes and ladders.
I cut my teeth working in the court duty desk scheme of Bromley County Court back in the 1990s, where the average day involved defending 10 – 15 repossession cases in a few hours without having met the tenant before.
You get very quick at spotting procedural mistakes made by people who advised the landlord that they know what they are doing.
Paul’s idea, supported by Anthony Gold’s David Smith is for the creation of a redress scheme as a complaint forum when the case slides back down the snake. Paul says:
“Not all companies are regulated, so landlords have nowhere to turn if they have a complaint, and this needs to change. Belonging to a redress scheme would be the first step to making improvements and ensuring consumer confidence.”
Meanwhile over in Ireland…..
Landlords have been defending their practice of charging 2 month’s rent as a deposit:-
Supported by the Irish Property Owner’s Association on the basis that 1 month’s deposit often doesn’t cover the cost of damage when a tenant leaves.
The article cites properties in Dublin where 2 month’s rent represents 1,500 euros. Fair enough but in London you are looking at perhaps £3,000 for 2 months rent on an average property, stick on 1 month’s rent in advance and assorted fees, not to mention moving costs and you are heading for £5k easily.
When I bought my first house I paid less than that as a deposit.
…..It was a very long time ago. So long ago that I probably paid it in Groats and farthings.
If Dublin looks affordable then spare a thought for Glasgow, where just days shy of the creation of a tenants union it was announced that ‘Glasgae’ rents have reached an all time high of £755 per month.
Well, fan my brow. I meet lodgers paying that for a room in London.
Sean Baillie of the new union “Living Rent” points to the 327,000 renters in the City and urges them to unite as a single voice.
I used to go out with a girl from Glasgow and I recall huge rooms with high ceilings. If you can still get them for £755 I’m on my way.
It snows up there regularly too. An added bonus.
T’would appear that the mainland trend for landlord licensing and habitable properties is spreading down to the Channel Islands. Reporting in the Jersey Times the local landlord’s association is predictably trumpeting that rents will have to rise to meet the added costs.
I’ve never been to the Channel Islands but I can’t imagine much in the way of the kinds of properties you get in New Cross or Leyton.
Out of curiosity…..
I just spent 5 minutes randomly searching streets of St Helier with Google street view and confirmed my impression. This ain’t no Old Kent Road. So maybe Jersey’s landlord’s have a point.
The Guardian ran an article this week, prompted by the publication of figures from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research that 100 tenants a day are being evicted, with apparently more than 80% of evictions being the result of s21’s having been served.
The stats are pretty evenly split between PRS @ 22,150 and social housing @ 19,019 with the report citing the main problems being rent levels in London and the South East, benefit caps and a shortage of social housing being the main drivers.
Shelter calculated that:
“if the housing benefit freeze remains in place as planned – until 2020 – more than a million households, including 375,000 with at least one person in work, could be forced out of their homes.”
Emphasising the North South divide a wry smile hit my lips reading the case study given as a “yoga teacher from Brighton”, as opposed to a lorry driver from Hull, or a bricklayer from Wigan.
A human tragedy heartfelt I’m sure by all children’s book illustrators from Dulwich.
What made me smile this week
Being as interested as anyone about the gender pay gap at the BBC I found myself lazily watching a re-run of the old 70s series “The world at war” at the weekend, where one woman being interviewed about life in Germany during the 1930s was given the title
“Wife of a German”.
Shows how far gender equality has come.
See ya in a fortnight