[Ben Reeve Lewis is finding it hard to find the news ....]
Big news of the week really goes to the explosive realisation of government’s landlord tax fiasco, ably covered by Tessa here and others elsewhere.
Interesting stuff huh? [Although actually this was announced in the budget a few weeks ago, it’s just that we have only just got around to looking at it .. Ed]
The conservatives…….the party who claim to support ‘People who do the right thing’ are actually shafting people who do the right thing.
Even me, a self-professed, dyed in the wool pinko anarchist was surprised by that one and drawing on my understanding of the broader picture of housing as a whole, having worked in it most of my life I immediately pondered how this will spin out to affect the entire spectrum, from housing provision, rents, repossessions and homelessness.
Way to go Osborne…..you’ve really done it this time.
I have repeatedly written about government’s (Labour too) inability to understand the complex nexus of housing issues. You cant tweak one bit without it having an effect somewhere else, but this takes the biscuit.
I would laugh, but as a private tenant myself I can see this leading to my own eviction as my landlords are accountants who will be well on top of the profit and loss logic and will understandably react to the hard figures.
So as I steal myself for the inevitable and seek out price differences between Shurgard and the Big Yellow Box Company for storage solutions while I search inevitably for somewhere else to live – what else has been happening in housing land?
Its the silly season
Well apart from the Osborne nonsense its been a dull old week.
Foxtons are expanding into Croydon and Surbiton – well whoopy do.
A North Devon council have been prosecuted for safety failings
And the price of the average London property is pronounced to be £547,730 and rising for 2020
I live in an area called East Dulwich. London readers will know this is a trendy district, next door to distinctly un-trendy Peckham, for which you pay a premium for your SE22 postcode to distinguish you from SE15, where the prices drop.
Paul McGann (Withnail & Dr Who star), Timothy Spall, James Nesbitt are all regular queue partners in Sainsbury Dog Kennel Hill. As is that bloke who played Mr Baxter in the original Grange Hill, and BBC Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen can often be seen jogging the pavements, it’s a right little ‘Celebrity Street’ round ‘ere.
Hands up on this…..I know we could live cheaper elsewhere but it is one of the few areas of South east London where you can walk home at 1am and not have to look over your shoulder to see if someone has placed a knife there.
But prices, both rental and sales are really taking the piss.
My neighbours are currently selling their 2 bed flat, upstairs in a converted Victorian terrace for £550,00 AND getting viewers, if you please and the folks inhabiting the identical flat upstairs from us have just signed up @ £1,750 per month rent. Three of them crowded into the two bedrooms and living room
If you live in Berwick on Tweed or Helston you probably just fell off your chair reading that but that’s London renting for ya.
Sarah and the kitchen
Scrabbling around for anything interesting at all I found myself pointed at TV Property woman Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo website and a blog piece on why, when selling your home the kitchen should be the centrepiece of your sales pitch as apparently it is proven to be the top consideration for many purchasers.
“Because the kitchen will be a top priority for many prospective buyers, it might be wise to direct them towards that room first when you are conducting house viewings.
All a far cry from my parent’s generation where the kitchen was often in fact called a ‘Kitchenette’ and far from being Sarah’s “modern, sleek and minimalist surroundings” was more often than not a lime green and cream phone box where to whip out a blowtorch to attractively char your Turbot would likely result in the net curtains catching fire.
I think the parlous state of British cooking over the past 50 years was driven not by a feeling that being passionate about food was somehow embarrassing (although that too) but because your average 50s and 60s kitchenette didn’t allow for the whisking of home made mayonnaise in case you accidentally poked someone’s eye out with your elbow.
Getting creative in the garden
The Telegraph this week took a positive spin on people’s money woes by exhorting them to get creative and monetise your garden.
There’s a thing called ‘Glamping’ that I’ve never heard of. The idea being to rent space in a garden or field where you can camp without the insects, damp smell, midnight walks to the toilet or the inability in the morning to tell if the socks you just found in that carrier bag with an open packet of crisps are yesterday’s cast offs or a new pair, simply because everything is damp as everything else.
Yes, you might have guessed I’m no fan of tents.
If you don’t fancy renting out your garden to posh campers then how about hiring it out as a film set or paintballing site? All of which are possible according to the Telegraph.
I don’t think we could manage this in our postage stamp patio, dominated as it is by the Jamaican oil drum BBQ and occasional pieces of undetected dog crap.
What made me smile this week
On Tuesday Frazzy and I celebrated the 6th anniversary of our meeting.
She had just started her own corporate travel agent business after years of working for other people. She immediately met the curse of the self-employed,….cash flow, and ran into mortgage difficulties and sought my help at Lewisham council.
As usual the mortgage company had broken every law in the book in seeking possession of her home.
Took me 9 months and 4 court hearings to back them off but we got there, and in the intervening time we fell in love and got engaged.
On the day of the last hearing I bought her a silver charm bracelet of a key and metaphorically gave her, her home back.
We’re still flourishing.
See ya next week