[Ben Reeve Lewis has been tin broadband hell …]
I spent a couple of days this week in that predictable hell known as “Changing-broadband-providers-increasingly-getting-angry-with-call centres-saying-sorry-shouldn’t-be-too-much-longer” World.
For someone like me being without broadband for a couple of days is like having no hands.
Every time you think of something when your service is down it is internet related so can’t be done.
Like when you have a power cut and you sit bored occasionally saying “I’ll just make myself a cup of…….Oh, I forgot” or “I know, I’ll just watch…….Oh. I forgot”.
I know many of you would think a day without internet would be heaven. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people and neither is Frazzy.
You know how people put their name down to be the first space tourists without even knowing when or if it will happen? I think we would put our names down for the first internet brain implant. No more mouse, no more buffering, just your head wired directly in.
I mean where would I get all the wonderful news I report for you each week, like this snippet from the Metro on the world’s scariest Halloween outfit, a toddler dressed as a Foxton’s estate agent.
The work of someone called ‘Lady Land’ on the scariest things in London who also made toddler’s dress up as a rat, a Hipster and a Traffic Warden.
Good news on parking
Speaking of traffic wardens a certain amount of glee entered my world at reading that Britain’s biggest car parking firm UKPC have been stripped of their powers to issue parking fines by the DVLA because their wardens had been found falsifying time stamps to make it look like drivers had overstayed in the car parks.
UKPC run over 2,000 car parks including many in hospitals which are likely to be in chaos right now so get out there and do your Christmas shopping with impunity, they won’t be able to fine you.
Yes I know its not housing news but it is ‘good’ news just the same.
New deposit case
Nearly Legal this week ran something that I thought would be useful to Landlord Law Blog readers who may have missed it. It’s the report of a county court case over a deposit.
As you should all know by now (and if you don’t, see Tessa after school) you can’t serve a section 21 before the an unprotected deposit is returned to the tenant.
Well in this case the landlord appears to have paid it late to the DPS and contacted them on the 10th of February this year telling them to pay the money back to the tenant.
On the 12th February the DPS emailed the landlord saying they had paid it by bank transfer.
The landlords served S21 on the 14th but in court the tenant produced their bank statement showing the money had not turned up in their bank account until the 15th. The day after the landlord served notice.
As Giles Peaker explains:
“The key point to take from this is that ‘returned’ is clearly arguable as meaning exactly that. Not ‘released to’ or ‘on its way to’, but actually received by the tenant”.
A small but far from insignificant thing to take note of, which we can add to the growing pile of detail on what was to be a simple idea of “tenant pays deposit – landlord protects deposit”.
If I had a time machine I would go back to 2006, gate crash those early government meetings and laugh at the naiveté of the panel in their discussion, oblivious to the impending 8 years of chaos we have witnessed with this fiasco.
Hot on the heels of last week’s fine of Andrew Panayi for letting out a windowless basement and ignoring council notices, I see that the Reading courts have been frowning under beetled brows at HMO landlord Hafiz Gulfraz charged with 5 housing related offences, including running an unlicensed HMO.
£23,500 if you please.
If magistrates would be as hot on breaches of the Protection from Eviction Act, you wouldn’t have to read me whinge about the pathetic fines for PFEA prosecutions every few weeks.
Fiddling the electric
Mr Gulfraz was also accused of fiddling with the gas and electricity supplies. A huge and growing problem amongst the rogue landlord community who seem to have figured out, en masse, that they can either entice tenants with the promise of rent inclusive of bills or up their income by charging tenants for bills that aren’t actually being paid.
I haven’t been in many HMOs in the past few years, run by rogues, where this hasn’t been standard practice and remember I used to go into several each week.
I recall remonstrating with one landlord over the give-away grinding sound emanating from his electricity meter (a sign that the cogs have been filed off of the metering wheel) who defended himself in saying that the meter was installed by a qualified electrician, hastily adding “I know, because I had to take him down to Poundland to buy him some tools”.
Sometimes in enforcement world life just gifts you usable evidence.
I occasionally suffer from ‘The other man’s grass’ syndrome when I get fed up with being British and wish I could live in America or France. Both republics, devoid of public school entitlement or jobs for the boys.
But it would seem that even the good old US of A is no stranger to this disease.
Reading of a protest about the cost of housing in San Francisco in the Guardian this week my jaded eye alighted on the following phrase:
“There’s a broad array of problems,” Dreyer continued, “but it’s based on a culture of entitlement where they don’t have to follow the law.”
I thought “Hang on….I recognise that”.
But Mr Dreyer wasn’t referring to a certain bunch of Eton prefects but the holiday home swap service Airbnb, who have been pushing for a change to renting law which will make it more profitable for landlords to run properties through the holiday let system and potentially see the eviction of swathes of regular tenants in the ensuing bun-fest.
Housing activist Sarah Shorrt said:
“We have people who are being priced out, and anybody that’s actually looking for housing in this market cannot find it. And at the same time we have a large percentage of our housing stock going to tourists.”
Big businesses lobbying for a change in the law to suit themselves???? Surely not?
So maybe things aren’t that much rosier over the pond, in fact it just sounds like large parts of London and all of the things being said about Airbnb sound like any Daily Mirror attack on government and their corporate mates.
Ah well…………….another dream dies!
What made me smile this week
Smile????? Laugh out loud more like.
This truly inspired ‘Mash-up’ of Jim Morrison singing the Doors classic ‘Light my fire’, over the theme tune to Steptoe and Son.
You see? Where would we be without the internet? I wonder what they make of this in San Francisco?
See ya next week.