I’m standing in for Ben again this week as he is a bit under pressure.
It has also been quite a busy time for us and I write this from a London Hotel in Southwark where Patrick and I have come down to do a media course on using our video software.
It’s extremely good and Patrick commented that he learned more on using the software in one day than he had in two years at College …
Its a good time for me to be doing a newsround as there are a few new legal developments. Starting with ANOTHER claim against Foxtons
Another Foxtons case
This is a case brought by Camden LB based on Foxtons’ breach of the agents’ fee transparency regs in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, though – as some of you will know I have already written about it here.
Right to Rent ramped up
I received an email from the Home Office recently telling me that the new Immigration Act rules will be coming into force on 1 December.
No sight yet of any of the prescribed forms though. Let’s hope they don’t mess it up like they did with the new prescribed section 21 notice last October, which contained a mistake and had to be hastily amended via another SI.
There are two main things that the new regs will do:
- Give landlords new ways to evict tenants living in their property who don’t have a right to rent and
- Introduce new custodial sentences for landlords who breach the rules.
We are told however that the custodial sentences will be kept for the really bad ‘rogue landlords’ rather than normal landlords who have just made a mistake. Let’s hope so. The prisons are already overcrowded enough, without jailing hapless landlords who have simply made a mistake over immigration paperwork.
If you want to read more about the new rules, David Smith did a good article on Eye here.
New Benefit Cap
Flicking through twitter I see that a new benefit cap is going to come into force which will reduce the amount of benefit that families can claim. According to the Guardian this will mostly affect families living in high rent arrears (such as London) where the parents don’t work. Which will create a lot of hardship.
Mind you, I suppose if the non-working families then have to move out to a less expensive areas (if they can find anywhere) this may at least free up some housing for people who need to live in those areas for their jobs. Though no doubt someone to leave a comment telling me why that is wrong and accuse me of being a heartless capitalist (my husband does it all the time).
If private landlords are housing any of these families – they will probably be reaching for their section 21 forms by now (if they have not already served them). Heartless capitalists the lot of them. Why can’t they just accept that it is right and proper for them to put up with rent arrears for the good of society?
Moving swiftly on
Yes, it is proposed to make good the housing deficiency by building up to a million prefab homes. Mind you, these are not the low-quality post-war prefabs we have seen in the past – although even these often lasted a surprisingly long time. These new prefabs (or ‘modular homes’) are completely different.
Anyone who has ever watched Grand Designs will know that modern ‘modular housing’ can be very high spec indeed and often far superior to traditional houses built by brickies. Which is fortunate as brickies are in short supply nowadays (along with the bricks).
So I am all in favour of this. At last – a sensible idea on housing. Let’s hope the new modular housing really is good quality. And environmentally sound.
Talking about environmental issues, it seems (according to my cousin Sean) that we have passed the date of no return and the planet is now doomed to rising sea levels. (A bit worrying for us in Norwich – if we do really well I may consider getting a second home in the Peak District.)
So it is good to know that architects are looking into floating homes. They sound a bit expensive at the moment but no doubt after further development this will change. They may be needed.
I really also ought to write about the Property Ombudsman’s code of conduct changes (and their subsequent clarification which seemed to make it pointless having the change in the first place), and also about our Housing Minister blocking housing developments as a favour to a mate – but it’s late and it’s been a long day.
I’ll leave you to read those on your own.
What made me smile this week
It’s the best Cha Cha Cha EVER. Makes me laugh every time. He really doesn’t care, does he?
I SO hope he gets to the final – he has my vote. #EdBalls4StrictlyGlitterBall!