Well, that didn’t quite go as planned…

As 2016 bumps along to the end of a long and sometimes fairly tortuous road, The Chesh has taken a look at some of the issues that have vexed him and will continue to do so in 2017. Some are property related as befits a professional of his standing, some aren’t. Go figure.

  • Amidst the raft of regulations that have-quite necessarily been introduced to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords-I have yet to read of anything whereby the landlord (and to a lesser extent, the agent) are protected from the less than acceptable behavior of tenants. I’m thinking those with a particular horticultural passion who recreate a mini Columbia upstairs.
  • What exactly do councils deem to be urgent as regards work being carried out on a property and what confidence do we as taxpayers have in councils to carry out their public duty? This was reinforced by a recent article from that megalith of the fourth estate, The Bexhill On Sea Observer that reported that Rother District Council (RDC) had successfully prosecuted a property company for failing to comply with an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. I was left somewhat bewildered-not by the awarding of the order- but by the council taking 12 bloody months to do so.  The member of RDC for housing emoted how the tenant had been forced to live for 12 months in, “appalling conditions”. I don’t dispute this, but why didn’t RDC move their collective posteriors a little more quickly? They had issued repeated requests for 6 months for the work to be carried out because, “landlords have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of their tenants”. Indeed and where does the council responsibility kick in when protecting the health and safety of the tax payer?
  • Rent Smart Wales’ what’s it all about? I know, I know, it was a rhetorical question; the good intention of getting rid of rogue landlords and agents, protecting tenants and oh, yes, raising extra income for the Welsh government. In practice? Well last week, I had a meeting with the Torfaen representative of Rent Smart Wales, who was a very professional lady trying to do a good job.What did make me a smile was her aim to take a, “very soft or light-fingered approach” to those who failed to comply. I pointed out that this usually costs about £175 per hour and if she intended to take a “firm or disciplined approach” it went up to £200 per hour. Just ask Max Mosley. Ok, I’ll get my coat. The problem with Rent Smart is that the legislation is ill-conceived, costly and leaves the burning question of who will eventually pay? Methinks the tenants….
  • Continuing the theme of leather clad ladies (a la Mr M above), will 2017 see it become de rigeur that leaders of a G7 country wear leather as per our own PM Mrs May?
  • On the international scene will the ‘special relationship’ between us and our friends in the US of A be bolstered by Donald and Boris sharing hair care tips/styling points?
  • Who is going to replace Len on Strictly Come Prancing? Will it be sequins and spray tan guns at dawn if Anton Du Beke (plain old Tony Beke in a former life) does/doesn’t get the gig?
  • Having appeased their inner Mary Whitehouse will SCP return to the less-is-more costumes of old; before my eye sight goes completely?
  • Will Sports Personality of The year actually be awarded to a personality next year? Before some outraged member of the Ladies’ Doubles Team gets her knickers in a knot, I am not disputing sporting achievement, but personality? Come off it. Or rename the award.
  • Will Prince Harry be allowed to marry an American divorcee with a fair few miles on the clock? Is he going to continue to get precious about the intrusive media coverage of someone who has her own dedicated section on pornhub (so I am reliably informed..)?
  • Will Kim Kardashian feel the need to keep her clothes on in 2017? Are we to be outraged if she doesn’t?
  • Will Miss Minogue finally succumb to her desires and dump the toyboy fiance for Cwmbran’s leading property expert and No 1 Strictly Come Prancing fan?

Something to ruminate, cogitate and discuss over the coming days as you give serious thought to whether a life sentence at HM’s Pleasure would be worth never having to see certain family members ever again.

Festive greetings from The Chesh and his harem (I mean the team at Cheshire & Co)

Tony Blair now working as an estate agent…

…actually, I lie, it’s Cherie. Has the Chesh finally lost his marbles (alongside his hair and Kylie Minogue’s ‘phone number), I hear you ask? Well no, not exactly. But as I typed the headline and committed it to ‘print’, it must be true. Just like the same El Tone in his September dossier back in 2002 wrote that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and had the capability to launch an attack within 45 minutes. We went to war on that one, so lurid and possibly exaggerated claims about selling houses pale into insignificance. Although the online agent purplebricks (PB) would beg to differ. This week PB announced that that they are now generating a,”maiden profit” (no, I have never heard the phrase either). Within the same statement, their CEO Michael Bruce offered the somewhat mind-boggling quote that, “…we are agreeing a sale every 16 minutes, 24 hours a day…” Really? Boy scout’s honour, cross my heart really? I mean, really? In order to compute this, I dragged out the abacus and worked out that with the sales: time ratio that he offered, that equates to 32,850 sales a year, 90 sales a day with 3.75 per hour. These figures make Pinkmove, Savills and anyone else in between look like a right bunch of slackers. The truth is out there as Mulder and Scully tried on a weekly basis to prove. (Incidentally, I never knew until recently, that his sister had been abducted by aliens). I digress. City analysts have shown that PB only sell 5% of their listed stock. To produce the figures quoted by their CEO , this means that they must list 657,000 houses a year, that’s 1800 a day, 75 an hour and one listing every 1.25 minutes. FFS. Add these figures to the statement made by Portico, the Wetsminster agent that transaction levels are down 60% in London and PB mist be selling just about every house that comes on the market in London. Back to Mulder who claimed, “I saw Elvis in a potato chip once”. A signed photo of the Chesh if you can name the episode.