No, falling behind with your rent isn’t the same as stealing from a supermarket.

No, falling behind with your rent isn’t the same as stealing from a supermarket.

Landlords, stop saying that it is. As the country faces a second wave of Covid, and an economic crisis seems inevitable, the attention of Britain’s buy-to-let landlords turns inevitably to one of their abiding obsessions: their inalienable right to kick people out of their homes as easily as possible. To this end there is a petition to Parliament demanding the ability to evict renters once they have fallen as little as 14 days into arrears: Let’s be clear, automatic eviction…

Read More Read More

On being sued by Fergus Wilson – again.

On being sued by Fergus Wilson – again.

Last year I blogged about Fergus Wilson’s attempt to bankrupt me over my reporting of his disqualification from the post of Police and Crime Commissioner, and how that attempt was thrown out of court and he was ordered to pay my costs. Wilson had brought his claim in his wife’s name and against someone with a name that was similar to mine, but who wasn’t me. Unsurprisingly, the Judge gave his claim short shrift. Today, I have received another Claim…

Read More Read More

On rejoining Labour.

On rejoining Labour.

In 2016 I blogged about leaving the Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn had just won his second leadership election, and I didn’t – and still don’t – believe him to be a fit and proper person to be Prime Minister of this country. If it was obvious then that Corbyn and the toxic mix of people he surrounded himself were more interested in ideological purity than electoral success, it’s even more obvious now. Corbyn led the Labour Party to two electoral…

Read More Read More

Ignore the prophets of doom: ending Section 21 is the right thing to do.

Ignore the prophets of doom: ending Section 21 is the right thing to do.

It is widely-reported that Thursday’s Queen’s Speech will include provision to abolish no-fault evictions in England by abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988: which enable a landlord to evict a renter after giving just two months’ notice once the fixed term has expired, and without having to prove any fault by the tenant. Predictably, this has led to the usual predictions of doom from landlords’ groups, claiming that scrapping no-fault evictions will lead to terrible unintended consequences for…

Read More Read More

Fergus Blows the Gaff on Section 21

Fergus Blows the Gaff on Section 21

Since the Government announced it was scrapping no-fault evictions by repealing section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 – which enable landords to evict tenants with just two months’ notice for no reason – landlords have been fighting a rearguard action against abolition, claiming that they really only use them when the tenant is at fault. Renters have always known that landlords use section 21 to retaliate against tenants who complain about their conditions or who object to their landlord’s…

Read More Read More

Maybe I was wrong about the National Landlords Alliance

Maybe I was wrong about the National Landlords Alliance

Heaven knows I haven’t been an unequivocal supporter of the National Landlords Alliance. I’ve reported on its curious origins, how its members don’t acquire any of the usual rights of members and are effectively just making a donation, the Information Commissioner’s probe into them, queries about their staffing, and their overreaction to being scrutinised. And I may have mentioned them on Twitter once or twice. Up to now, I’d always taken it for granted that the Alliance was a bad…

Read More Read More

In court with Fergus Wilson

In court with Fergus Wilson

A few weeks ago I reported on Fergus Wilson’s attempt to bankrupt me over my reporting on this blog. Today the County Court at Canterbury heard my application to set his demands aside. Despite Wilson being represented by a barrister, the court upheld my application, and ordered him to pay my costs. For now at least his attempts to bankrupt me are at an end. I want to thank everyone who has supported me through this, whether you’ve given moral…

Read More Read More

On being sued by Fergus Wilson

On being sued by Fergus Wilson

When I started this blog a little over three years ago, my first story was about millionaire landlord Fergus Wilson and how his conviction for assault disqualified him from election as Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner. I’m proud of that story and I stand by it. Now it appears Fergus Wilson is seeking to bankrupt me for telling the truth about him. In March this year I received a notice that High Court Enforcement Agents – the sort of people…

Read More Read More

The Remainer’s Dilemma – D’Hondt Go Breaking My Heart

The Remainer’s Dilemma – D’Hondt Go Breaking My Heart

Like many people I’ve struggled to decide who to vote for in the European Parliament elections tomorrow. I think I’ve made my mind up now. The dilemma for me and for many Remainers is deciding what we want to achieve in these elections. Do we want to reduce the number of MEPs from Nigel Farage’s loathsome and sinister Brexit Party? To achieve a higher vote share for Remain parties? Or to elect the greatest number of pro-Remain MEPs? These three…

Read More Read More

Information Commissioner launches probe into National Landlords Alliance

Information Commissioner launches probe into National Landlords Alliance

In a post on the landlords’ website Property 118, National Landlords’ Alliance CEO Larry Sweeney has confirmed that his organisation is under investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to a “Rogue Tenants Database” that’s referred to on his website. There’s absolutely no information about this database on the Alliance’s website. For non-members the site just displays a message saying the information is available to members only. It’s a matter of legitimate public concern (and of particular concern to…

Read More Read More