Tag Archives: Community

Absentee Landlords

Falling standards

Housing shortages are often quoted as the reason for the rise in “Buy to Let” properties. I suggest it’s simply greed!

Landlords of these properties see a chance to cash in on people who either can’t or don’t wish to buy their own homes. People on low incomes, often on state benefits.

As far as those landlords are concerned it’s a great little earner, as in many cases the rents are paid by the government through benefits, so their income is guaranteed. The tenants, many from the lower section of society, have little pride in the property, just grateful to have a house and knowing someone else is paying for it!

Win Win for both parties.

But wait; what about the residents of nearby properties, people who’ve saved to buy their own homes. Suddenly they find that a new, transient, type of neighbour is in their midst. In very little time these residents find the value of their homes falling as renters move in. It’s a vicious circle; renters move in, existing residents dislike their new neighbours so move out, more renters move in because sale price of houses has fallen due to new residents and Buy2Let landlords buy up the houses at knock down prices. The downward spiral continues, and all the time the greedy absentee landlords rub their hands together! They don’t care about the neighbourhood as long as the rents are paid.

What do government do about it? Nothing, making out that it’s helping the housing shortage.

The real losers in all this are the hard-working folk who bought their own homes, but who lose out to greedy people. The whole thing stinks!

Such a simple idea

So why hasn’t it been done?

Safe with charging point

OK, you’re at the hotel and your phone/tablet needs charging but you’ve to be elsewhere right now. A situation common enough. Do you a) take the phone with you and hope the battery lasts? or b) put it on charge in the room – and hope no-one steals it while you’re out?

Most hotels provide in-room safes so that valuables can be left securely, yet it’s hardly secure to leave an expensive phone/tablet charging on a table. Should it get stolen the first thing the hotel would say is “Why wasn’t it in the safe?”

The solution seems, to me at least, very obvious. It’s hardly a mammoth task to install an electrical socket (& vent) into the safe.

Any hotel that did provide such a facility would have a USP to encourage guests and would almost certainly quickly recoup any costs through increased visitor numbers. I know that, personally, given the choice between a hotel with the facility to securely charge my phone and one without, I’d pick the “with” every time.

So why isn’t it available?

May I suggest readers do as I’ve done and request each hotel that they visit installs such a facility. With enough requests commonsense might just prevail.

Our best chance

FOR AT LEAST A GENERATION

Vote to LeaveFinally, we the British people will get to choose. Do we stay in the European Union, continuing to be ruled from continental Europe – and paying a small fortune for that privilege, or do we take back control of our country, our borders and our laws?

For years David Cameron has bowed down to dominant EU leaders like Angela Merkel & her French counterpart, while at the same time screwing every last penny out of the British people (to send to other nations!). Now we have the chance to end all that for good.

The case for leaving the EU is overwhelming and is well presented here. Many prominent government ministers are set to defy the prime minister and vote to leave, with more joining daily. It’s likely to be the only chance we’ll get to break free from EU rule, certainly for a generation at least, and we must take the opportunity!

20mph zones

Can THEY EVER REALLY WORK?

20ishGood drivers don’t need them, bad drivers will always ignore them. 20mph zones are appearing everywhere these days, and no-one would deny speed reduction is advantageous in many locations, but what should be done about drivers who won’t adhere to the limit? Prosecute, I hear many shout, and yes, that would have the desired effect.

Well, not in all areas. In over a year Lancashire police have not prosecuted a single driver for speeding in 20mph zones. So either all Lancashire drivers stick to speed limits or… ??

When questioned on this point the PCC gave this response… 20mph speed zones

Good enough, would you say?

Not for me!

Hotel Safety

DO THEY TAKE FIRES SERIOUSLY?

Fire safety in hotelsThe question of hotel fire safety is one many people take for granted – until it’s too late!

We’ve all seen the notices about escape routes, assembly points and, of course, the “don’t use lifts (elevators) in case of fire”. Most often nothing goes wrong so we tend to forget about them, but we still need to have them so that if the worst does happen we can get out quickly, under our own steam.

But what if the guests are disabled or have reduced mobility? Clearly then the hotel is obliged to provide the required assistance, but in an emergency such as a fire hotel staff have many things to do. Are they able to help PRM guests?

Imagine a disable guest located on a high floor, who can’t use a lift. The problems are all too obvious.

Forward planning, both by the guests and the hotel, would be helpful. The guest would for example, when booking, advise the hotel of a disability. The hotel could then ensure that a ground floor room is allocated, thus alleviating the problem of stairs (one less issue). It would be easier and safer for both guests and hotel if this simple procedure was followed. So why isn’t it?

Most hotels, when accepting reservations, take “requests” for such things as views, room types etc, and for most people this is satisfactory. However, for disabled people a request (as above) for a ground floor room is more than simply a “would like” it’s a “must have”, yet hotels say they can’t guarantee such things.

Why not?

With the exception of walk-in guests, reservations are made in advance so hotels are fully aware of requirements at particular times, so of course they can allocate suitable rooms. The fact that they won’t shows that they don’t rate guest safety as a high priority!

As said, most times problems don’t arise, but travellers who are willing to take risks and accept less than satisfactory hotel policies are dicing with death – literally!

Isn’t it time legislation was introduced, & enforced, to make sure hotels safeguard guests in these situations? The same goes for travel agents, they too should do more!

In the meantime guests have the ultimate weapon, choice! Don’t accept unsafe practice, choose a hotel that cares about its guests!

BlackBerry Bombard Users With Ads

THEN CHARGE TO REMOVE THEM!

BBM Rip OffBlackberry, the company behind the messaging application BBM, have hit on a money-making idea that really annoys users.

Sponsored content (in others words adverts) appear in channel feeds, but if you don’t want to see these ads then, at one time, you could simply block them. Simple, ad gone!

Not any more. Blackberry weren’t making enough dosh.

Obviously users didn’t like the ads so blocked them, so Blackberry responded by removing the option to block these annoying adverts, UNLESS you pay!

That’s correct. When pressed BBM support replied, in a private message so that most people wouldn’t see it, with “Advertisements can be removed from BBM for $0.99 USD per month with the No Ads subscription. This subscription removes all ads from your feed, and you will no longer receive sponsored invites from our partners.

They may argue that $0.99 / month is a small amount, but multiply that by the hundreds of millions of users! A tidy profit, just for annoying people!

Companies that use such tactics deserve to lose customers, and they’ve certainly lost this one. BBM isn’t worth the hassle!

Why do cars…

…OFTEN REFLECT THE DRIVERS PERSONALITY

Cars reflect drivers personalityNot true in every case, though there’s a strong argument to support the theory. Butched-up pickups driven by guys who can’t be bothered with seatbelts, who’re on the phone as they drive, and who think speed limits are for everyone else. Expensive 4×4’s (the Chelsea tractor), designed for off-road terrain, yet driven by a female accompanied by 2 kids on the school run, the aim of which is to “be protected” from every other road user. Then there’s the boy racer, been driving 5 minutes yet knows it all, car trimmed with every conceivable gadget designed to make the motor sound faster than an F1. There’re many other examples, and I haven’t even touched on white van man!

It’s also true that many traits crossover between drivers.

When we get into our cars it’s as though we put on a cloak of invincibility. We become the best driver around, and all the problems are down to other “idiots”. Heaven forbid anyone less able than ourselves should be on OUR road when we are using it. Here comes road-rage!

Vanity – Image… Come on people, grow up!!

Some might say “why aren’t police tackling these problems?” Cuts, in funding from government, but that’s a different issue (too big to deal with here).

Why can’t we police ourselves? Whatever happened to courtesy? It’s simple enough; traffic laws are there for everyone’s benefit, and apply to everyone! Ignoring them isn’t clever, that just makes you one of those idiots you so vehemently despise.

If everyone drove as though they were carrying their most precious cargo, every journey, roads would not only be safer but a lot less stressful too.

Drive-2-Arrive