Friday, 27 April 2007

Lords consider Hip hop

Opposition parties are lining up for one last attack one Home Information Packs hoping the House of Lords will provide the perfect setting to ambush the policy to force a delay on implementation.

The Conservatives are set to table a motion in the Lords next week which they hope will force a vote on whether or not to scrap Hips.

Traditionally the second Chamber does not oppose secondary legislation but the Tories and LibDems are hoping for a vote to block the rules which would implement Hips on 1 June.

The Government does not enjoy any kind of comfortable majority in the Lords and Opposition parties are confident they could win a spoiling vote that could force a delay.

The motion will coincide with a report on Hips by the Lords select committee on statutory instruments, due next Tuesday at the earliest, which is expected to be massively critical of the new policy.

The Tories have long been hostile to Hips, with shadow housing minister Michael Gove part of the strong pressure last year that saw the scrapping of the compulsory Home Condition Report.

Gove this week told the BBC politics show that a Conservative Government would scrap Hips saying the new regime “will force everyone selling their house to slap another £500 on the cost, for no real benefit… there’s absolutely no case for making housing more expensive”.

Pretty strong stuff from a Party that is currently more than a little bashful about making any kind of election promise and worrying for those who have invested money in preparing for the regime or plan to make a killing when Hips are introduced.

Step forward the Association of Home Information Providers with their calm and measured response to the Tories tactics.

An Ahips press release this week ran as follows “Mike Ockenden director general for the Association of Home Information Pack Providers has blasted the latest Tory opposition to Hips as feeble and desperate, questioning their motivation”.

Ahipps claims the Tories being “anti-democratic” in their behaviour for “jumping on the coat tails of those industry bodies who have called for a delay”.

I’m sure David Cameron’s advisers are scurrying around Conservative Central Office at the moment cooking up an appropriate riposte to such a cutting political attack.

But, jokes aside, the Tories are tapping into the legitimate concerns of many about the effect of the new regime and the long-running calls -albeit we are now a little late in the day- for a delay until a better cost benefit analysis can be done.

And quite what is wrong with drawing political attention to the legitimate concerns of the likes of the Council of Mortgage Lenders and National Association of Estate Agents I guess only Ahipps would know.

Elsewhere, former managing director of Hamptons Mortgages Kevin Duffy will join brokerage Robert Sterling as managing director in the autumn, and lead ambitious expansion plans at the company.

Duffy had considered a lending role as a possible next step on after Hamptons but will instead take the reins at the north London and Manchester-based brokerage and will be assured a generous welcome package at the firm.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Landmark ruling spells trouble for unmarried co-habitants

A landmark ruling has declared that millions of unmarried couples who buy a house together will be denied the same rights given to married couples if they split up.

The ruling, made yesterday, has confirmed that there is no such thing as 'common law' marriages.

Married couples who split up will normally have a right to half of the property's value when they divorce.

However, unmarried people will have to split the value of their homes depending on how much each of them paid towards it.

The ruling was made after an unmarried couple went to court fighting over their £750,000 house.

Barry Stack wanted half of the money from the sale, but his partner was awarded 65% of the share as she had paid more towards the mortgage.

Unmarried co-habitants are being advised to draw up a contract when buying a house together.

House prices drop to six-month low

House prices drop to six-month low

Average property prices fell in March to their lowest level since October last year, according to AWD Moneyextra.

At £220,303, the average price is up just 4.8% on year-ago levels and is down 1.2% on February’s £222,9231.

Property values fell both for first-time buyers and for home movers.

However, the fall of just £891 - to an average £176,205 - for first-time buyers underlines this is the sector of the housing market still experiencing the greatest price pressures, said Moneyextra.

Despite the falls seen in the last month, first-time buyers are still facing the largest increases in prices year on year, with the average price rising by 5.9%.

Robin AmlĂ´t of Moneyextra, said: “It looks like the mortgage market is beginning to slow down. The prospect of higher interest rates on the way and talk of base rate rising as high as 7.5% next year will have a dampening effect on the housing market over the coming months.”

The average value of mortgages completed by AWD Moneyextra customers in March fell again to its lowest level for three months at £142,708.75.

The most popular mortgage lender in March was Lloyds TSB subsidiary Cheltenham & Gloucester.

Link http://www.bestadvice.net/bastory.asp?id=10280

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Grumpy Pope

The seven dwarfs go to the Vatican, and because they are the seven dwarfs,
they are ushered in to see the Pope. Grumpy leads the pack.
"Grumpy, my son," says the Pope, "what can I do for you?"
Grumpy asks, "Excuse me your Excellency, but are there any dwarf nuns in
Rome ?"

The Pope wrinkles his brow at the odd question, thinks for a moment and
answers, "No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Rome ."

In the background, a few of the dwarfs start giggling.
Grumpy turns around and glares, silencing them.
Grumpy turns back, "Your Worship, are there any dwarf nuns in all of
Europe ?

The Pope, puzzled now, again thinks for a moment and then answers,
"No, Grumpy, there are no dwarf nuns in Europe "
This time, all of the other dwarfs burst into laughter. Once again, Grumpy
turns around and silences them with an angry glare.
Grumpy turns back and says, "Mr. Pope! Are there ANY dwarf nuns anywhere
in the world?"

The Pope, really confused by the questions says,
"I'm sorry, my son, there are no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world."
The other dwarfs collapse into a heap, rolling and laughing, pounding the
floor, tears rolling down their cheeks, as they begin chanting....
"Grumpy shagged a penguin! Grumpy shagged a penguin!"

Thursday, 12 April 2007

A Quick Poo

Last Night I walked into a public toilet where I found two cubicles, of

which one was already occupied. So I entered the other one, closed the door, dropped my trousers and sat down.

A voice came from the cubicle next to me: "Hello mate, how are you


I thought it a bit strange but not wanting to be rude I replied "Yeah,

Not too bad thanks."

After a short pause, I heard the voice again "So, what are you up to


Again I answered, somewhat reluctantly it must be said. Unsure what to

say, I replied "Umm, just having a quick poo.. How about yourself?"

I then heard the voice for the third time .

"Sorry mate, I'll have to call you back. I've got some d!ck head in the loo next to me answering everything I say."