MP predicts letting fees ban will cut agent turnover by up to 20%

first_imgHome » News » MP predicts letting fees ban will cut agent turnover by up to 20% previous nextRegulation & LawMP predicts letting fees ban will cut agent turnover by up to 20%London MP canvassed local agents about ban before predicting effectNigel Lewis9th January 20170996 Views The letting fees ban will cut agent turnover by up to 20%, says Mike Freer, the Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green in North London (pictured).Freer, who is a buy-to-let landlord himself, says he has talked to letting agents in his constituency about the ban including Martyn Gerrard, which he describes as an ‘industry leader’ in his area.The company is unusual within the lettings sector because it does not charge tenants administration or contract fees.The MP says his research reveals that agent turnover is likely to reduce by between 10% and 20% among “agents who have been charging these spurious fees to tenants” if a ban is introduced and that this will weed out the “cut price unregulated agents” within the industry.He says agents in his area believe that such a dramatic drop in turnover will encourage agents to increase their charges to landlords, who in turn will raise rents to cover the increased costs.“In Scotland, where all but rent and refundable deposits were banned in 2012, the evidence shows that rents have risen as a direct consequence of the ban,” the MP says in his blog on website then goes on to argue that holding deposits should not be treated as fees, and says that if they are banned then many tenants will commit to multiple properties when searching for a home in the hope of securing one of them.This, Freer says, will lead to increased costs as landlords and letting agents pay for referencing checks for each prospective tenant, only for them to choose another property.golders green mike freer mp ban on letting fees finchley January 9, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

No respite from rent rises

first_imgStudent rent charges are likely to soar even higher as the Estate Bursars’ Committee yet again places accommodation subsidies in the spotlight. An independent consultancy group is currently undertaking a real cost review of college accommodation across the University,, including figures such as capital depreciation. Their report will be presented to the Bursars’ Committee within the next couple of weeks. Dr Alex Hardy, Bursar of Oriel College, and leading advocate of the real cost review, has indicated to student representatives that this report will form part of the Estate Bursars’ ongoing decision over the proportion of college costs to be covered by students. Speaking to Cherwell, Dr Hardy was unable to deny the importance or the implications of this review, stating that “the consultants’ findings would be fully considered by all college bursars.” Helena Puig Larrauri, Student Union president, was fearful of the possible consequences of this further move to fix battels charges, saying, “it will be important to ensure the Estate Bursars don’t place the full burden of accommodation on students.” This move is made in the shadow of protest over the first wave of rent increases. With many JCRs locked into negotiations with college authorities, some are now considering rent strikes. Trinity College JCR is asking students to pay only the original charge after negotiations were broken off by the college authorities. The Trinity JCR President told Cherwell that “there was no agreed increase to recognise.” Trinity will begin a full rent strike if negotiations are not restarted by Hilary term.ARCHIVE: 0th Week MT2003last_img read more

Is an NUS Extra Card worthwhile?

first_imgThe NUS discount card has traditionally been seen as the most obvious benefit of NUS membership. However, with many shops and restaurants now offering a generic student discount and some Oxford colleges setting up their own discount schemes, some students are increasingly questioning whether having an NUS Extra Card is worthwhile.St John’s and Balliol both have college discount schemes, with the Oxford Union also negotiating ‘Treasurer’s Treats’ for its members at various businesses. These are perhaps more useful to Oxford students on a daily basis, considering the number of independent businesses in the city. On the other hand, access to these discounts requires membership of a college or society that operates a discount scheme and claiming to represent a market of seven million consumers is an obvious advantage for the NUS, when negotiating discounts; especially with national chains.By far the most valuable discount available with an Extra Card is the partnership the NUS announced in September 2013 with The Cooperative Food. They negotiated a discount of 10% for all Extra Card holders on their groceries from the Co-operative at more than 3,600 of their food stores. At the same time, given that many Oxford students eat their meals in their college hall, the usefulness of this discount may be limited. Other discounts which cardholders are entitled to, such as 10% off at ASOS or 20% off at Vision Express are also worthwhile. But it is questionable how useful or substantial some of the discounts the card offers are. For example, the offer of Virgin Balloon Flights for £89pp or 4% off holidays with easyJet Holidays are less appealing.Finally, the NUS Extra Card is not prohibitively expensive at £12, and can be used effectively if one is aware where discounts are available. This makes the loss of eligibility for the card Oxford students will suffer, if disaffiliation occurs, something that many are likely to consider when they vote.last_img read more

Commentary: Tales Of Tears And Gunshots

first_imgBy John INDIANAPOLIS – A small boy with dark, curly hair and big brown eyes, he looked lost in the hospital bed.This was nearly 25 years ago. I’d gone to interview this child and his family because he had been the victim of a drive-by.He was a third-grader. He was shy. He answered my questions with short, polite answers. He said he couldn’t wait to leave the hospital. He wanted to play again with his friends and his cousins.I asked him if he remembered why he was in the hospital.“I was shot,” he said. “Somebody shot me.”When he said that, his mother and his grandmother, who sat beside his hospital bed, burst into tears.It was a summer of shootings.Almost every week, it seemed the newspaper where I worked sent me to cover the funeral of another teenager or child who had been killed or to talk with grieving parents or family members.One father took me into his dead son’s bedroom. The boy, who had been killed just before his 14th birthday, had been a budding artist.His father showed me his son’s sketches. He talked about how he and his wife had bought their boy a nice set of art supplies for his birthday. They planned to give it to him at a family party.He looked for a long moment at one of his son’s sketches. Then his face twisted into tears.“Why?” he sobbed.I didn’t have an answer.The police officers I interviewed that summer said they felt overwhelmed.There were so many guns flowing into the streets that entire neighborhoods were turned into free-fire zones.That squared with what I had seen.During the school year, a couple of times a week, I’d jog up to an inner-city elementary school over my lunch hour.The principal was a friend of mine. She’d told me that the teaching staff was almost entirely female and that many of the boys in the school would benefit from a male presence.I organized kickball games at recess and talked with boys the principal or the teachers thought needed some special attention.One day, when I trotted up, I saw that the maintenance crew was replacing a window.I asked my friend what happened.She shook her head.“Someone shot it out,” she said.She said it wasn’t the first time it had happened.Some of the children in the school told me they could hear gunshots in their neighborhood at night.One boy the teachers wanted me to work with had an easy laugh and an impish smile. He was bright and had an intuitive understanding of numbers. After kickball, we would play math games or do numbers puzzles.His laugh when he solved a brainteaser faster than I could be joy itself.Three years later, when he was in high school, he went riding with some friends. They ran into another group of guys.Someone had a gun.The little boy who loved numbers was shot.He died.When my friend, the principal, called to tell me about his death, we both sat in silence for a long moment, too stunned to talk.In Texas this week, there are a lot of stories like these.A troubled teenager took his father’s guns to his high school and opened fire. He killed at least 10 people and wounded many others.This happened in a secure school in one of the most gun-happy states in the country. That hasn’t stopped gun advocates from arguing, over the objections of police, parents, students, teachers, and others, that guns shouldn’t be any part of our discussions about how we keep our children safe.For them, guns are always the focus.Me, I can’t help thinking about how many schools and how many teachers have to replace windows, doors, and walls because they’ve been shot up.I wonder how many math prodigies with sweet smiles we’ve lost to gun violence.How many parents stand in their children’s rooms and ask why? through tears.How many small children say, “I was shot. Somebody shot me.”And how many would say that, if they could speak from the grave?FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism, host of “No Limits” WFYI 90.1 Indianapolis and publisher of, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.This article was posted by the City-County Observer without bias, opinion or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Space-age technology

first_imgMacadams Baking Systems has introduced an “advanced space-age insulating material, created for the space shuttle when it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere” to its latest range of ovens. Called LDB Powersaver, test results, revealed at this year’s Iba exhibition, show a single rack oven fitted with the material gives a 20kw per hour saving across an eight-hour baking day. Other benefits are said to include: quicker oven recovery times after placing products in the baking chamber; improved steam generator recovery times; quicker heat recovery between baking cycles; greater overnight heat retention; and more fuel-efficient products with a reduced carbon emission footprint.last_img

PREMIERE: Sophistafunk Drops Psychedelic Video For The Fierce Tune, “No More War”

first_imgSophistafunk has been steadily building a name for itself over the past decade, collaborating with everyone from the late Bernie Worrell to The Motet to Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power/Beyoncé) to Snarky Puppy. Known for their upbeat blend of funk, hip-hop, and dance music, the Syracuse-based band has earned a rabid cross-country fanbase with their energized live shows, tight musicianship, and captivating stage presence. Though formerly a trio composed of keys player Adam Gold, drummer Emanuel Washington, and emcee Jack Brown, recently, Sophistafunk augmented their lineup and took their sound to the next level by adding a new member, saxophonist Tommy Weeks of the Funky Dawgz Brass Band.Saxophonist Tommy Weeks Talks Sophistafunk, Funky Dawgz & MoreIn addition to being featured as the house band on five episodes of Food Network’s Guy Grocery Games (show host and Flavortown mayor Guy Fieri called them his favorite band), 2017 saw the release of the group’s latest album Real Vibration, a masterful seven-track work that dropped back in February. Today, Sophistafunk released a brand-new music video for Real Vibration‘s powerful downtempo track, “No More War”. To complement the song’s calls for togetherness, the music video sees a diverse collection of friends and fans of the band come together, with each holding a lyric from the tune. As the song reaches its fierce breakdown, the visuals become more psychedelic, with classic images of war and footage of blooming flowers layered over live video of the band and their diverse fan base.Sophistafunk Writes The Theme Song For Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games” Series [Watch]As emcee Jack Brown explained, “At a time of such divisiveness, we wanted to create an anthem that could bring everyone together.” He continued, “The time is right for a song like this. We need some more peace, love, and unity.”Sophistafunk Spins Conscious Rhymes With Heady Vibes On New Album Real Vibration [Review]Today, Live For Live Music is proud to premiere the music video for Sophistafunk’s “No More War”. You can check it out for yourself below. You can also peep Sophistafunk’s upcoming tour dates below, or head over to the band’s website. Enjoy!Upcoming Sophistafunk 2017 ShowsFriday, October 27th at Funk ‘n Waffles Music Hall – Rochester, NY w/ SubsoilSaturday, October 28th at Funk ‘n Waffles Downtown – Syracuse, NY w/s/g Chris EvesFull calendar at www.sophistafunkband.comlast_img read more

A Tale of Two Servers – And How They Found Their Perfect Match

first_imgAt Dell EMC, right now is the best of times. Designing customer-centric products is truly our raison d’etre. So you can imagine the joy we feel when a customer finds their perfect server match. The newly-released R440 and R540 rack servers are designed to fit the needs of two unique customer sets. The R440 is ideal for customers looking for density and especially for scale out infrastructures. Mid-market IT service providers are a perfect fit for the R440. The R540 is built for the diverse application demands of commercial businesses in high-growth economies. It may be a tale of two different servers in two different markets, but in both cases it’s also a match made in heaven.Excellence in Every ServerSince the company was founded, Dell EMC has been a data-driven organization. And we use that data to better serve our customers. Our search for continual improvement led us to root cause and solve an unimaginable variety of problems over the decades. We embed those solutions into every PowerEdge server, which results in scalable business architecture, intelligent automation and integrated security for every customer.The R440 + Mid-Market Service ProvidersThe PowerEdge R440 is optimized for dense, scale-out computing. The R440 is ideal for running virtualization applications and software-defined storage. Intel Xeon™ processors deliver a 27% increase in cores and a 50% increase in bandwidth compared to the previous generation. You can get the R440 with up to two Intel Xeon Scalable processors, with 22 cores per processor. The R440 comes with 16 DDR4 DIMM slots and maxes out at 512GB of memory.Why is it perfect for the needs of a mid-market IT service provider? Often these customers are looking for not only great performance, but also efficiency. So the R440 is shallower than your standard rack server, without sacrificing performance. Save space in your data center with the R440’s dense 1U node. It can be configured with either four 3.5” or 10 2.5” drives. It’s a great option for service providers interested in expanding capabilities without increasing the data center footprint. Plus, the R440 has the most superior price to performance in its class, with the white-glove service and support that customers expect from Dell EMC.PowerEdge R440The R540 + High-Growth Commercial BusinessesThe PowerEdge R540 is a 2U, 2 socket rack server. The R540 efficiently handles business workloads like messaging, video surveillance, web-serving, and software-defined storage, to name a few. If you’re interested in software defined storage, the R540 provides up to 140 TBs of storage capacity. So much storage also makes it ideal for data backups, video surveillance and video streaming. It also has up to 512GB of memory.High-growth countries are increasingly the drivers of the global economy. Commercial businesses operating within these economies are often growing fast as well. For resource-constrained growing businesses, the R540 comes with one-button workload tuning to keep your IT systems optimized without dedicating tons of time and resources from your IT department. The R540 is perfect for this customer set because it balances resources, expandability, and affordability.PowerEdge R540The final piece of the puzzle to create the perfect server match is the PowerEdge systems management toolkit. Even if you’ve got the best servers on earth, it won’t do you any good if you can’t manage, monitor and remediate your IT infrastructure efficiently. The R440 and R540 come with iDRAC and Lifecycle Controller to deliver smart automation of everyday tasks. With Quick Sync 2 and the OpenManage Essentials console, both servers are simply managed to optimize your IT resources.After years of R&D, the R440 and R540 servers are all grown up and ready to go out into the world. And in accordance with every proud parent’s dream, we’re happy that they’ve found their perfect market.Stay Up to DateVisit for complete product information on the PowerEdge R440 and R540. Follow us at @DellEMCServers to stay up to date on the latest PowerEdge news and announcements.last_img read more

Vermont Life terminates ad agency’s contract

first_imgState officials recently told Vermont Life magazine’s advertising director that they were terminating her contract which still has more than two years to run. That move prompted allegations that the Douglas Administration may be retaliating against the contractor, Gerianne Smart, for her public criticisms of earlier cutbacks affecting the 63-year-old state-published quarterly.Smart, who runs a marketing and advertising firm in Vergennes, said she doesn’t know whether the state sought to punish her in response to comments she made in March at a State Legislature hearing. I don’t want to believe that people in positions of power act this way, she said in an interview. I thought I had to speak out as a citizen because one of the treasures of our state was under siege, Smart explained. She said she was concerned about a decision to leave the posts of Vermont Life publisher and product manager unfilled.I don’t want to believe that people in positions of power act this way.Smart said she was told subsequently that her duties for Vermont Life were being subsumed into a new and broader contractual arrangement that would include responsibilities for all state advertising sales. Christine Werneke, the state’s chief marketing officer, justified the shift as an efficiency move that will produce an estimated $70,000 in annual savings at a time of austerity for Vermont’s government. The state also expects to reap savings as a result of the staffing changes at the magazine.The broader contract covering sales and marketing functions was put out for bid in July. Smart was invited to submit a bid, but she insisted that the state should honor her existing contract with Vermont Life, which was to have remained in effect until January 2012. I felt as a Vermonter that the state would agree to honor my contract, Smart says. I asked the state to do so, but they decided to ignore it and to continue forward with this grander idea that is not in the best interests of Vermont Life.Christine Werneke, the state’s chief marketing officer, justified the shift as an efficiency move that will produce an estimated $70,000 in annual savings at a time of austerity for Vermont’s government.As a result of the contract’s cancellation, Smart says she will be forced to lay off her firm’s two employees late this month or early in November. Commissions earned through the contract with Vermont Life account for the large majority of Smart Communication’s revenues, she says.The state has decided to award the new contract to Harvest Limited, a Warren-based marketing firm headed by Judy MacIsaac. Werneke says she is confident that Harvest will help the state capitalize on new advertising opportunities while continuing to attract support for Vermont Life through advertising and product sales.Smart noted that she was not alone last spring in expressing concerns to the Legislature about the direction of the magazine, which has a paid circulation of 66,000. She recalled that former editor Tom Slayton had also offered objections, as had a few members of the Vermont Life advisory board. But I was the only one who something could be done to, Smart says.Slayton declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the termination of Smart’s contract. He did describe her as a very valuable contract employee of the magazine, who, during her 18 years as advertising director, added millions of dollars to the bottom line.Advisory board members Paul Bruhn and Laura Carlsmith also would not comment on the state’s action in Smart’s case. But advisor Jack Crowl, a former publisher of the Chronicle of Higher Education who lives in North Pomfret, said a desire to punish Smart for speaking out could be a contributing factor in the decision to terminate her contract. It’s not a good move to cancel someone’s contract, Crowl observed.He said he knows that state officials were not pleased that some members of the Vermont Life advisory board complained to the Legislature about actions affecting the magazine. Officials are also not soliciting advice from the board but are instead presenting it with faits accomplis, Crowl added.Werneke described the revamp of the advertising and marketing contract as completely and purely a business decision that was not aimed at Smart personally.Vermont Life has been taking on a new look under the editorial leadership of Mary Hegarty Nolan as part of an effort to expand its readership by appealing to a younger audience. Slayton, who edited the magazine for 20 years, says he is pleased with those changes even as he expresses reservations about the decision not to appoint a fulltime publisher. It’s an unconventional route, he said.That job is currently being carried out in an acting capacity by Steve Cook, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. He oversees a staff of nine at the magazine.Cook said the publisher position could eventually be filled by someone outside the department if and when state budgetary pressures subside.Vermont Business Magazine reporter Kevin J Kelley is a freelance writer from Burlington.last_img read more

Credit Suisse to stop funding new coal-fired power plant development

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Credit Suisse will stop financing the development of new coal-fired power plants, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said, a week after environmental groups urged it to act.“The bank has decided to no longer provide any form of financing specifically related to the development of new coal-fired power plants. This is in addition to the bank’s existing policy of not providing any form of financing that is specifically related to the development of new greenfield thermal coal mines,” it said on Wednesday ahead of an investor day in London.“This commitment also applies to cases where the majority of the use of proceeds is intended for the development of a new coal-fired power plant or a new greenfield thermal coal mine, respectively.”Credit Suisse was among 10 big European banks challenged by environmental groups to sever lending to utilities which they say are developing new coal-fired power plants.A United Nations report last year said almost all coal-fired power plants would need to close by the middle of this century to help curb a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the level scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.German environmental pressure group Urgewald and BankTrack, an NGO focused on banks and the activities they finance, said an analysis of the 10 most active European lenders to companies which are still planning or developing new coal plants indicated total debt funding had risen to $56 billion between 2017 and the end of September 2019.[Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi]More: Credit Suisse to stop financing new coal-fired power plants Credit Suisse to stop funding new coal-fired power plant developmentlast_img read more

Energy Cost of Hybrids

first_imgAnd don’t worry that we’ll run out of electrical power: A 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory estimated that three-quarters of the country’s current small vehicle fleet could be charged by our existing electrical grid without building new power plants. (And if all those cars were replaced by PHEVs, it would eliminate the need for 6.5 billion barrels of oil per day, or 52 percent of current U.S. oil imports.) Dear EarthTalk: If you have an electric or plug-in hybrid car, you’re paying for electricity rather than gasoline all or most of the time. How does that cost compare to a gas-powered car’s cost-per-mile? And since the electricity may be generated from some other polluting source, does it really work out to be better for the environment?                         — Kevin DeMarco, Milford, Connecticut CONTACTS: Electric Power Research Institute,;,; Natural Resources Defense Council, More than one half of our national energy grid is powered by coal, and in areas where PHEVs are charged through coal-provided electricity, says NRDC, there is the possibility of increased levels of soot and mercury emissions. However, charging up can be much less of a guilt-ridden affair where cleaner electrical sources like wind and solar are available. The website points out that as more power plants are required to develop green power and emit fewer greenhouse gases, the environmental and health benefits will further increase. Regarding environmental impact, charging up your car with electricity from the grid also wins handily over filling up at the gas station. In the most comprehensive PHEV study to date, released in 2007 by EPRI and the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), results predict that all greenhouse gases will be reduced as PHEVs begin to penetrate the car market. Estimated cumulative greenhouse gas reductions from 2010 to 2050, depending upon how fast PHEVs take hold, range from 3.4 to 10.3 billion tons.center_img The calculation was made using an average cost of electricity of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour and the estimated distance the car would travel on one charge, versus a car that gets 25 miles per gallon and is powered by $3 per gallon gasoline. Change any of those variables and the relative costs change. For example, substituting a car that gets 50 miles per gallon doubles the comparative electrical cost (though it still works out much cheaper than gasoline). On the other hand, in some areas where wind or hydropower is wasted at night—just when the PHEV would be charging—the utility might drop the kilowatt hour cost to two to three cents, making the charge much less costly. When you compare battery to gasoline power, electricity wins hands down. A 2007 study by the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) calculated that powering a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would cost the equivalent of roughly 75 cents per gallon of gasoline—a price not seen at the pump for 30 years. SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; [email protected] Read past columns at: EarthTalk is now a book! Details and order information at: read more