Scottish agents using ‘holiday let’ loophole to dodge tenancy legislation

first_imgHome » News » Scottish agents using ‘holiday let’ loophole to dodge tenancy legislation previous nextRegulation & LawScottish agents using ‘holiday let’ loophole to dodge tenancy legislationScottish landlords and letting agents have been targeted by campaigners who claim many are advertising traditional rental properties as ‘sham’ holiday lets.Nigel Lewis17th May 201901,260 Views Letting agents in Scotland are using a loophole to circumvent the country’s ‘indefinite’ rental contract length regulations, it has been claimed.Introduced in 2016 the law, which is similar to proposed regulations being considered for England, replaced short-hold tenancies with indefinite rental contracts in order to give tenants greater security and make it harder for landlords to evict tenants.But housing campaigners in Edinburgh, which is Scotland’s largest private rental market, say they have identified several letting agents and landlords who are advertising properties as ‘holiday flats’ in order to circumvent the rules.Living Rent, a local campaign group, says landlords are offering their properties as ‘holiday lets’ in order to avoid having to register as landlords and avoid the law on tenancy length.Holiday let loopholeIt claims the ‘holiday let’ loophole also enables letting agents to sidestep the legislation and means deposits do not have to be protected and properties are exempt from HMO licensing rules and has been holding protests outside several letting agents in the city. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has promised to look into the loophole.“The new, better contracts were hard won by tenants up and down Scotland, demanding better rights and better protections from eviction,” says Emma McGillivray of Living Rent.She said the group, which recently featured on Scottish TV,  is now considering taking legal action against the landlords and letting agents involved.“We welcome the Scottish Government’s consultation on holiday lets, but if they are serious about protecting tenants, they need take action now close this loophole and drastically step up regulation and ensure tenants are safe,” says Megan Bishop, the author of Living Rent’s recent report into the Scottish rental market.Nicola Sturgeon Living Rent SNP tenancies Edinburgh May 17, 2019Nigel 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

Continue reading

Wild Palm Cockatoos Have Taught Themselves How To Drum To Pick Up Girls

first_imgPercussion and rhythm are deeply rooted in the human psyche (and our biology), with even Charles Darwin noting humans’ innate joy in creating and dancing to rhythms. In a crazy first, it turns out that male palm cockatoos are the only other animals besides humans (that we know of) that create tools to tap out rhythms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it also turns out that the Australian birds developed their musical talents to pick up ladies, with the male birds primarily showing off their drumming skills to accompany their mating calls when female birds are around (70% of the time to be exact).Just A Reminder That Gorillas Hum ‘Little Food Songs’ To Themselves While They EatRobert Heinsohn, a conversation biologist at Australia National University, has been studying the species for the past two decades, and he recently published his findings on the male palm cockatoos’ penchant for percussion in Science Advances at the beginning of summer. As Heinsohn told National Geographic about the first time he witnessed the phenomenon in the wild back in 1997, “The cockatoo was clutching what looked like a stick and banging it on the trunk, and every so often he would pause, erect his amazing crest, and let out either a piping whistle or a harsh screech.”He found that the beats made by the male birds were highly predictable and repetitive, with each bird developing its own personal drumming style to accompany its mating calls. Though other animals have been known to drum in the wild—such as chimpanzees who have been known to enjoy drumming on logs with sticks—palm cockatoos differ in that they create custom-made tools to lay out their sick beats.As noted previously, male palm cockatoos’ drumming patterns frequently accompany their vocal and visual mating rituals to attract female palm cockatoos to mate. Because the birds’ “cheeks go red when sexually excited,” it’s pretty clear what the birds’ intentions are with their musical skills. However, some questions remain about why the birds picked up this trait in the first place. Heinsohn posits, “As soon as one male works out a pleasing drumming pattern involving rhythm that gets the stamp of approval from the females, then others would be quick to learn it so that it would spread easily in a population.”Regardless of whether male palm cockatoos create music to pick up chicks or for themselves, Heinsohn (adorably) noted, “It seems that they are open to the pleasure of rhythm, just like humans,” he says. [H/T National Geographic; Photo: Christina Zdenek]last_img read more

Continue reading

Riksbank cuts repo rates, launches SEK10bn QE programme

first_imgSweden’s central bank is to trial a more expansionary monetary policy at it launches its own asset purchase scheme and takes repo rates negative.Riksbank announced that it would cut repo rates by 10 basis points, resulting in a negative rate of 0.10%, and that it would begin buying SEK10bn (€1.05bn) worth of government bonds in a move branded “historic” by local financial group SEB.In a statement, SEB argued that the -0.10% rate should be seen as “a test balloon for negative rates”, with further decreases likely in the near future.It also argued that the asset purchase programme – which will see Riksbank buy SEK10bn of nominal Swedish debt with maturities of 1-5 years – was “not optimal”, despite declining inflation rates. It said it would maintain its expansionary monetary policy until its target measure of inflation – CPIF, which excludes energy prices – once again rose to 2% from its December level of 0.5%.The move comes less than a month after the European Central Bank announced it would launch its own €60bn a month asset purchase programme in March, with critics warning the changes in asset allocation would be “toxic” for pension funds.The negative interest rates recently introduced by the Swiss National Bank have also caused problems for local pension funds, with the institution recently ruling out protecting the industry from the pain of the move.Mats Glenhage, head of business finance at Swedish insurer Folksam, admitted the negative repo rate could impact the return of those saving into pensions, but predicted that the action would initially have a marginal impact.He further pointed to the insurer’s diversified portfolio as being able to offset any immediate impact.However, others were less relaxed about the central bank’s move.Speaking at the Terminsstart Pension conference in Stockholm, Nordea chief economist Annika Winsth said the rate cut would cause unnecessary concern, Pensionsnyheterna reported.Winsth added that both the rate decision and the move towards quantitative easing signalled a concern about an oncoming crisis, and that the bank did not believe there would be a recovery in the near future.SEB noted that many investors would have been surprised by Riksbank’s doveish decision but warned about having too great an expectation of the Swedish quantitative easing (QE) programme.“We don’t see scope for a Swedish QE programme to match the size of the ECBs, [and] we believe that EUR/SEK is close to peak,” it said.last_img read more

Continue reading

Martin Lycka: Sixteen kings trapped in a gambling Gordian knot

first_imgShare Share Submit MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Related Articles Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 In the third of a series of columns on international gambling legislation, GVC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs Martin Lycka ruminates on the development of the online gambling market in Germany.__________________Once upon a time, there were sixteen kings in a land in the heart of Europe. The land’s credo was thou shalt not gamble online. Nevertheless, the kings’ subjects chose to gamble on the land’s web and thus implicitly beseeched the kings to summon a kings council to ponder and debate the credo. The council confirmed the credo in its full glory. However, following the sitting of the council, an Emperor’s court to which all the kings’ courts were subject ruled that the credo fell foul of the Emperor’s gambling rules and ordained the kings to think again. The kings ruminated about the matter at hand in council for the second time and then solemnly declared that online betting shalt be temporarily permitted whereas other online games shalt languish in the land of darkness (allegedly owing to an angst expressed by the kings’ men whose business was to sell lottery tickets). The kings further stipulated that the future betting related dispensations would be fraught with severe limitations on the seekers’ enterprises. The interpretation of the land’s credo having been thus changed, the kings’ councillors subsequently set off to grant twenty royal dispensations to seekers whose enterprises would be deemed most worthy of one. At the same time, a northern king, Sebastian-Harald III,  SH for short, broke ranks with his fellow kings and sanctified all online games in his land.  SH’s move prompted online gambling enterprises to pursue a two-pronged stratagem by means of seeking dispensations in both the northern land and the united lands of the other 15 kings.The 15 kings’ councillors considered supplications they had received from gambling enterprising subjects and selected twenty worthiest amongst their number for the privilege of becoming one of the kings’ suppliers. The northern land also completed its selection process and issued licences. The land in the heart of Europe was thus seemingly en route to a two-system regulatory model. However, the 15 kings’ system never really came into being; its flaws and fallacies having been challenged and exposed in the kings’ courts. The twenty licences have (so far) not been granted …The 15 kings reconvened in council again in a bid to find a path forward; it however turned out that there were too many a king amongst their number who expressed their displeasure with matters as they were. Following further strenuous deliberations, with the northern king back in the fold, the (now once again) 16 kings finally brought themselves to act in unison and decreed that the sports betting licences shalt be issued, without a limit on their number, in not too a distant future and that new regulation, potentially extending to a wider scope of online gambling products, be considered for introduction in summer 2021. The exact nature of the future regulation however remains, at least to some extent, shrouded in haze and mystery of the royal corridors of power; it is scheduled to be debated again by the 16 kings’ councillors in September 2019 and afterwards by the kings themselves in October and very likely beyond… Despite the persisting uncertainty, an ever increasing number of the 16 monarchs have declared that the only acceptable manner of disentangling the gambling Gordian knot is by means of a much more inclusive regulation, failing which they would be prepared to break away from the others, just like the northern king did back in the day, and potentially form a regulatory alliance. While the deliberations surrounding new regulation are afoot, scribes sworn to serve the lords operating online gambling products have been in the throes of preparing letters, charters and other documents to be submitted to the licensing councillors of the 16 kings, citizens of the city of Darmstadt. It was announced at an assize held by the Darmstadt councillors in mid August 2019 that the sports betting licence supplications will have started being reviewed only in January 2020; no date for their grant has been set in stone just yet. It is expected though that the supplications will rain down on the Darmstadt councillors in droves, which might, with all due respect, lead to significant “snowedunderedness” at their end and materially delay the licensing process. Call me a faint-of-heart but I would not bet my horse, let alone my squire, on the exact date of the grant of the future licence at this point in time.What is clear though is that the outcome of the licensing process itself will have a role to play in the ruminations about the future online gambling regulation in the land in the heart of Europe. If I was summoned to the next kings’ council and my advice on this matter was sought, having respectfully bowed my head and cleared my throat, I would give the following one, with a view to ensuring that the future regulation be in compliance with all legal and practical commandments:“Thou shalt regulate all products in the marketplace and subject them to licences” – it is beyond imperative in my view, in particular for responsible gambling and integrity purposes, that casino and poker be included amongst the number of licenseable products; “Thou shalt not impose arbitrary statutory limits on the online gambling offer” – it has been proven that statutory limits do not reflect the reality of the marketplace and are in no position to duly reflect affordability levels of individual customers; it is humbly submitted that customer set limits (subject to source of funds and responsible gambling checks) shalt be considered a much more preferable and at the same time effective option in this regard; and “Thou shalt preserve the existing lottery monopoly” – experience from other EU Member States has demonstrated that online casino does not cannibalise on the lottery market; it is further respectfully submitted that EU law does not require opening up of the domestic lottery market in the event the casino has been licensed. The author of these humble lines truly believes that new German regulation along the aforesaid lines would have the ability to bring the seemingly endless jostling, squabbling and skirmishing around this topic to an end to the benefit of all involved subjects. Martin Lycka is Director of Regulatory Affairs at GVC Group. Before that he spent nearly ten years at Paddy Power Betfair working on international markets. Views expressed are personal and not necessarily those of GVC Group.The German market will be discussed at next week’s Betting on Sports Conference at London Olympia in two sessions DACH – Vision 2021 and Analysing the German sports bettor. Find out more by clicking here.last_img read more

Continue reading