Licenses have been granted for shale gas exploration in Southport, Leeds, Hull, Edinburgh, Swansea, Weymouth, Bath and Brighton amongst others. Meanwhile Greenpeace do not give up the battle against fracking and encourage residents whose land is likely to be affected to consider legal action in trespass. Although this is a contentious question, evidently there is a possibility that working underground can be considered as trespass if the land above is privately owned, although ‘landowners do not own the rights to hydrocarbons beneath their land’ a government source says.
The Government errs on the side of caution because fracking has been found to cause seismic tremors in Lancashire, new controls to mitigate the risks have been announced, while fracking is set to go ahead.
Is another property bubble looming?
According to the ONS, house price index in August this year surpassed the peak of January 2008, albeit the number of transactions is still low, BBC reports. London and South East have seen the highest spike in house values. Mortgage landing has hit its 5 year high this September, which can undoubtedly be attributed to low interest rates and government help to buy scheme. Foreign investment has its eye on London property, with a major flux of investors from Singapore, Hong Kong and most recently China, tempted by the buy-to-let schemes. New developments are sold out 3 years ahead of completion. As matters stand today, it is expected that interest rates will eventually witness a hike, expected in early 2015.
More protection for private tenants is finally taking form – dodgy landlords beware.
As a code of practice at first, and as legally enforceable rules later, the government aims to provide better protection to private tenants against hidden charges and poor service, as well as unfair evictions resulting from tenants taking action against their landlords.