English and Welsh local governments use "terrorism" as the excuse to block publication of commercial vacancies

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/14/gavin-chait-pikhaya.html

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#2

If these numbers are true, then the bottom is about to drop out of the leasing market.

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#3

“Knowledge is power.”

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#4

Which is probably the real reason getting the stats was like pulling teeth. The local governments have a lot more contact with real estate industry people who rely on information asymmetry than they do with anti-terrorism experts.

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#5

I can see how the “criminals and squatters would take advantage of this information” argument has a nice, knee-jerk appeal to it. But surely even casual consideration blows that argument apart? Any criminals and would-be squatters that are looking for vacant properties are already on the ground, in these neighborhoods, aware of the vacant properties they might use.
On the other hand, the economic benefit in optimizing property use and, if nothing else, what this information can usefully tell us about local economies is pretty damn obvious.

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#6

Plus, these properties can now get new life by real people using proper, fair squatting rights to abandoned buildings, rather than letting them fucking rot.

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#7

I suspect that the hard cases are not merely stubborn; but full of people who do think(more and less blatantly) that disclosure of information that harms market confidence is terrorism.

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#8

That’s certainly true for squatters and say, the retailing of illegal drugs. OTOH this could be useful if you wanted to say start a meth lab. You might be looking for isolated commercial space with no near neighbors, and not all that particular about the locality that it was located in.

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#9

You might be but I suspect you wouldn’t be looking in the City of London or in Westminster… :slight_smile:

Only very high-end meth manufacturers need that kind of prestige location…

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#10

Well the City is just being assholes to try and prove that they are still assholes that need to have attention paid to them. I think that besides racism, sticking it to those guys is why Brexit passed.

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#11

Xenophobia and sticking it to the man, the main drivers of any popular movement since some time after the Expulsion from Paradise (that was just sticking it to the man since according to that particular mythos there were no xenoi to be phobic about yet).

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#12

The bespoke and brewed to measure gentlemen’s meth trade.

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#13

Surely if some new tenants move into properties then council tax/business rate revenue will go up?

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#14

They’re not thinking that far ahead. The local real estate interests want to make sure that the new tenants are paying the perceived market rates (or above) rather than the actual ones.

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#15

Otherwise known as pharmaceutical amphetamines for all age groups.

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