Property Management 101 – My Predictions – Renting Vs Home Ownership

Once upon a time everyone started off by living at the family home until they could save for a home of their own. There was a very clear line when I was growing up, of the home owners and the renters and the latter were typically looked down upon. It was considered even worse if you grew up in public housing.

The dream for everyone was to save a deposit as soon as possible to buy a first home which was expected to be upgraded at some point to the family home. This was usually a bigger home with a yard for the kids and was positioned closer to schools.

As children moved out and the parents aged, home owners then downsized again to a smaller home or unit. Nursing homes were not so common and children usually took on the responsibility when Mum and Dad could no longer live by themselves in their own home.

As time progressed and the finances changed, as well as wanting everything sooner, the attitude changed as well. Young people started moving out and renting either with a partner or with friends until they settled down and could afford to buy a house.

It would not be unusual for three or four people to rent together in a share house until in their 20's or 30's when everyone paired off. They would typically move in with their new found love and start a family in their own home. Careers took priority over family for a little while. People seemed to be buying a bit later, however the dream was still very real; to own your own home and have a family.

The new trend that I am seeing is that we are back to two types of families. The first is the traditional home owner. The new, second type is the ‘lifestyle renters'. These new type of families no longer want a home of their own.

Some lifestyle renters want to live in an area such as the Gold Coast that they could never afford to buy and want the prestige that a higher class area can offer. While they can afford the rent, they don't want to, or cannot commit to the mortgage and maintenance of a home.

Others can afford to buy, however they like the flexibility and freedom to move every few years for work or for a change of scenery. They live comfortably and enjoy life.

Then there are the investors. Some investors have multiple properties and use that income (rent) to pay for the rent in their higher priced rental property. We have clients who own multiple properties and choose to rent for many reasons.

The interesting thing for me, is that renters are no longer looked down upon like they once were. It is fair to say that there are still lower income areas, that are unfortunately judged differently. However, I feel that overall people are accepting that some people will just never own a home by choice or design. Without people renting, a whole industry of Property Managers would not exist, so I love our tenants and I am glad that others in society do to!

I predict that Lifestyle Renters will grow as we want better lifestyles with more flexibility.

Facebook Photo-Scanning Suit Is a Multibillion-Dollar Threat

Facebook Photo-Scanning Suit Is a Multibillion-Dollar Threat

Updated on
  • Class-action ruling is major win for users under Illinois law
  • Judge notes company’s worry about exposure to large damages

Facebook Inc. may have to pay a real price for claims it invaded users’ privacy: billions of dollars.

 
 

A federal judge ruled Monday that millions of the social network’s users can proceed as a group with claims that its photo-scanning technology violated an Illinois law by gathering and storing biometric data without their consent. Damages could be steep — a fact that wasn’t lost on the judge, who was unsympathetic to Facebook’s arguments for limiting its legal exposure.

 
 

The case dates back to 2015, long before Facebook became mired in controversy over revelations that millions of its users’ private information fell into the hands of British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. It’s rare for consumers to win class-action status in privacy cases. In Facebook’s history, most such cases don’t get that far.

 
 

Facebook has for years encouraged users to tag people in photographs they upload in their personal posts and the social network stores the collected information. The company has used a program it calls DeepFace to match other photos of a person. Alphabet Inc.’s cloud-based Google Photos service uses similar technology and Google faces a lawsuit in Chicago like the one against Facebook in San Francisco federal court.

 
 

Illinois Law

Both companies have insisted in court that gathering data on what you look like isn’t against the law, even without your permission. But under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act of 2008, the companies could be fined $1,000 to $5,000 each time a person’s image is used without consent.

Shawn Williams, a lawyer for the users, said it’s not clear yet whether the lawsuit might prompt changes in the way Facebook uses biometric data.

“As more people become aware of the scope of Facebook’s data collection and as consequences begin to attach to that data collection, whether economic or regulatory, Facebook will have to take a long look at its privacy practices and make changes consistent with user expectations and regulatory requirements,” he said.

Facebook said it’s reviewing the ruling. “We continue to believe the case has no merit and will defend ourselves vigorously,” spokeswoman Genevieve Grdina said in an emailed statement.

Facebook’s Long History of Resolving Privacy Claims on the Cheap

The company “seems to believe” that the lawsuit should be pursued by individuals, not as a group, because “damages could amount to billions of dollars,” U.S. District Judge James Donato wrote in the ruling.

The company argued each individual user could be “aggrieved” differently, and must prove that they suffered an actual injury beyond a privacy right. Nonetheless, the judge said “substantial damages are not a reason to decline class certification,” because he could reduce them at a later stage of the litigation.

The class of users approved by Donato dates back to June 2011, when Facebook had an Illinois user base of more than 6 million people, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs. “Although many individuals may not have had enough tagged photos to generate a face template in Facebook’s database, in January 2011 (i.e., before Facebook implemented tag suggestions for all users) the average user was tagged in 53 photos, far more than the 10 needed to generate a face template,” according to a December court filing.

Privacy advocates have said the billions of images Facebook is thought to be collecting could be even more valuable to identity thieves than the names, addresses, and credit card numbers now targeted by hackers. While those types of information are mutable — even Social Security numbers can be changed — biometric data for retinas, fingerprints, hands, face geometry and blood samples are unique identifiers.

Here Are Some Ways Washington Could Rein In Facebook: QuickTake

When Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testified in Congress last week over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin accused the company of trying to water down the state’s biometric privacy law.

“I’m afraid Facebook has come down to the position of trying to carve out exceptions to that,” the Democrat said, according to a transcript of the April 11 hearing. “I hope you’ll fill me in on how that is consistent with protecting privacy.”

The Illinois residents who sued argued the 2008 law gives them a “property interest” in the algorithms that constitute their digital identities. The judge has agreed that gives them grounds to accuse Facebook of real harm.

Facebook, which got the case moved to San Francisco from Illinois, argued the users hadn’t suffered a concrete injury such as physical harm, loss of money or property; or a denial of their right to free speech or religion.

Courts have struggled over what qualifies as an injury to pursue a privacy case in lawsuits accusing Facebook and Google of siphoning users’ personal information from emails and monitoring their web-browsing habits. Suits over selling the data to advertisers have often failed.

Donato has ruled that the Illinois law is clear: Facebook has collected a “wealth of data on its users, including self-reported residency and IP addresses.” Facebook has acknowledged that it can identify which users who live in Illinois have face templates, he wrote.

Donato previously rejected Facebook’s argument that the case had to be dismissed because the attempt to enforce Illinois law runs afoul of its user agreement that requires disputes to be resolved under the laws of California, where it’s based.

The case is In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, 15-cv-03747, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). 

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-16/facebook-must-face-group-suit-claiming-it-stole-biometric-data

Chinas Economic Growth Remains Robust Amid Strong Retail Sales

China’s economic expansion held up amid robust consumer spending, underpinning global growth and giving authorities more room to purge excessive borrowing.

 
 

Steady growth offers support for President Xi Jinping’s mission to shore up financial stability, one of Beijing’s top goals along with reducing poverty and curbing pollution. The robust pace of expansion is a tailwind for the global economy seen maintaining its solid performance this year, providing needed support in the form of strong demand for China’s exports.  

“Economic indicators are robust,” Xia Le, chief Asia economist at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in Hong Kong, said before the release. “Growth headwinds remain in place, mainly from domestic policy tightening and trade skirmishes from the U.S. Growth is most likely to moderate through the year.”  

  • Gross domestic product grew 6.8% in the first quarter from year earlier
  • That matches both the previous quarter’s pace and the projections in a Bloomberg survey
  • Retail sales increased 10.1% in March from a year earlier, vs a forecast of 9.7%
  • Industrial production rose 6.0% last month; forecast 6.3%
  • Fixed-asset investment climbed 7.5% in the quarter
  • A new urban surveyed-jobless rate stood at 5.1% at end-March

People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang last week said economic indicators performed better than expected in the first quarter amid continued improvement in the global outlook.

 
 

Headwinds may strengthen in coming months should Xi’s so-called critical battles against financial risk and pollution bite deeper or if trade tensions with the U.S. intensify. Property and infrastructure activity will weaken in the second half, though manufacturing investment, solid consumption and strong external demand will cushion the impact, says UBS Group AG.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-17/china-economic-growth-remains-robust-amid-strong-retail-sales