Back in 2015, we launched a petition urging our United States government to sign the BOTS Act (aka Better Online Ticket Sales Act) effectively criminalizing the use of ticket bot software to hack websites and purchase tickets before average consumers. At the time, the bill was being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer, and his influenced helped Governor Andrew Cuomo sign similar legislation into law for New York State.Shortly thereafter, Congress actually passed the BOTS Act through both houses, sending it off to President Obama for his approval. Today, we’ve learned that the BOTS Act has been officially enacted into federal law!The summary for the new act explains that it “prohibits the circumvention of control measures used by Internet ticket sellers to ensure equitable consumer access to tickets for certain events.” The new legislation even allows the federal government to file civil lawsuits for those who were affected by scalpers using ticket bots. Of course, the real challenge will be enforcing this new law, but putting this into the country’s legislation is a huge first step in the fight against ticket scalping. Let’s hope this means fairer ticket buying for all.
Renting. Istock. Townsville Bulletin Real EstatePROSPECTIVE tenants are being forced to fight over properties and high quality stock is being snapped up in under 24 hours as Townsville’s rental market heats up.Agents across the city are reporting a spike in demand for well maintained rental properties in desirable locations.House hunters are inspecting properties with their applications pre-filled to give them the best chance of securing a home.People moving to Townsville for employment opportunities in the medicine, defence, mining and government are believed to be behind the surge in demand for rentals. The rental market is expected to further improve in 2019 as demand increases and vacancy rates tighten.REIQ Townsville Zone chairman and First National Nicholson owner Wayne Nicholson said securing a rental property was much tougher now than it was 12 months ago.“We’re getting multiple applications for properties and our vacancy rate is about 2.4 per cent,” he said.“The rental market has very much improved from where it was six or nine months ago.“I do believe that 2019 will be better than 2018 in the rental market as more infrastructure projects come on line.”Poorly maintained properties in low socio economic areas are still languishing on the market but there is fierce competition for high-quality homes which are often being tenanted before they become vacant.The official REIQ vacancy rate is sitting at about 4 per cent but agents are reporting the rate is being inflated by poorly maintained rental properties that are difficult to tenant.In September 2016 vacancy rates in Townsville peaked at 7.1 per cent before making a steady decline. The REIQ classifies a rental market as strong when the vacancy rate falls below 3 per cent.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Smith & Elliott principal Sally Elliott said the rental market had improved considerably.“We’re getting up to 14 groups of people turning up to inspect one property,” she said.“The rental market is markedly different to what it was six months ago and we’ve been sitting at about a 1 per cent vacancy rate.“A lot of the good properties are being rented before they even become vacant.”Ray White Geaney Property Group owner Ella Geaney said November to March was usually the busiest time of the year for rentals but the start of 2019 had been even busier than usual.“At the moment we have absolutely no vacancies in the northern beaches areas like Bushland Beach and we’re getting five or six applications to rent one property,” she said.“We are finding the family style homes are being snapped up really quickly, especially if they are well presented and well maintained.“The rental market is starting to lift and we’re also seeing rental prices increase.”Ms Geaney said prospective tenants trying to secure a rental should make sure they have all of their paperwork organised before conducting an inspection.“They should get online and make a booking to view the property and have all their applications ready to go,” she said.“Make sure you have all your references and anything else you’ll need organised because that’s what most people are doing now.”
The England players celebrate their World Cup win over Colombia Join talkSPORT for LIVE commentary of England v Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals – Saturday, July 7: KICK-OFF 3PM BST 11 As usual they made us sweat, yelp and cringe, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions showed real cajones as they made it past a naughty Colombia in a nail-biting finish.Captain Harry Kane took his World Cup tally up to six goals with a second-half penalty to put England ahead, and they were less than two minutes away from a relatively pain free (for us, not for Jordan Henderson) win when Colombia scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser.It meant another agonising 30 minutes of action – and it really was – which inevitably led to a penalty shoot-out.Henderson – earlier headbutted by a Colombian player who was only shown a yellow card – missed his spot kick but the South Americans also missed their next one, and Jordan Pickford was the hero with a crucial save from Carlos Bacca, before Eric Dier squeezed his shot past David Ospina to spark wild celebrations – both in Moscow and back in Blighty.But how did the press report the dramatic and historic – it’s England’s first penalty shoot-out win in World Cup history – night for the country?Find out below… Hold the front page! England actually won a penalty shoot-out!What a crazy night of football.Unless you live in a cave, you might have noticed that England are through to the World Cup quarter-finals!