Property: Remote control? No problem

It is pretty neat at any age to be able to operate the television, video security system, lighting and curtains all from one monitor. But for anyone getting on in age it could be a godsend.

At present, music, TV and lighting controllable from one switch tend to be available only at the top end of the market, where the buyer is likely to be young enough to get out of the chair. A new company, Mullion (01285 657576), is to build homes with an automation system, as well as adapting older buildings.

The new homes, starting at pounds 400,000, will include a flexible "smart room", which can be adapted for various uses. For older buyers there are extras such as audio induction loops for the hard of hearing, low-level lighting and wide doorways.

When it comes to finding land or houses ripe for development, it's a tough world, but perhaps contacting someone recently bereaved to suggest they sell up is not the most sensitive of approaches. A reader from Pinner in Middlesex was distressed to receive a letter from a property company suggesting that since she was now the owner of the house, perhaps they could do business, and pointing out that they were happy to make cash transactions.

"My husband died a few months ago and I did feel upset when the letter arrived. Then I was angry that the information should be used in this way, and was concerned that some people might be vulnerable at times like this," explains Mrs Abraham.

In fact, as she suspected, the probate register is a public record and anyone can trawl through it for information. Apparently wills provide a good source of unmodernised flats and houses. The best advice seems to be to ignore such letters, or, for those thinking of selling, to make sure your property goes on to the market so that the company can compete along with everyone else.

It is becoming easier to complain about property matters. The latest to join the line of sympathetic ears is the Land Registry, which has set up an independent complaints reviewer to listen to anyone affected by the actions of the registry.

The price of a play cottage for children, featured in a recent article in these pages, was sent into orbit by the addition of an extra nought. The Children's Cottage Company (0171-223 0876) produces thatched replicas for the garden from pounds 1,600, not pounds 16,000 - which will come as a relief for those who may have thought it would be wiser to save up for the real thing.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?