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
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk