Property: Remote control? No problem
Saturday 28 February 1998
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.
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
McDonald’s launches clothing line using Big Mac prints
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
Curvy model Kate Upton is returning to the big screen for the film The Layover
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...
£14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a part time opportunity...
£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: M&E Contractor based in Leeds h...