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Mike Penn’s sleek home and its up-to-the-minute interiors sit behind a mews entrance in Fitzrovia

Smart shades of grey

Inspired by New York lofts, photographer Mike Penn turned a central London office into a cool urban living space and created the perfect backdrop to hang his pictures

It's a fix: when Simon Read saw his bill for roof repairs, he felt he was being overcharged

The day I took on the tradesmen's guild

When Simon Read, The Independent's personal finance editor, hired a roofer to repair storm damage, he was shocked to see that half the bill consisted of travel time. So he wrote about it – and all hell was let loose

Promised Land: Letchworth, Herfordshire (pictured above in 1912), is one of only two true garden cities built in England

Why garden cities are streets ahead

As George Osborne plans a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, Sarah Rutherford hopes he'll remember the progressive ideals upon which these urban utopias were founded

Jason Lynn with Ricky the Standard Poodle, as they celebrate winning the Best in Show category of Crufts during the final day at Crufts Dog Show on 9 March 2014 in Birmingham, England

Crufts Best-in-Show: Ricky the poodle really is the top dog

Ricky the poodle won the world’s biggest dog show prize after being named Best-in-Show at Crufts from more than 21,000 entrants.

Jim Blackender, pictured in front of his prefab in July 2009, was the leader of a fight to save the prefabs from demolition. He now lives in Kent; his prefab home is now boarded up

Prefabs in peril: Britain's largest remaining estate of the postwar homes is under threat

They were built to last only 10 years. Seven decades on, the 187 homes of Britain's largest remaining prefab estate stand strong. But now the local council is set on demolition – so one photographer has given the residents the least their extraordinary homes deserve: a museum

Safe as houses? Sir Peter Bottomley says there is a growing political will to protect leaseholders

Our campaign for the rights of leaseholders may lead to a new law

Readers, property professionals and MPs back Independent on Sunday drive to legislate against dodgy practices that ensnare homeowners

Phone home: The first house bought on a mobile using the Barclays Pingit app

Buying your home with a mobile phone

Technology is an unavoidable part of the property market, but Barclays and auctioneer Savills have taken it a step further, says Chiara Cavaglieri

Snowball effect: The birthplace of the Games can claim its own legacy as investor interest increases

Buying into winter wonderlands is more than a game

With Sochi under way, Richard Way looks at Chamonix, in the French Alps, where the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924

Rural campaigners and lobbying groups obstruct the construction of new housing on Britain's 'green belt'

Britain is suffering from a housing crisis - who is to blame and how can we fix it?

The Independent's economics editor Ben Chu rates the possible culprits and touted solutions and asks how likely they are to help us get through this mess…

The young ones: Tenancies are often arranged early and collection of rent can be easily arranged

If you want to let to students, then do your homework

The sector provides a steady income that is immune to economic shocks – as long as your property is in the right place. Chiara Cavaglieri reports

Long road ahead: A surge in car sales appears to have been driven, in part, by payouts on PPI claims. When these stop, will the brakes be applied?

Julian Knight: Join our campaign to stop the fleecing of leaseholders

Greedy managing agents have been charging too much for too long for routine repairs

Windows of opportunity: commercial property funds are benefiting from high demand and limited supply

Commercial property has a good day at the office

Sector back in favour with investors as it 'wakes up' from economic nightmare

Murky waters: Insurance is one of the areas in which leaseholders can get a raw deal from managing agents

The secret of how to give your flat a new lease of life ...

Chiara Cavaglieri and Julian Knight explain how you can hit back against unfair service charges and high fees

Risk and rewards: Renovating a property can be profitable... but beware the pitfalls

Renovation, renovation, renovation: 2014 promises to be the year of the amateur developer

A booming property market has reopened the door for the return of a rare beast, writes Chiara Cavaglieri

Resurgent demand and a falling supply of new homes helped to push house prices up by 4.4 per cent in the last year

House prices set to rise further after jumping 4.4% in 2013

Broader based recovery in housing market dependent on ‘real’ economic growth

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee