Househunter Greenwich

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The Independent Online
Here is a rare chance to live in a castle in London. A four-bedroom detached wing of Vanbrugh Castle in Greenwich has just come on to the market. The 18th-century, Grade 1-listed building was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, architect of Castle Howard and Blenheim Palace. The accommodation is arranged over two floors and there are magnificent views over Greenwich Park and London from the 31ft reception room. Asking price is pounds 450,000 for a 999 year lease. Agents are Winkworth (0181-852 0999).

For what it's worth

The marriage ceremony is not the only service to have a language overhaul this week. Black Horse Surveying Services yesterday gave a lead to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors by launching a no-jargon home survey that meets the approval of the Plain English Campaign. Instead of wording such as "Difficulties in access restricted visual inspection of the second roof-space and it cannot be regarded, therefore, as free from defect", you would get: "I could not see the second roof-space". The survey also offers customers a pledge of a direct approach to complaints, avoiding the costly legal route. Peter Bruning, national director of Black Horse Surveying Services, said the trigger had been a Which? report of 15 months ago. This had looked at the courts' failure to help consumers of surveys get justice and criticised the use of caveats and difficult language in reports. The new survey also offers free emergency insurance cover for a year and and homebuyers can save around pounds 100 if they choose Black Horse to do a survey at the time their bank or building society does a valuation.