Property The restoration game: Crossways in leafy Hanwell, west London, has failed to sell at auction and may continue to lie derelict

Plus Six Nations property breakdown, empty homes, homelessness, and rents in UK cities

Rules give more leverage to landlords: Mary Wilson looks at new, streamlined procedures for evicting tenants who refuse to budge after a short-term lease

Landlords should find it easier to recover property at the end of a lease under streamlined rules introduced this week by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern.

Shopping News: Forts for Sale

VICTORIAN sea forts, built by Palmerston to keep the French at bay, have fantastic curiosity value but very few people actually want to own one. The latest to come on the market is Horse Sand Fort, a round concrete blob in the Solent, 240ft in diameter and standing 55ft clear of the water, wrapped in a 2ft-thick, quadruple-decker sandwich of wrought iron and concrete.

Property: A vintage month for vineyard sales

VINEYARD owners are probably better judges than most of when they are ripe for retirement. Kenneth McAlpine, one of the bricks-and-mortar McAlpines, has decided at the age of 73 to sell Lamberhurst, his 42- acre vineyard outside Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Property: Bargains leave the basement: Time was when pounds 65,000 wouldn't buy the humblest of hovels, let alone a place in the country. Until the recession, that is. Caroline McGhie reports

MOUNTING a house-hunting expedition with only pounds 65,000 in your pocket might seem as eccentric a venture as any in the great tradition of British explorers. But, were our intrepid traveller to cross the icy wastes of the repossessions, scale the heights of the central London mansion blocks, or plunge into the great unknown of the auction houses, he or she would meet with some strange and wonderful surprises.

The Cabinet Reshuffle: Another victim of Dorneywood curse: Stephen Ward traces an unhappy history of grace and favour

ARGUABLY, Norman Lamont is a victim not so much of the recession as of the curse of Dorneywood.

PROPERTY / Life behind the battlements: A perpetual quest for firewood and negotiating seven storeys are among the trials faced by castle dwellers. Rosalind Russell meets enthusiasts

WHEN Good King Wenceslas looked out to see the poor man gathering winter fu-u-el, he could have been gazing at Raymond Morris. Except, of course, kilts were not common in Bohemia, AD924. Neither are they common in Walsall, where Raymond Morris was born and brought up, before (inexplicably) he decided to become a Scotsman. He joined the Gordon Highlanders for his national service in 1948 and has never looked back. He no longer owns a pair of trousers. Raymond's fantasy was complete when, in 1985, he and his Scottish wife Margaret bought the near-derelict Balgonie Castle near Markinch in Fife and he became the 30th laird.

Tenants become buyers as office prices drop: Heather Connon reports on a growing trend in London's property market

COMPANIES looking for office accommodation in the over-supplied London market are increasingly opting to buy empty blocks instead of renting, spurred by plummeting values and low interest rates.

PROPERTY / Living Histories - No 6 The Sixties House: Experiment in living

All architects who worked or studied during the Sixties know about New Ash Green. Indeed, many seem to have lived there at one time or another. Local gossip has it that in the early days, 70 per cent of the population were architects. Now they make up a mere 30 per cent of the residents along these leafy lanes.

Property Update: Double delight

GEORGIAN home enthusiasts will be interested to know that two houses in Bath's Royal Crescent have come on the market. Patrick Ramsay of agents Knight Frank & Rutley suggests that, as neighbouring buildings, they could be bought together. He is seeking offers over pounds 975,000 for one and more than pounds 900,000 for the other.

Property: How to sell your home to a foreign buyer: If you are selling a country house, look to the Americans, says David Lawson

ONE influential group of housebuyers is keeping a small light shining in the darkness engulfing the property market. Foreign house hunters now see the UK as a bargain basement and are trawling the country for property.

Estate saved for nation up for sale

THE Georgian stately home Heveningham Hall, saved for the nation 22 years ago but later sold off, is to go back on the market six months after the Government decided not to 'save' it a second time.
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