Voices

Advocates argue that living small is not only more affordable but offers an ecologically-friendly alternative

Property: How to tempt a tenant out

Someone renting a property agreed to help his landlord sell it and ended up earning himself a commission that would makes most estate agents drool. Robert Liebman investigates

Money: Lousy landlords have it coming

Reforms to the leasehold system should put a stop to `institutionalised racketeering'. By Karen Woolfson

Letter: Battle of the sexes

Sir: Your report "Britain's fifth-richest woman turns screw on tenants" (18 May) puts an outrageous emphasis on the fact that the landlord is a woman, and the clear implication is that women, even in big business, are supposed to be intrinsically kinder than this. A woman who puts market forces ahead of her social conscience seems to be news in itself.

Britain's fifth richest woman turns screw on her tenants

A PROPERTY company owned by Britain's fifth-richest woman - one place ahead of the Queen - is attempting to increase rents for some of its tenants by more than 200 per cent.

Ombudsman to the rescue of beleaguered tenants

A new service for settling disputes is a welcome alternative to recourse to the law, says Nic Cicutti

Property: Real (estate) men on the job

A VIGOROUS debate is raging in the snug bar of the Fount of All Knowledge over allegations that around one quarter of male estate agents use the vacant properties they are selling as a temporary love nest.

MP takes up cudgels for flat-owners

Home battles: After two landlords were convicted of failing to provide full information on service charges to a leaseholder, Karen Woolfson examines how the legal tide is turning against those who flout the rules and abuse their positions of power

OBJECT LESSON: SEIKO HOME CONTRACTOR PROMEASURE

At last, a tool which gives everyone the chance to play at being an estate agents. Seiko's snappy ProMeasure is a hand-held black box. Place the back edge against a wall with the honeycombed sensor pointing at the opposite side of the room, press and release a button, and the battery-powered machine makes a series of clicks. These clicks allow the Ultrasonic sensor in the ProMeasure to determine the distance from the base of the unit to the opposite wall.

Your Money: A common distrust of sharks

The Government is set to publish a consultative document on leasehold reform, which is expected to explore the possibility of abolishing the existing system in favour of "commonholds". Karen Woolfson explains what this means and looks at some of the options on offer.

Property: It's an open and shut case, m'lud

I NOTE with interest that the noble estate agency profession has instituted the role of ombudsperson with a clear view to clearing out the rogues whose sharp practices besmirch the good name of the industry. This move is to be applauded: I for one will be quick to make use of the ombudsperson's good offices.

Money: A fight with the landlord needs firm foundations

Like a love affair, the relationship between leaseholder and landlord can sour - especially when the landlord wants to call in the builders. Karen Woolfson explores ways of keeping control of the costs, and the options if things go seriously wrong.

Staples joins Amey as CEO

Brian Staples, who was ousted as chief executive of United Utilities four months ago, has been appointed to the same post at Amey, the road builder and facilities management company.

Follow the house rules

Agree everything with the landlord before moving into a rented flat, writes Ian Hunter

Tread softly, and tame the tenants

`Sink' estates pose a huge challenge for the authorities responsible. Paul Gosling explores the latest approaches

Power to the tenant

Leaseholders have won important rights: landlords will no longer be able to charge the earth for repairs.
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