Voices

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

Parliament: Property: Leaseholders to get extra freehold rights

PROPERTY OWNERS who have only a leasehold interest in their home will find it easier to acquire the freehold, under a housing shake-up announced by the Government yesterday.

OFT threatens to ban estate agents who take homebuyers for a ride

ESTATE AGENTS who exploit Britain's buoyant property market to take housebuyers for a ride could be banned, the Office of Fair Trading said yesterday.

Railtrack deal boosts Jarvis

JARVIS, THE maintenance and facilities management group yesterday saw its shares jump 6 per cent to 317.5p, as it announced its contract dispute with Railtrack had been solved.

Property: Hooray, hooray, for the agent who cares

Not all estate agents are quite as bad as their reputation suggests. As this week's Nationwide Estate Agency Office of the Year awards prove, there are great agents out there - and they can turn the difficult process of buying or selling your home into a positive pleasure. By Penny Jackson

Watch out Mr Rigsby!

Leaseholders are rising up at last against corrupt and exploitative landlords. By Karen Woolfson

Money: Breaking the spider's web

Leaseholders have won an historic victory in their war against landlords.

United Utilities weighs spin-offs

UNITED UTILITIES, the North-west-based electricity and water group, is ready to consider spinning off of its facilities management arm, Vertex, and its telecoms management operation in a few years' time. Finance director Bob Ferguson said yesterday that a partial sale of the businesses would be considered.

Serco falls as directors sell stock

SERCO, the facility management group, dismissed market speculation that the company may issue a profits warning in December, as its shares slumped a further 6 per cent. The fall in Serco's share price from a peak of 1,447p in July accelerated after three directors sold 240,000 shares on 30 September.

Midweek Money: Accountants who cheat leaseholders

If service charges are not properly submitted, complain. The law is on your side.

Fury at homes plan in ancient deer forest

ONE OF Britain's most upmarket estate agents has become entangled in a row over plans to develop one of Dorset's finest estates, which is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty by government heritage bodies.
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