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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Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

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