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                                                                    Wednesday 3 August 2011


The Hour,
the look
Design trends : P11


 Made in
 Finding a home
 for a Sloane
 Page 18
                                                                                                               MATT WRITTLE

London’s best property search website:
          2                                                                                                                                     WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

          Homes & Property News                                                                                                        

          London’s best property search website                                                                                    PROPERTY SEARCH

                                                                                                                                    of the week

                                          property insider: money:
                                          The secret life of Check out the
                         PLUS             Holland Park       ISA deals
                                                                                                                                 ROOM WITH YOUR VIEWS
                                          HOLLAND Park is home to open-air           COME April, the sides of buses and          SIT back and enjoy views over Hyde Park from this one-
                                          opera, exotic Japanese gardens and a       every road-side hoarding scream             bedroom Marble Arch flat where space and glamour are on
                                          famous orangery. It also has a cricket     about ISAs, reminding savers about          offer for £795,000. High ceilings, dark wood floors, an open
                                          pitch, roaming peacocks and                the deadline to use up the tax-free         fireplace and big sash windows feature in the 24ft reception
                                          woodland reminiscent of deep               allowance.                                  room along with ample space for dining. Through Faron
                                          countryside — all set in 54 acres at the     But, if you’ve spare savings now,         Sutaria.
                                          centre of one of the capital’s most        don’t wait for the end of the tax year to      Visit
                       Tuck in:           exclusive residential districts. Homes     take advantage of the opportunity to
                       54-acre Holland    near the park are loved by                 squirrel away up to £5,340 in cash, and
                       Park includes      international buyers, ambassadors,         another £5,340 in shares, tax-free.
                       woodland, a        bankers and the super-wealthy who          There may not be as many reminders
                       Japanese garden
                       and, at this
                                          enjoy living in spacious stucco
                                          houses that back on to secret
                                                                                     about, but ISA deals come and go all
                                                                                     the time. Start housekeeping on your
                                                                                                                                   of the week
                       time of year, a    communal gardens and having                savings now to benefit.

                       spectacular rose   celebrity neighbours that include            The current top payers are
                       garden in which    Simon Cowell and Brian Ferry. Local        Santander, offering 3.3 per cent with
                       to enjoy lunch     estate agent Rollo Miles shares his        its Flexible ISA Issue 3; the AA,
                                          expert knowledge of this affluent          offering 3.05 per cent with its
                                          corner of west London, from its most       Internet Access Issue Two, and              WYCK RISSINGTON, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
                                          sought-after streets to its hidden         Halifax, paying 3 per cent with its ISA     WHERE better to call home than the Cotswold village of Wyck
                                          property gems.                             Direct Reward.                              Rissington? At £695,000, endearing Bramley Cottage comes
                                                                                                                                 with five bedrooms, an office, stone outbuildings, cottage
                                            Read Rollo’s insider report at             Read Lucy Tobin’s full ISA guide at       gardens and a village green setting. Through R A Bennett.

                                                                                     Piste for Christmas                            LIFE-
                                                                                                                                    of the week
                                                                                     THIS week Eurostar starts selling
                                                                                     tickets for direct ski services to the
                                                                                     French Alps next winter. The
                                                                                     seasonal service will run from
                                                                                     St Pancras International to the French
                                                                                     towns of Moutiers, Aime-la-Plagne
                                                                                     and Bourg St Maurice, with swift            NEWTON POPPLEFORD, DEVON
                                                                                     buses to top ski resorts, including         THIS Devon longhouse in Newton Poppleford dates from
                                                                                     Courchevel and Les Arcs (pictured).         1510, has paddocks and RHS-celebrated gardens totalling
                                                                                       From Christmas to April 2012, trains      three acres, plus five bedrooms, character reception rooms
                                                                                     will run twice at weekends, with an         and a lovely galleried dining room under a vaulted roof.
                                                                                     overnight service on Friday evenings        There is also a two-bedroom annexe — perfect for a holiday
                                                                                     and a Saturday day service, with            let. Through Fulfords and priced at £695,000.
                                                                                     return fares from £149. Book through           Visit
                                                                            or call 08432 186 186.                                                      Faye Greenslade

                                                                                     Win a £299 double hammock
                                            Janice Morley                            And get into the swing with the Homes & Property shop
                                                                                     THE Homes &                                                                              TO ENTER
                                                                                     Property Shop                                                                            Simply visit
                                           VISIT for          has a range of                                                                           homesand
                                           details of our usual promotion rules.     practical and                                                                  
                                           When you respond to promotions,           stylish interior                                                                         offers before the
                                           offers or competitions, the London        and outdoor                                                                              end of August 16
                                           Evening Standard and its sister           products,
                                           companies may contact you with            including the                                                                            Terms and conditions:
                                           relevant offers and services that         amazing Eckman                                                                           the promotion
                                           may be of interest. Please give your      Double                                                                                   closes at 23.59 on
                                           mobile number and/or email                Hammock.                                                                                 Tuesday 16 August
                                           address if you would like to receive        Measuring an                                                                           2011. Ths winner
                                           such offers by text or email.             impressive 13ft in                                                                       will be contacted by
                                                                                     length and                                                                               phone on August 17.
                                                                                     supported by                                                                             When you respond,
                                           Advertisement manager:                    wide cross                                                                               Evening Standard
                                           Mark Wood                                 beams, the                                                                               Ltd may use your
                                                                                     beautifully designed wooden frame is        100 per cent cotton canvas hammock           information to
                                           Editorial: 020 7938 7245                  built from Russian larch — renowned         is included, offering plenty of room         contact you with
                                                                                     for its strength and longevity and          for two.                                     offers/services of
                                           Advertising: 020 7938 7247                perfect for our unpredictable                 Normally £299, Homes & Property            interest by SMS or
                                           Homes & Property, Northcliffe             weather. With just a little TLC you can     readers can buy the hammock for the          email. Usual
                                           House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington,        safely leave the hammock out all year       special price of just £149.95 while stocks   promotion rules
                                           London W8 5TT.                            — and year after year.                      last at         apply, see standard.
                                                                                       A generously sized 6ft 6in by 4ft 7in     We also have one to give away.     
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                                                                                                         3

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      @HomesProperty                                                                                                                             News Homes & Property
                                                                                                                                                                                           Craig hunting for

                                                                                                                                                                     MATRIX/GETTY IMAGES
                                                                                                                                                                                           new inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                              CRAIG David once described his
                                                                                                                                                                                           north London penthouse as an
                                                                                                                                                                                           “inspirational” place for writing
                                                                                                                                                                                           music, but with the pad on the
                                                                                                                                                                                           market for £3.95 million he will have
                                                                                                                                                                                           to find another influential retreat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Located in a secure gated
                                                                                                                                                                                             development in Hampstead, the
                                                                                                                                                                                              apartment is one of nine homes in
                                                                                                                                                                                               a former
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Overlooking the he
                                                                                                                                                                                               Heath, at one of  f
                                                                                                                                                                                                the highest
                                                                                                                                                                                                points in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                capital, some
                                                                                                                                                                                                say his flat has
                                                                                                                                                                                                the best views in
                                                                                                                                                                                                town. Residents have
 Step into the world of Wayne & Co                                                                                                                                                             exclusive use of a tennis court
                                                                                                                                                                                               and a 24-hour concierge service.
    FANCY Barbados? Rental villas           furnished and finished to                                                                                                                           Craig bought the four-bedroom,
 on the Caribbean island don’t              the highest standard.                                                                                                                            three-bathroom house eight years
 come much more glamorous than              The outdoor pool and                                                                                                                             ago, and spent 18 months with an
 Royal Westmoreland’s Celebrity             terrace that comes as                                                                                                                            interior designer turning it into his
 Villa Collection, where Wayne and          part of the package is the                                                                                                                       dream abode. One bedroom is now
 Coleen Rooney, and Joe Calzaghe            perfect spot for                                                                                                                                a recording studio, another a
 and Kristina Rihanoff (pictured)           entertaining or donning                                                                                                                         boxing-ring-themed gym.
 own holiday homes, along with              those celeb shades and                                                                                                                           Contact Savills Hampstead on
 Rio Ferdinand and Steve McLaren.           sunbathing.                                                                                                                                    020 7472 500 or visit
 Villas rent for between £550 and             Visit royalwestmoreland.
 £1,100 a night, all of them                com or call 01524 782 503.                                                                                                                     Adele: there’s no
                                                                                                                                                                                           place like Mum’s

Homes gossip
Hom goss
 ome osos
Homes gossip
B Amira Hashish
By A i H hi h
                                                                                                                                                                                              YOU might think a pop star as
                                                                                                                                                                                           successful as Adele would own a
                                                                                                                                                                                           string of stunning properties but the
                                                                                                                                                                                           My Hometown singer has revealed
                                                                                                                                                                                           there is only one place she can call
                                                                                                                                                                                           home — her mum’s south London
                                                                                                                                                                                           flat. The 23-year-old
                                                                                                                                                                                           attempted to fly the
                                                                                                                                                                                           nest and move to a
Top London foodie buys himself a palazzo                                                                                                                                                   smart address in
                                                                                                                                                                                           Notting Hill but
   MARINO Roberto has not done badly out of           home) and a country house in Umbria, to                                                                                              soon realised she
pasta. His Michelin-starred Ristorante                concentrate on a magnificent restoration of his                                                                                      couldn’t cope
Semplice, in Mayfair, is popular with the A-list      new purchase that will include giving all the                                                                                        without Mum to keep  ep
set, counting the mega-rich of the calibre of         bedrooms equally plush bathrooms.                                                                                                    her organised. When it reached the
Simon Cowell and Andrew Lloyd Webber as his            “It is a historic building with many rooms that                                                                                     point where the forgetful singer’s
regulars.                                             are all quite grand, they could have been a                                                                                          credit card was cancelled, she knew
 But Marino is a bit of a a property star as well.    salon, bedroom, or bathroom,” he tells me.                                                                                           it was time to re-embrace the apron
For not much short of a million euros he has            “It’s in a medieval hilltop village with beautiful                                                                                 strings once more.
bought five-storey Palazzo Dragoni, just outside      countryside views, it is just five minutes from                                                                                        Now the Croydon songstress, who
Rome, with a dove cote and 15 bedrooms.               the motorway and an hour from Rome airport.”                                                                                         once talked of setting up home in
 Marino is selling his villa in Eze sur Mer, on the     In London, Marino lives more modestly in a                                                                                         New York, says she’ll be staying put
Cote d’Azur (where U2’s Bono has a holiday            two-bedroom red-brick mansion flat in Mayfair.         Historic: Palazzo Dragoni, near Rome, has 15 bedrooms                         until she is safely married.
4                                                                                                                                                                                    WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property New homes                                                                                                                                                 

Singles steal the
limelight as house
builders focus on
their every whim
London’s fastest-growing population
                                                                           INGLE people form the coun-
                                                                           try’s fastest-growing popula-
group is challenging the way                                               tion group. And going it alone
                                                                           has become a lifestyle choice
new homes in the capital are                                               they are prepared to pay for.
                                                                 Typically this year singles will spend
designed, says David Spittles                                    £5,014 more household costs than the
                                                                 shared costs of couples.
                                                                   Singles account for about 40 per cent
                                                                 (19 million) of all UK households, up
                                                                 from below 10 per cent in 1960 — an
                                                                 extraordinary demographic shift that
                                                                 is causing huge property ripples. Karen
                                                                 Pine, psychology professor at the Uni-
                                                                 versity of Hertfordshire and author of
                                                                 Sheconomics, says the Sex-and-the-City
                                                                 generation of high-earning, independ-
                                                                 ent single females is making the run-
                                                                 ning, the inevitable result of decades
                                                                 of social and economic change.
                                                                   For the first time, more British
                                                                 women than men are training as
                                                                 accountants and lawyers. Others have
                                                                 high-flying careers in banking or the
                                                                 creative sector. The days of marriage
                                                                 being the way out of the suburbs for
                                                                 women are long gone. Careers, long
                                                                 courtships, followed by a late marriage
                                                                 and late babies are de rigeur.
                                                                   “Over the coming years female home-
                                                                                                             REBECCA REID

                                                                 buyers are set to contribute £40 billion
                                                                 more to property than their female
                                                                 counterparts of 20 years ago,” says

FROM £320,000
For flats at Clapham One, a new scheme of 199 homes being        The days when marriage                                     ‘East is the new west, with variety and energy’
built in the old town. The area missed out on earlier            was the only way for                                       ARCHITECT Nicholas Lyons, 30, who         an architect, hidden building site        Play time:
gentrification but is close to the high street and common, has   women to get out of the                                    lives in a converted Victorian            opportunities.”                           Nicholas has
good pubs and independent shops and is rapidly gaining a                                                                    warehouse close to bustling Brick           Another of his pastimes is “carrom”,    fallen for
following among young buyers. Call 020 7939 0800                 suburbs are long gone                                      Lane, says “east is the new west”.        an ancient Indian shuffle-board game      carrom, a
                                                                                                                              “I love the variety and energy of       popular with Bangladeshis who live in     Bangladeshis
                                                                 Pine. Women tend to be more organ-                         Shoreditch and the wider area right       the area. “I went to the European         shuffle-board
                                                                 ised and budget better than single men,                    up to Victoria Park. People from all      finals in Paris and now organise local    game and he
                                                                 she adds. Some are splashing out on                        over London now socialise here; it’s a    tournaments. It’s a nice change of        organises local
                                                                 the female equivalent of the bachelor                      huge melting pot and easy to meet         pace from the day job — relaxing and      tournaments.
                                                                 pad. Others are securing their future                      people. I work from home a lot of the     quite contemplative.”                     He also chills out
                                                                 with sensible buy-to-let investments.                      time; there’ s a close-knit community       His man-about-town life also            by repairing old
                                                                   For their part, men too are thinking                     of creatives and a real sense of          involves arranging social events for      push bikes,
                                                                 of the longer term when buying or rent-                    neighbourhood, and, at weekends, it’s     the Royal Institution of British          which he gives
                                                                 ing, with many choosing a property                         like a festival, really full-on.”         Architects, often at “pop-up” property    away to
                                                                 and a place that will suit them through                      He chills out by repairing old push     sites in regeneration areas.              appreciative
                                                                 to middle age as singles. This is a huge                   bikes (passing them on to delighted         Going out of London is for holidays,    cyclists
                                                                 market sector that developers deliber-                     cyclists), and likes the freedom of       he says. “Usually I head off with
                                                                 ately target.                                              “riding aimlessly around London,          friends or family to the Lake District
                                                                   The same differences remain. Women                       making chance discoveries and, being      for sailing and hiking.”
                                                                 pay more attention to security and stor-
                                                                 age space, and prefer more subtle light-
                                                                 ing and decorative colour schemes, men                is seen as good middle ground, not as         street that was left behind during the
                                                                 like gizmos and monochrome — matt                     alternative as Camden but more                gentrification of the 1990s. Most
                                                                 black and brushed stainless steel, with               affordable than Fulham, with con-             Clapham One flats are in a funky tower
                                                                 dark wood finishes.                                   vivial bars and restaurants, cinemas,         that incorporates a new library;
                                                                   Says Nick Davies of City-fringe estate              gyms, outdoor exercise classes or jog-        other homes are in an adjacent gated
                                                                 agent Stirling Ackroyd: “Males like to be             ging on the common plus three Tube            mews. Prices from £320,000. Call 020
                                                                 close to the pub, winebar, café, restau-              stations, meaning walking times to            7939 0800 or visit claphamone.
                                                                 rant, deli and dry cleaners and shops,                and from home are short. And getting          com.
                                                                 so they can getting everything done and               a late-night cab from central London            Singles who can afford to live cen-
                                                                 drop in for a drink on the walk home                  is not too expensive .                        trally, are preferring City-fringe areas
                                                                 from the office or the station.”                        Clapham One is a new development            and those bordering the West End,
                                                                   Clapham attracts a lot of single                    of 199 flats in the fast-improving “old       especially Shoreditch, Southwark,
                                                                 women. Most are young, sociable and                   town”, an original Georgian quarter           Bermondsey, Clerkenwell, Dalston,
                                                                 work in the City or West End. The area                between the common and the high               Wapping and Islington.
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                                                                                 5

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                                                                                                   Good-value Bermondsey Central is
                                                                                                   helping transform a forgotten area of
                                                                                                   railway arches taking trains out of
                                                                                                   London Bridge. Call 020 7749 3810

                                                                                                   Bermondsey Central is a slightly off-
                                                                                                   pitch address near a railway viaduct
                                                                                                   running out of London Bridge station
                                                                                                   but is nonetheless close to all the SE1
                                                                                                   action — Shad Thames, Bankside and
                                                                                                   Borough Market. Indeed, an overspill
                                                                                                   Saturday street market has popped up
                                                                                                   in railway arches alongside the devel-
                                                                                                   opment, giving momentum to the
                                                                                                   creep of gentrification.
                                                                                                     Prices start at £280,000 for the 67
                                                                                                   apartments, equivalent to about £500
                                                                                                   a square foot — relatively low for a
                                                                                                   travel zone one location. Call Stirling
                                                                                                   Ackroyd on 020 7749 3810.
                                                                                                   The Distillery, Deptford, is a good-
                                                                                                   looking residential tower on the site of
                                                                                                   the old Seagar gin factory, right next
                                                                                                   to Deptford Broadway DLR station.
                                                                                                   Higher floors have terrific views, taking
                                                                                                   in Greenwich Observatory, the river
                                                                                                   bend, Canary Wharf and the City.
                                                                                                   There will be a public viewing gallery
                                                                                                   at the top, while a designer hotel is
                                                                                    REBECCA REID

                                                                                                   earmarked for a listed section of the
                                                                                                   original factory. Apartments range
                                                                                                   from studios to two-bedroom duplexes
                                                                                                   with glass walls. Prices from £180,000
SCHEMES BUILT WITH                      hotel-style lobby, a residents’ roof ter-                  to £435,000. Call Galliard Homes on         a small site at Providence Place. Prices   £250,000
SINGLES IN MIND                         race, gym, courtyard gardens and a                         020 7620 1500                               from £395,000. Finishes include wal-       Advante-garde is
Avante-garde, a new 25-storey tower     lounge for private functions. Prices                       Islington Green is the heart of the         nut flooring, white high-gloss kitchens    set betwen Brick
between Brick Lane and the Broadgate    start at £250,000, rising to £1.7 million                  Upper Street action, with the Every-        with granite worktops, underfloor          Lane and
office complex. Due for completion in   for duplex penthouses. Call Hurford                        man cinema a main attraction. Here,         heating and timber-decked terraces.        Broadgate. Call
2013, the building will have a swish    Salvi Carr on 020 7250 1012.                               13 smart flats have been squeezed onto      Call Fyfe McDade on 020 7613 4044.         020 7250 1012
6                                                                                                                                                                                 WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Commuter watch                                                                                                                                         

As the island resort
only two hours from
London prepares for
its annual yacht race,
Ruth Bloomfield
finds the town set fair

            OWES Week begins in three
            days time. It is a high point
            in the social calendar — and
            not just for the sailing set —
            when 8,500 competitors
from all over the world descend on the
Isle of Wight for a little yacht racing and
a great deal of partying.
  Cowes will be alive with the popping
of Pol Roger and the tread of Dubarry
deck shoes along its narrow streets.
  But Cowes is not simply a cute seaside
resort prone to a midsummer frenzy.
It is emerging as something of a
property hotspot with excellent
transport links to London.
  In the past year, according to data
assembled by Savills, house prices in
the town have increased by almost
11 per cent, to an average £215,000. But
as they are still 3.4 per cent below their
2007 peak this might be a good time to
buy. The island can seem a million
miles from London yet it takes only two
hours to commute — and that includes
the short ferry hop to Southampton
Town Quay from West Cowes, a bus
to Southampton Central, and an
80-minute train journey to Waterloo.
  “Cowes is a pretty seaside town with
a lot of nice restaurants but it is very                                                                                                                                                Opportunity ahoy: homeowners can

accessible,” said Sam Biles, managing                                                                                                                                                   rent to sailors during Cowes Week
director of Creasey Biles & King.
  Ian Bolton, manager of Marvins estate
agents, says he regularly sells homes
to London commuters as well as to
second-home owners, who often work
part of the week at home — a good idea
                                                 Cowes gets the wind in its sails
Cowes is emerging as a
property hotspot with
excellent transport
links to the capital
when you discover that season tickets
are not available on this journey and a
single fare costs about £45.
  In Cowes, all roads tend to lead to Old
Town, the heartland of West Cowes,
thanks to its proximity to both the high-
speed ferry terminal (22 minutes to the                                                                                                       £699,000: a three-bedroom townhouse in Cowes Old Town. Call 01983 200880
mainland) and to the Royal Yacht
Squadron — the smartest of all the
sailing clubs on the island.
  Biles says the best streets in the Old
Town are Castle Road, Sun Hill and
Market Hill, where a two- to three-
bedroom sailor’s cottage will cost from
£250,000 (compared with £130,000
to £140,000 further out).
  At the top end are landmark homes                                                               Harbour delight: a port cruiser boat        Above left: £160,000 for a one-bedroom flat at Number One The Parade, near

such as Ivy House, which was recently                                                             passing the pretty town of Cowes            the yacht clubs. Call 01983 527744. Right, listed Ivy House, at £1.35 million,
reduced in price from £1.6 million to                                                                                                         overlooks the harbour and has six bedrooms. Visit
£1.35 million. This Grade II-listed pile
( has uninter-           Bolton finds the market in Cowes quite         second homes and more are keen to            Northwood Primary School and Solent       Developer David Wilson Homes has
rupted harbour views, perfect for                 sticky. “We are in a tough market that is      relocate entirely.                           Middle School both given top marks by     just launched its Victoria Walk develop-
watching the yachting action.                     very price-conscious. We are running             Cowes has three Blue Flag beaches          the Government schools watchdog           ment there, priced from £119,995 (dwh.
  Alternatively, the double Olympic               at fairly normal levels of stock but sellers   and 11 others recommended by Keep            Ofsted. It rates Cowes High School And Waitrose has recently
sailing champion Sarah Gosling — one              and buyers are not really meeting.             Britain Tidy, and the old town is stuffed    “good” and there are hopes of stand-      opened a branch.
of the “three blondes in a boat” who                “Second-home owners are not under            with interesting shops.                      ards improving still further when the       A fringe benefit of Cowes Week for
took gold in Athens and Beijing — and             pressure to sell. If they don’t get their        And even non-sailors like to get           school takes on Academy status and a      non-sailors is the opportunity to rent
her husband Adam are selling their                price, they may just take it off the           involved with the social side of yachting    new building in September.                out your house and pay for a holiday
Cowes home for £3.25 million. For that            market, though some will move for a            in the Coast Bar on Shooters Hill. There       West Cowes is the obvious place to      while the event is running.
you get six bedrooms, a bunk house for            good offer and a quick sale.”                  is also a trio of fun pubs, the Pier View,   house hunt but there are signs that         A five-bedroom home would attract
crew, a boat store and a mooring. Visit             Charles Spence, director of                  The Union and The Anchor, and the            cheaper East Cowes may be making a        up to £5,000 for the week and a                                  Christopher Scott, says the change to          Michelin-starred Hamborough Hotel.           comeback. An ongoing regeneration         two-bedroom cottage fetches about
  Despite the town’s recent price rises,          the market is that few are buying                Schools also do well on Cowes, with        scheme has seen its marina expanded.      £1,500.
    EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                                                                      7

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          @HomesProperty                                                                          Affordable homes Homes & Property
    Buyers can cut monthly bills with a double whammy: a good-value home and a low-cost commute, says David Spittles

    How to make your commute pay for itself
                 OUNG Londoners unable                                                                           Mortgage +

                 to get on the property                                                                          commuting
                 ladder because of the                                                                           costs a month
                 capital’s high prices are                                                                       Beaconsfield
                 heading for the commuter                                                                        Sevenoaks
    belt at a time when out-of-town                                                                              Gerrards Cross
    developers are trimming prices and                                                                           Guildford
    offering incentives, even in areas                                                                           Reigate
    where transport upgrades have                                                                                Central London
    reduced journey times.                                                                                       Farnham
      Home ownership is up to 53 per                                                                             Bishop’s Strtfd
    cent cheaper in some well-connected                                                                          Epping
    commuter towns, according to                                                                                 Maidenhead
    property analyst CB Richard Ellis.                                                                           Windsor
      Basildon, Essex, which is 37                                                                               St Albans
                                                                                                                 Potters Bar
    minutes by train from Fenchurch                                                                              Tring
    Street station, is the most affordable                                                                       Tunbridge Wells
    of the South East’s commuter towns,                                                                          Fleet
    with average monthly mortgage and                                                                            Dorking
    travel costs amounting to £1,129.                                                                            Woking                                       ‘I WORK IN THE CITY AND THE
    Luton, Gravesend, Crawley and                                                                                Maidstone
                                                                                                                                                              COMMUTE IS EFFORTLESS’
    Harlow offer similar “discounts”. By                                                                         East Grinstead
    contrast, living in Beaconsfield or                                                                          Chelmsford                                   INSURANCE broker Ben Simpson,
    Sevenoaks costs about 30 per cent                                                                            Brentwood                                    30, (above) bought a two-bedroom
    more than living in London.                                                                                  Sawbridgeworth                               flat at new Basildon town centre
      Basildon’s low-cost status comes at                                                                        High Wycombe                                 scheme Axis. “I grew up locally and
    a time when the town is getting a                                                                            Letchworh                                    have seen the town improve. I
    £1 billion regeneration boost — up to                                                                        Hatfield                                     wanted to buy into an area with
    1,900 new homes, over one million                                                                            Harlow                                       upside and promise. I work in the
    sq ft of office, retail and leisure space.                                                                   Crawley                                      City and the commute is effortless.
      Property prices are lowest in Luton                                                                        Gravesend                                    I’ll keep the flat as an investment if
                                                 From £168,000: flats at                                          Luton
    (£148,872 on average against                 Wolverton Park. Milton Keynes                                                                                and when I move on.”
    £164,379 in Basildon) but commuting          (shared ownership available from                                                                               Ben used Barratt’s shared-equity
    costs are more expensive. In general,                                                                        Combine mortgage and commuting costs         scheme, which requires a deposit of
                                                 £76,500). The town has new fast trains to                       and Basildon, for example, is cheaper than
    house prices decline steadily as travel      London, making it a real commuter option                        Luton: while Luton homes may cost less,      only five per cent — in his case
    times to the capital increase — the                                                                          commuting can be much more expensive.        £8,000. Axis prices start at
    further out, the cheaper they are. But                                                                                                                    £127,995. Call 01245 232222.
    there are more distant places with
    affordable property and efficient
    commuter links that make relocating                                                      From £175,000:      Knight Frank, which has opened a             bedroom apartment, with shared-
    from the capital worthwhile.                                                             flats at Vizion,     city centre branch.                          ownership options from £76,500.
      Milton Keynes, for example, has                                                        left, a new           Ten-acre Wolverton Park, on the            Places for People, a housing
    fast trains to Euston that take less                                                     landmark            fringe of Milton Keynes, has scooped         association developer, also helps low-
    than 40 minutes. Big apartment                                                           scheme by           an international urban design award.         budget first-time buyers by providing
    schemes are sprouting up on the                                                          Barratt in Milton   There are 300 new homes, including           10-year interest-free equity loans for
    doorstep of the town’s train station                                                     Keynes. Call        townhouses and mews houses,                  30 per cent of the purchase price,
    and Network Rail is bringing 3,000                                                       01908 234951        created within the fabric of former          and 100 per cent mortgages. The
    new jobs as it relocates its HQ there.                                                                       train sheds. All properties overlook a       organisation has its own pool of
    A Barratt development called Vizion                                                                          new velodrome and park at the                money and says it has 14 different
    — visually bold, colourful with lots of                                                                      centre of the development, and some          finance methods to help buyers
    glass — has generous-size balconies                                                                          have views over the Grand Union              purchase a property. Call 01908
    and a communal roof garden. Resales                                                                          Canal, which runs alongside the site.        319748. Show homes are open for
    from about £175,000, according to                                                                            Prices start at £168,000 for a one-          viewing seven days a week.

8                                                                                                                                                                        WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Homes abroad                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                              FROM £464,900
                                                                                                                                                                              yoo Istanbul is an off-plan
                                                                                                                                                                              project of 109 apartments in the
                                                                                                                                                                              upmarket Ulus district on the
                                                                                                                                                                              European side of the Bosphorus.
                                                                                                                                                                              It is one of 27 yoo projects
                                                                                                                                                                              around the world and will
                                                                                                                                                                              feature yoo trademark interiors
                                                                                                                                                                              — French floor tiles and
                                                                                                                                                                              European antiques mixed with
                                                                                                                                                                              startling contemporary glass
                                                                                                                                                                              façades. It’s a heady mix that,
                                                                                                                                                                              on completion in 2013, should
                                                                                                                                                                              provide dramatic and
                                                                                                                                                                              glamorous living, with prices
                                                                                                                                                                              reaching £743,845 for three-
                                                                                                                                                                              bedroom flats.
East meets West: Istanbul, with its 14 million residents, bridges two continents

Live life to the
max in a city
full of energy
and intrigue
Istanbul, a lively singles city — and a romantic
location where Europe and Asia meet — is
tempting UK buyers with low-priced homes

          INGLE people are able to          from 2015,” says Turkish developer
          take full advantage of all a      Sabir Yigit. “Istanbul has plenty of
          bustling city has to offer and    opportunities. This is a modern,
          Istanbul — where Europe           secular country that’s well -laced for
          and Asia meet — is one that       Europe, Russia and the Middle East.”
mixes an astonishing history with             Yigit is behind yoo Istanbul, an
endless opportunities to party.             off-plan project of 109 apartments in
  There isn’t much that’s relaxing          the central, upmarket Ulus district
about the Turkish metropolis.               on the European side of the
Whether it’s the long traffic queues        Bosphorus. Apartments will be built
that randomly choke the streets or the      in 11 six-storey buildings on a sloping
scents and sights in the labyrinthine       site surrounded by other properties
lanes of the Grand Bazaar, it’s a           but with extensive gardens, a rare
full-on city. For energy and intrigue,      treat in Istanbul.
though, Istanbul, the only city that          It is the yoo brand, inspired by
spans two continents, is unsurpassed.       designer Philippe Starck, that Yigit
  The oasis of a roof-top bar provides      believes will entice design-savvy
some peace along with views over            buyers looking for a new level of
the city’s history: the six minarets of     accommodation in Istanbul.
the Blue Mosque; the pleasing arc of          “The design and lifestyle element of
the modern bridge linking the Asian         yoo has made it the top brand
and European sides of the                   success story in property
Bosphorus; and the endless urban            worldwide,” says Yigit. “There are
sprawl of a youthful city teeming           33 yoo projects in 27 countries from
with 14 million people.                     New York to Thailand where, in
                                            general, property prices have risen
ALL SYSTEMS GO                              by at least 50 per cent from off-plan
After an economic crisis in the early       sales to completion.”
2000s, foreign property investment            Extensive common areas include a
has thrived, rising to £470 million in      library, gym, large spa, clubhouse              Turkish delight: Istanbul’s huge Grand   From £48,268: off-plan studios to three-bedroom flats at Park Apartments on
the first four months of this year.         and indoor and outdoor pools                    Bazaar is a bargain-hunter’s heaven      the European side of the Bosphorus, for sale through Spot Blue (020 8339 6036)
  The World Bank predicts a healthy         complete with Miami-style cabanas
growth forecast of 6.1 per cent for         and Venetian chandeliers.
Turkey for the year and tourism is            Prices are above average for new-             AFFORDABLE ISTANBUL                      population and a shortage of rental      CONTACTS AND FACTFILE
increasing, with six million visitors       build in the area, starting from                On the less-pricey, Asian side of the    properties,” says the firm’s Louise         yoo Istanbul:;
from January to April, 21 per cent up       £464,900 for a 914sq ft flat and                Bosphorus, away from the main            Reynolds. “It’s one of the few up-and-   +90 212 444 17 13
on the same period last year.               £743,845 for two and three bedrooms.            business and tourist areas, Property     coming cities where you can buy into        Property Venture: property-
  The AK party handsomely won a               All homes have balconies or                   Venture is selling 592sq ft off-plan     property at a relatively low price.”; 01932 849536
third electoral term in June, making        terraces and underground parking.               high-rise apartments from £24,150          Also off-plan, but on the European        Spot Blue:; 020
Turkey a calmer option for buyers           Annual service charges start from               with potential rental yields, they       side 30 minutes from the airport and     8339 6036
unnerved by the Arab Spring.                £1,270 for the smallest property.               claim, of up to eight per cent.          close to public transport links, there      Allow 2.5 per cent for buying costs.
  “The Turkish government is making           “We have plans for further yoo                  “Istanbul has been rated as one of     are studios through to three-               BA flies twice daily from Heathrow
it easier for foreigners to invest in the   projects in Turkey over the next five           the top 25 cities for 2025 by            bedroom Park Apartments from             to Istanbul; easyJet goes daily from
country and has set a target for            years, including one in Bodrum,”                consultancy McKinsey, with a             £48,268, with communal gardens           Luton, and Turkish Airlines flies daily
property sales of £6 billion each year      adds Yigit.                                     growing youthful and affluent            and pool, through Spot Blue.             from Heathrow.
10                                                                                                                                                         WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Renting: portable chic                                                                                                           

                                       Left: a seven-
                                       pocket canvas
                                       magazine holder,
                                       £15, to hang on
                                       the back of a
                                       door, from

                                       Right: revamp
                                       Ikea chairs and
                                       sofas, from £109,

                                       Far right: this
                                       shower radio is
                                       powered by the
                                       water flow. Easy
                                       to fit, £34.99, at

                   FURNITURE FIRST
                   Furniture is your biggest expenditure
                                                           Renting has become a lifestyle choice for many young Londoners who still want
                   and greatest headache when you
                   move. Folding items makes good
                                                           to make a design statement — and take their look with them when they move.
                   sense and look for demountable
                   storage shelves and hanging racks —
                                                           Barbara Chandler shares the golden rules and learns from sassy renters
                   in slot-together chrome. Baskets are

                                                           GREAT LITTLE MOVERS
                   brilliant — choose ones with linings
                   that you can wash.Stacking shoe
                   boxes fit into cupboards — shoes
                   never look good on display.

Right: zip-up      GET BEDS AND                                         standard bed. Go for       look. Take down the landlord’s            Below, from left:   EXPERT RENTERS’ TIPS:
laundry bins,      BATHS RIGHT                                              brightly coloured or   curtains, and store them and buy          Bistro coffee       “I keep original packaging to protect
from £16.95, The   Add a mattress                                            patterned towels if   ready-made. They now come in all          grinder in          furnishings/equipment on the move
Holding Company    topper, and spend                                         you share, to avoid   sizes and styles, gathered, with          orange, £75,        and have a portable set of knives in a
(as before)        on pretty bedlinen                                        confusion, and        eyelets or with tab tops. Cotton and      from bodum.         handy roll — I’m a really keen cook.”
                   and a really smart                                       have your own          voiles are inexpensive. Invest in; Fatboy       Philip Barley, actor and director
Below: Macadam     duvet cover and big,                                     bathmat. It is easy    heavier curtains to cut out draught.      denim jeans
folding chairs,    comfortable pillows.                                     to unscrew a           Cover scruffy tables with lovely table    bean bag, £175,     “My shower radio is my best friend —
£60 for a set of   This will transform                                     shower head and fix     linen that will last you a lifetime.      from allupandon.    it comes with me everywhere, and
four at habitat.   the landlord’s                                         one that gives a                                         ; After the    doesn’t even need a socket.”                                                                     better spray.            GO BIG ON GADGETS                         Rainbow floor        Chris Treen, charity worker.
                                                                                                   Chefs love their own pans, knives and     cushion by Olly
                                                           USE A LIGHT TOUCH                       kitchen gear — have your own small        Howe, £139, at      “My own personal laundry basket is
                                                           Lamps add atmosphere. Power             rack and/or knife tidy. Small             thisisalimited      essential — it stops my clothes getting
                                                           points may well be scarce so have a     electricals travel happily — get         mixed in with other housemates.
                                                           good supply of extension leads and      gadgets to suit your lifestyle and take                       And I can pack it for moving.”
                                                           adaptors. Replace the landlord’s        them with you: speakers, iPod                                 Daniela Carson, assistant producer
                                                           shades — upscale and make it stylish.   docks, portable TVs, coffee
                                                           Choose robust material lampshades       makers, juicers and blenders.                                 “I always take my own mattress — I
                                                           and, to get cosy in winter, invest to                                                                 don’t like sleeping on years of
                                                           some perfumed candles and holders.                                                                    bedtime history.”’
                                                                                                                                                                 Una Dillon, occupational therapist
                                                           NOW ADD YOUR LOOK
                                                           Lightweight rugs can hide tired                                                                       “I love my light sturdy Muji shelves.
                                                           carpet, heavier ones make wood                                                                        There is never enough storage.”
                                                           cosy, or conceal shabby laminate.                                                                     Hannah Cox, PR account director
                                                           Slip-on covers make old sofas
                                                           instantly fresh, clean and                                                                            “I lug around my Ikea chest-of-
                                                           stylish (Ikea furniture is easy                                                                       drawers because it’s a perfect height
                                                           to get recoverd). Cushions                                                                            for my bath-time G&T.”
                                                           and throws are a                                                                                      Frances Callanan, solicitor
                                                           great accessory
                                                           for creating                                                                                          “I take my memory foam mattress
                                                           interiors                                                                                             though it’s a pain to get upstairs.”
                                                           style with a                                                                                          Emilie-Kate Owen, estate agent
                                                                                                                                                                 “I look for rechargeable appliances –
                                                                                                                                                                 there is never a socket where you
                                                                                                                                                                 want it.”
                                                                                                                                                                 Dan Jenkins, buying director
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                          11

     Follow us on Twitter
     @HomesProperty                                        Shopping Homes & Property
                                                                         BBC drama, The Hour, set in a BBC
                                                                         television studio in the Fifties, is just

Design tre
   ign re
Design tre
By Katie Law
                                                                         the latest example of our obsession
                                                                         with all things mid-20th century. The
                                                                         trend began with Mad Men and
                                                                         continued earlier this year when the
                                                                         60th anniversary of The Festival of
                                                                         Britain prompted a surge in retro-
                                                                         inspired interiors and accessories. It
                                                                         was helped by the relaunch of the
                                                                         South Bank shop, a great source for the
mid-century                                                              Fifties’ look.
                                                                           Now Graham and Brown has
                                                                         introduced a Vintage wallpaper
modern                                         1                     2
                                                                         collection, which includes the Grid
                                                                         pattern, while Heal’s celebrates 60
                                                                         years of Scandinavian design, in
                                                                         particular Marimekko, with a big selling
                                                                         exhibition and pop-up shop opening in
                                                                         September. Fifties telephones are back
                                                                         but with new technology, while images
                                                                         of Fifties typography are being
                                                                         transferred on to everyday objects.
                                                                           And don’t be surprised to see more
                                                                         appreciation of the post-war look at the
                                                                         London Design Festival yet to come
                                                                         (September 17 to 25).

                                                                         1 Dominic West and Romola Garai star
                                                                         in The Hour; BBC2, Tuesdays, 9pm

                                                                         2 The new Vintage wallpaper collection
                                                                         by Hemingway Design for Graham and
                                                                         Brown includes a 1950s-inspired Grid
                                                                         design, £25 a roll. Visit grahambrown.

                                                                         3 Classic Hourglass table, £275. Visit
      3                                    4           5   6    , or call 020
                                                                         8150 8380

                                                                         4 Walnut spoked wall clock, £30. Visit

                                                                         5 London table light, £373. Visit
                                                                         6 Dreyfus telephone, based on the
                                                                         1950s original but with modern push-
                                                                         button dialing, £49.95. Also available in
                                                                         silver, £59.95. Visit

                                                                         7 Qwerty design mugs (£6.95), boxes of
                                                                         HB pencils (£6.95 for 12) and this A5
                                                                         screen-printed lined journal with
                                                                         pocket (£9.95). Visit
                                                   8                     8 Mistral sofa in Marimekko Pienet
                                                                         black/white fabric, £2,815. Visit heals.
14                                                                                                                                                                                WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

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18                                                                                                                                                                         WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Home searching                                                                                                                                                                            homesandpr

Ready: Cheska and Amira begin the hunt      Telly tubby: Made In Chelsea’s property-searching Francesca “Cheska” Hull can’t resist the classic bathroom at her second viewing

                                            A home for a Sloane

          O FAR, this has proved a pretty
          life-changing year for 26-year-   Reality show star Cheska Hull wants a home to match her glamorous
          old Francesca Hull. The former
          interior design PR has gone       social life. Amira Hashish helps her to find the perfect Chelsea pad
          from working with celebrity
clients to becoming a star in her own
right — thanks to reality TV series Made
In Chelsea, in which Cheska (as she is
                                            STEP 1
                                            WHAT DOES SHE WANT?
known to friends) plays a central role.
  The show follows the lives of a bunch     CHESKA’S budget is about £500,000, for
of privileged Sloanes and socialites who    which she wants more than a studio flat.
treat King’s Road as their own. The show    “I’m buying with help from my mother
claims that “truth is more fabulous than    but also using my savings. I will be paying
fiction” and the viewing figures would      the mortgage myself,” she says. “My
seem to agree. It has become Channel 4’s    mother lives in Devon but comes to visit
most tweeted-about programme.               once or twice a month and I’d like her to
  And now, for Cheska, life is about to     stay with me. This means if we see a good
get that little bit more fabulous as she    two-bedroom flat, we can up the budget
hunts for her first flat — a Chelsea pad,   a bit. It’s always handy to have a second
of course. And like all first-time buyers   room even if it is only used as an office.”
she doesn’t know where to start.              She is now in a four-bedroom terrace
  So Homes & Property stepped in to         house in Fulham with best friends Binky
turn Cheska from a first time-buying        Felstead and Ollie Locke. She knows
novice into a savvy homeseeker in only      location is crucial. “I used to live on
five fun steps…                             Finborough Road, which is a nice area         £325,000: the spacious bay-windowed living room at our first viewing is a big plus
                                            but the traffic was horrendous.”
                                              A shopaholic, she has a soft spot for
                                            South Kensington and loves its French
                                                                                          STEP 2
                                                                                          FIND AN AGENT
                                            influence and boutiques. Her mum likes
                                            it too — she attended the Lycée Français      AFTER browsing Homes & Property’s             £375,000 studio opposite the river on
                                            Charles de Gaulle there and became a          website for ideas, we call three agents       the Chelsea Embankment, but on a busy
                                            French teacher. Mum now owns fashion
                                            boutique Amelia’s Attic in Salcombe.
                                                                                          with plenty of Chelsea properties on
                                                                                          their books: Douglas & Gordon, Chester-
                                                                                                                                        road. The building appears to be well-
                                                                                                                                        maintained and Cheska says at 396sq ft
                                                                                                                                                                                       STEP 3
                                                                                                                                                                                       LET’S GO VIEWING
                                              One of Cheska’s plans is to bring another   ton Humberts and Hamptons Interna-            “it’s a bargain”. She could even buy
                                            Amelia’s Attic to King’s Road so if she       tional. Soon a stack of brochures are in      without mum’s help. “I can imagine liv-        WE DIVIDE likely properties into three
                                            could find a flat nearby, she would be able   our possession and we start a shortlist.      ing here and walking to work. The exte-        groups: under, on and over budget. Next
                                            to walk to work. She doesn’t drive.             A £325,000 first-floor flat in Lotts Road   rior looks a bit like a New York townhouse.    we pick one from each group to view.
                                              A few lattes on and our brainstorming       with Chesterton Humberts is within            It is very ‘Sarah Jessica Parker’, and the       Hamptons provides us with a chauf-
                                            session has got the property ball rolling.    Cheska’s budget. It has a separate kitchen    river views are gorgeous.”                     feur-driven car and its senior negotiator
                                            Now it’s time to call in the experts.         but with one bedroom and only 344sq ft          Hamptons tempts her with a £1.5 mil-         Nat Wilde briefs us before each viewing.
                                                                                          of space could only provide enough room       lion two-bedroom “dream pad” in Eaton          He says: “A lot about buying a house is
                                            £820,000                                      for one, she says. “But hopefully, I’ll get   Place close to Belgrave Square, an amaz-       to do with how you feel as you walk in
                                            Our third flat, at the Oswald Building,        married before I’m 30 and then I’ll be        ing location. But this, of course, will have   the door. It may not be in the right area
                                            Chelsea Bridge Wharf, is way over             able to have a bigger house. For now, this    to wait until Mr Right comes along. Day-       or have the best features but people tend
                                            budget but would be “the ultimate city        size could work for me.”                      dreaming over, it’s time to face reality       to know when it is right for them.”
                                            base”, modern, minimalist and chic              Douglas & Gordon impresses with a           and arrange some viewings.                       First up is a £395,000 one-bedroom,
         EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                                                                                         19                                                                                                             Home searching Homes & Property

                                                                                                            reminds me of a country house. Even                                  ‘YOU HAVE TO IMAGINE’
                                                                                                            though I live in London, I love the coun-                            Cheska can see herself using the “cute”
                                                                                                            tryside. In may ways this is perfect.                                kitchen at house number two (top) but
                                                                                                              “The upstairs shower room is a really                              the third flat’s über-cool rooms (above)
                                                                                                            good use of space. If I am rushing to go                             offer impressive entertaining space
                                                                                                            out and just want a quick wash it would
                                                                                                            be very convenient.                                                  says Pooley. “But you could create more
                                                                                                              “I would turn the downstairs office                                space in the entrance hall with an over-
                                                                                                            space into a walk-in wardrobe because                                size antique mirror above a slim console
                                                                                                            it is just opposite the big bathroom.                                table, and wallpaper it to make a feature
                                                                                                              “It is in a very good area and so close to                         of the area.”
                                                                                                            clubs like PUBLIC and Embargo, where                                   Cheska wants a luxury bathroom. She
                                                                                                            I like to hang out. I would feel safe                                says: “The first thing I will do up is the
                                                                                                            walking home.”                                                       bathroom and then everything else can
                                                                                                              Hampton’s Wilde has little work to do                              follow. It would be a great place to relax
                                                                                                            here but adds: “It has a share of freehold,                          and recover from a hangover. If I won
                                                                                                            which is rare in this area, and really gives                         the Lottery I would have a Papillon Bath,
                                                                                                            you control.”                                                        carved in Cararra marble [£38,000].”
                                                                                                              We are still booked to see another
                                                                                                            property — this one is way over budget
                                                                                                            at £820,000 and is only a possible can-
                                                                                                            didate if mum is very generous. It’s in
                                                                                                            the popular Chelsea Bridge Wharf devel-
                                                                                                            opment, in the Oswald Building. It has
                                                                                                            two bedrooms and oozes glamour.
                                                                                                            Cheska is a big fan of the balcony and its
                                                                                                            river views. “It is the ultimate city base,”
                                                                                                            she declares.
                                                                                                              Modern, minimalist and super-chic it
                                                                                                            has a totally different vibe to the other
                                                                                                            flats we have seen and offers very
                                                                                                            impressive living. But it is clear Cheska
                                                                                                            has fallen in love already today. And it’s
                                                                                                            not with this über-cool, Thames-side

                                                                                                                                                            SOCIAL CLIMBERS
                                                                                                            STEP 4                                          Katharine Pooley recommends adding colourful climbers to
                                                                                                            SOME INTERIORS ADVICE                           property number two’s garden to create a summer party space
                                                               Is this two-bedroom duplex in a              CHESKA is keen to put her own mark on
                                                               terrace conversion in Uverdale Road
                                                               ticking every box for Cheska?
                                                                                                            the place she buys, so we contact interior
                                                                                                            designer Katharine Pooley to see which
                                                                                                                                                                                 STEP 5
                                                                                                                                                                                 IT’S DECISION TIME
                                                                                                            of the properties offers the most scope
                                                                                                            for a makeover.                                                      CHESKA reveals her favourite and she-
                                                                                                              “If she choses the Uverdale Road flat [the                         has taken Nat Wilde’s advice. “I have to
                                                                                                            second of our viewings] it will need mod-                            be able to imagine myself in my new
                                                                                                            ernising but it’s a great opportunity for a                          home, and of all the properties, Uverdale
 lower-ground garden flat on Ashburn-                          that would be very useful.” Wilde points     first-time buyer to increase its value,” she                         Road stands out []. The
 ham Road. Just south of King’s Road            ‘I adore the   out that it benefits from a long lease,      says. “I would suggest lighter and larger                            duplex is in an excellent location, has a
 near Chelsea Embankment, the location          garden. I      which offers extra value for money.          tiles on the floor of the kitchen, and some                          realistic price and is a good size.”
 is ideal. Though the bedroom is “beauti-                        Next we head a little over budget to see   feature marble on the counter.                                         Wilde thinks it would be a great choice.
 ful” the flat is not entirely to Cheska’s      could have     a £560,000 two-bedroom flat in Uver-           “In the garden add some climbers such                              “If you want to live in Chelsea at a sensi-
 taste. However, she adores the garden.         friends        dale Road. Set on the raised and lower       as clematis, jasmine and climbing roses                              ble price, this is it. And it’s in one of the
 “I can imagine having my friends round                        ground floors of a pretty period building,   to keep this area full of colour and                                 very few streets locally where you can
 for parties. Or even using it as a place to    round for      with a 27ft reception room/kitchen, fam-     perfumed all summer. Create a little                                 get something with a long leasehold, or
 escape and read a book,” she says. The         parties. Or    ily bathroom, separate shower room,          vegetable patch, too.” Do the bigger                                 share of the freehold at least, for less
 bay-fronted reception room with a cast-                       study and private west-facing garden it      alterations as money allows.                                         than £1,000 a square metre.”
 iron fireplace is a big plus, too, as is the
                                                just sit and   is looking good. “This is really me,” says     The most difficult of the flats to alter is   Photographs::          Job done: we’ve found a suitably savvy
 ample storage: “I have so much stuff so        read a book’   Cheska. “The kitchen is so cute. It          the one at the swish Oswald Building,           MATT WRITTLE         first-time buy for our Chelsea girl.
20                                                                      WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Diary events                                  

This Friday to Sunday, top potters
will gather in the lovely grounds of                                      1
Hatfield House to show off their mugs
and jugs (and Geoffrey Swindell his
bottles, pictured). There’s a Henry
Moore exhibition in the garden.
Tickets: adult £8, plus Moore, £17;
seniors £7.50, plus Moore, £16.50.
  Hatfield House, Hatfield,
Hertfordshire. Visit

Until August 27, Aram’s famous
summer show this year looks at casts
and moulds. See Peter Marigold’s
Malayalam 2010 and Sarah King’s ball
bangle (both pictured), plus moulded
furniture and even shoes.
   Aram, 110 Drury Lane, Covent
Garden, WC2; 020 7557 7526;                                                                         2
This glorious Georgian manor hosts a
“floral festival” from Friday to
Sunday, masterminded by celebrity
florist Judith Blacklock with displays,
workshops and a shopping marquee,
and featuring a host of top
international floral designers.
   Chicheley, Newport Pagnell,
                                          Five things to see in August
Buckinghamshire. Tickets £15 in
advance, £20 on the day; visit            By Barbara Chandler

On August 28 and 29 at the South
Bank, browse stalls for arts, crafts,
bunting, cakes, sweets, jams,
candyfloss, smoothies and vintage
finds, plus music and theatre.
  National Theatre Square, South
Bank, SE1. Sunday 1pm to 5.30pm;          3                     4   5
Monday, 1pm to 4pm. Free.

A Kingston University, this is a
pop-up shop, open seven days a
week and kitted out by art students
and new graduates at the cutting
edge of design to sell greetings cards
by Vic Riches (pictured), plus
paintings, prints, furniture and
   Market House, The Market Square,
Kingston upon Thames. Call 0779
5575494 or 0781 6682576 — or
22                                                                                                                                                                                                             WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Outdoors                                                                                                                                                                            

your own

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CLIVE NICHOLS/ DESIGNER: CHARLOTTE ROWE
Being single has its                                                                                                                                                                           Warm glow: lanterns and a fire make this space welcoming
rewards, especially
for keen gardeners
who don’t want to
compromise on style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CLIVE NICHOLS

            HE great thing about living                                                                                                                                                        house or flat, it’s not just your home       Room with a
            on your own and having a                                                                                                                                                           that should be welcoming. Make the           view: sofas
            garden is that you get                                                                                                                                                             garden — or patio — a place you want         encourage
            exactly what you want.                                                                                                                                                             to be on summer evenings.                    guests to linger
            Many gardens are the result                                                                                                                                                          Switch on the atmosphere with a few        and a parasol
of compromise between partners: one                                                                                                                                                            basic uplighters that enhance the plant-     provides shade
might want a wildflower meadow,                                                                                                                                                                ing and allow you to stay out there for
                                                                                                                                                     CLIVE NICHOLS/ DESIGNER: CHARLOTTE ROWE

while the other prefers the grass neatly                                                                                                                                                       longer. A firepit warms chilly nights
clipped.                                                                                                                                                                                       and is a great focus when friends come
  You, however, need kowtow to                                                                                                                                                                 round. In a small space, just one hon-
nobody: no washing line, children’s                                                                                                                                                            eysuckle, trailed along a fence or
play area or football pitch.                                                                                                                                                                   camouflaging the corner drainpipe,           DON’T MISS
  And if the cactus garden you visited                                                                                                                                                         looks gorgeous and scents the air.           follow Pattie
on holiday in Lanzarote lit your fire,                                                                                                                                                           When romance is in the air, set the        Barron’s
you can buy a posse of cowboy cacti, a                                                                                                                                                         scene with atmospheric lighting, music       gardening blog
few agaves, a couple of aloes, ship in                                                                                                                                                         and beautiful surroundings, which            at homesand
the sand, and have yourself a desert                                                                                                                                                           might be nothing more than a long tom
landscape (though you’ll need to bring                                                                                                                                                         or three of fragrant lilies.                 blogs
the lot — sand excepted — indoors come                                                                                                                                                           And if you are no great cook, alfresco
winter).                                   accents of colour with cushions, maybe      buy small plants — lettuce, tomatoes,      Dine alfresco:                                               dining never fails to charm — even if
  Often, though, it’s difficult to nail    a sailcloth, candle-holders and             cucumbers — that just need settling into   keep plastic for                                             the meal is no grander than a takeaway.
what you want, in which case it’s a good   containers. Keep the mood board where       some multi-purpose compost to get          picnics and use                                              Gather together candles that create
plan to create a mood board, as you        you can see it and work towards it.         growing. And if you love cooking, enjoy    the best china                                               soft, flattering lighting; cushions to
would for an interior. Gather together       You could include a vegetable plot for    basic windowsill herbs that keep on        and cutlery for                                              soften hard garden seats; linen nap-
pictures of gardens that strike a chord    regular, small pickings, from just a few    growing year after year: aromatics         entertaining                                                 kins, china plates and proper wine           Gardening
with you, plants that appeal, borders      roomy containers and a couple of win-       rosemary, oregano, thyme. Grow them                                                                     glasses.
or groups of containers with striking      dow boxes. With the singleton’s potted      in generous pots and keep them close                                                                      And note that plastic picnicware is        Email our RHS
colour palettes.                           kitchen garden, you can have your kale      to the kitchen, where you can clip them                                                                 not permitted: you normally shop on          expert at:
  Add swatches of colour with fabric or    and eat it — without having a glut of the   in a second.                                                                                            the small scale so for that special night,   gardenproblems
paper and you can translate these into     stuff. If sowing is too much hard work,       If you’re coming back to an empty                                                                     you can afford the best.           

                            buy it
See it: Firey fun at West Dean Gardens                                                                                                                                                         Buy it: Showy hydrangeas
                                           THE WEST DEAN CHILLI FIESTA This                                                                                                                    THE RHS HYDRANGEA COLLECTION Long-flowering, showy
                                           weekend, join in the fiery fun at West                                                                                                              and versatile, hydrangeas are much-loved stalwarts of the
                                           Dean Gardens, near Chichester, where                                                                                                                summer garden. The beautiful cultivars in this collection will
                                           the annual chilli fiesta offers more than                                                                                                           make magnificent specimens in the shrub border, can be
                                           150 stall holders selling chilli-related                                                                                                            used to create an informal hedge or screen or will provide
                                           items from beer and ice-cream to                                                                                                                    long-lasting colour planted into large pots.
                                           clothing and jewellery. The Victorian                                                                                                                 The RHS is offering one of each of the following
                                           glasshouses will be decked with in                                                                                                                  hydrangeas: H paniculata Vanille Fraise, with conical clusters
                                           excess of 200 peppers, ranging from                                                                                                                 of pink and white flowers, grows to two metres, £9.99;
                                           cool-green to red-hot.                                                                                                                              H arborescens Invincibelle Spirit, with large, dome-shaped
                                             Taste flaming food, enjoy live music                                                                                                              pink flowerheads, grows to 1.5 metres, £14.99; H arborescens
                                           and dance to the salsa beat, not                                                                                                                    Incrediball, with lime green, large rounded flowerheads,
                                           forgetting to take home some seeds to                                                                                                               grows to 1.5 metres, £14.99.
                                           grow your own tongue-tingling chillis.                                                                                                                The trio costs £34.97, saving £5, but Homes & Property
                                           Tickets for Friday, August 5 are £8.50;                                                                                                             readers can save a further 15 per cent by entering code
                                           for Saturday and Sunday, £10; opening                                                                                                               310811 at the checkout on Offer closes
Hot stuff: Chilli Fiesta near Chichester   hours, 10.30am-5pm.                         Candy cones: bag a bargain with hydrangea Vanille Fraise                                                midnight August 30.
24                                                                                                                                                                   WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Property searching                                                                                                                        

T                                           The place that
            HE re-opening of an
            extended East London line
            last summer had a big
            impact on Brockley and its
            near neighbour, Honor Oak,

                                            sounds like a
in south-east London. The line is part
of Transport for London’s new
Overground network and offers a
frequent Tube-like service between
Canary Wharf and the City and some
of the capital’s most underrated and
overlooked corners.
  The billion-pound investment means
people living in Brockley, Honor Oak,
Forest Hill, Sydenham and Crystal Pal-
ace now have swift commuter services
and Tube connections to London’s key
employment centres.
  Brockley had previously been little
known to most Londoners, though
                                            — but where
loved by its inhabitants who have
earned a reputation for shaking things
up with action groups, festivals and
lively blogs. Recently they saved a
                                            loves cake
library from closures by bringing in a
social enterprise to run it and by engag-
ing volunteers to help out — an example
of what David Cameron would call the
Big Society in action.
  Brockley and Honor Oak — which sit
south of New Cross and east of Peck-
ham, west of Lewisham and north of
Forest Hill — are good places to look for
affordable Victorian flat conversions
and houses. Simon Smith of the Brock-
ley branch of Kinleigh Folkard & Hay-
ward says people drive through without
realising what a lovely area it is. “I
always feel this area is becoming the
next East Dulwich,” he adds confidently.
                                            on Brockley
East Dulwich, almost next door and with
very similar housing, has become a
trendy mecca for young couples and
                                            and Honor Oak
families.                                                                          Best roads: Manor Avenue, Tyrwhitt         developments currently for sale. There       in Forest Hill Road. There are two
                                            Excellent transport                    Road, Tressillian Road and Tressillian     has been some development, including         “outstanding” state comprehensive
WHAT THERE IS TO BUY                                                               Crescent, Breakspears Road, Wickham        the landmark Tea Factory building,           s c h o o l s : Ha b e rd a sh e r s ’ A ske ’s
The jewel in the crown is the Brockley      links, good schools                    Road, St Margaret’s Road, Crescent         around the station in recent years, and      Hatcham College in New Cross, which
Conservation Area. It has long, wide
and leafy roads with large four- and        and great-value                        Way and Hilly Fields Crescent top the
                                                                                   list. The most expensive house cur-
                                                                                                                              housing association Family Mosaic has
                                                                                                                              a big site nearby.
                                                                                                                                                                           for the last three years has taken pupils
                                                                                                                                                                           from age three to 18, and Prendergast
five-storey Victorian houses now
largely broken up into spacious flats,      homes are all here,                    rently for sale is a nine-bedroom villa
                                                                                   in Tressillian Crescent with almost
                                                                                                                              Up and coming: KFH’s Simon Smith
                                                                                                                              says it is possible to pick up a good-size
                                                                                                                                                                           Hilly Fields College (girls age 11 to 18)
                                                                                                                                                                           in Brockley itself.
and smaller Victorian houses in the
roads around Hilly Fields, the local
                                            says Anthea Masey,                     5,000sq ft of space, available through
                                                                                   Unique Property Services at £1.39 mil-
                                                                                                                              one-bedroom flat for about
                                                                                                                              £175,000. “The lack of first-time buyer
                                                                                                                                                                             Crossways Academy is a sixth-form
                                                                                                                                                                           college in Brockley. St Dunstan’s (co-ed
park. But there are also well-tended
roads of smaller, three-bedroom Vic-
                                            along with tempting                    lion. Call 020 8695 4900. Crofton Park
                                                                                   Road and Salehurst Road in Honor Oak
                                                                                                                              mortgages has kept prices down,” he
                                                                                                                                                                           age three to 18) is a poplar private
                                                                                                                                                                           school in Catford and there are three
torian terraces close to Crofton Park
and Honor Oak stations.
                                            little cafés serving                   are popular with parents aiming to
                                                                                   send their children to Stillness infant    GETTING AN EDUCATION
                                                                                                                                                                           top private day schools in nearby
The area attracts: student renters
from Goldsmiths College in New Cross,
                                            home-baked delights                    and junior schools.
                                                                                     Postcode: SE4 is the Brockley code,
                                                                                                                              Stillness Infants School in Brockley Rise
                                                                                                                              is judged “outstanding” by the educa-        SHOPPING AND DINING OUT
who often stay on once they have
graduated. The flats attract young pro-
                                            — and the parks for                    and takes in Crofton Park and parts of
                                                                                   Honor Oak. The latter mostly falls into
                                                                                                                              tion watchdog Ofsted; and Stillness
                                                                                                                              Junior School is judged “good”. This is
                                                                                                                                                                           This is the sort of London village where
                                                                                                                                                                           independent shops, cafés and restau-
fessionals, while families buy the          working it all off                     SE23, the Forest Hill postcode. Neither    the most popular local primary school,       rants can thrive. And they do. Take a
houses because they are great value.                                               code is more desirable than the other,     but there are other state primary            long look around the three railway
Staying power: the student popula-                                                 though houses close to Stillness school,   schools that are also judged to be           stations to see the evidence.
tion can be transient but with such a                                              in SE23, are more expensive than their     “good”. They are: St Mary Magdalen’s           Close to Honor Oak Park station there
strong community spirit, people get                                                equivalents in SE4.                        RC in Howson Road; Turnham Primary           is Jumping Bean for gifts, Hop Scotch
very attached. Some families move out                                              What’s new? Not much. And people           in Turnham Road; John Stainer in             café and Babur, an award-winning
if the schools don’t suit them.             Photographs: Graham Hussey             like it that way. There are no big new     Mantle Road and St Francesca Cabrini         Indian restaurant with a landmark

Find many more homes at

£275,000                                             £1.05 MILLION                                      £259,950                                                £525,000
In Devonshire Road, Brockley, this two double-       In Drake Road, Brockley, this seven-bedroom        A modern two-bedroom house in a smart gated             In Malpas Road, a pleasant street in SE4, a
bedroom first-floor flat has access to a private     family home with two bathrooms, a conservatory     mews close to Brockley station and to bars,             gorgeously presented three-bedroomed house
section of garden and is for sale through Pickwick   and 73ft garden is for sale through Kinleigh       restaurants and shops. For sale through Acorn’s         with a generous private garden is for sale through
Estates (020 8299 1188).                             Folkard & Hayward (020 8469 0202).                 Brockley branch (020 8694 1177).                        Foxtons (020 8613 6200).
   Visit homesand          Visit homesand        Visit homesand             Visit
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                            25

      Follow us on Twitter
      @HomesProperty                          Property searching Homes & Property
                                            Far left: Justin
                                            Bailey, 22, serves
                                            tea and calories
                                            at the Broca café,
                                            near Brockley

                                            Left: exercise
                                            time at Hilly
                                            Fields park,
                                            with Chantelle
                                            Harbour, Tina
                                            Emin and Annie
                                            Williams showing
                                            how to keep fit

                                            Right: the Broca
                                            food market sells
                                            organic fruit and
                                            vegetables but
                                            for many, it’s
                                            owner Erin
                                            Essex’s baking
                                            that puts the
                                            icing on the

model tiger on the first-floor roof; a      Best roads: St       Peckham and Greenwich. The writer
new deli opens later this month. Oppo-      Margaret’s Road      David Lodge grew up in Brockley and       THE AGENTS
site Crofton Park station find Brockley     is one of the        it appears as Brickley in some of his
Jack, a large pub with a fringe theatre     many handsome        novels.                                   Acorn 020 8694 1177
upstairs, restaurant Jam Circus and the     Victorian streets                                              Foxtons 020 8613 6200
famous Rivoli Ballroom, a real Fifties      that make up the     GETTING AROUND
                                                                                                           Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward
throwback that puts on all sorts of         Brockley             The area is well-connected. Trains from
                                                                                                           020 8469 0202
events including ballroom dancing.          Conservation         Honor Oak Park (Zone 3) and Brockley
Around Brockley station, which now          Area                 (Zone 2 ) on the East London line offer   Pickwick Estates 020 8699 0011
has beautiful prairie planting on the                            a quick service to Canary Wharf with a
embankment leading to the platforms,                             change at Canada Water, and to the
there are delis and cafés on Coulgate                            edge of the City at the new Shoreditch    BUYING IN BROCKLEY SE4
Street. Broca has a café there and a food                        High Street station, then on to Hoxton    (Average prices)
store round the corner in Mantle                                 and Hackney. There are also trains to     One-bedroom flat                 £185,000
Road.                                       Dance on: the        London Bridge taking 14 minutes from      Two-bedroom flat                 £245,000
  Brown’s of Brockley and Degustation       famous Rivoli        Honor Oak Park and 11 minutes from        Two-bedroom house                £268,000
Deli widen the choice further.              Ballroom is a        Brockley.
  The Tea Party in the Tea Factory is an    pure Fifties           Crofton Park (Zone 3) is on the
                                                                                                           Three-bedroom house              £329,000
unusual café for children and their         confection, now      Thameslink line; it takes 25 minutes to   Four-bedroom house               £513,000
parents. Brockley Mess on Brockley          a popular party      St Pancras and the train passes through
Road is a stylish café and art gallery      venue as well as     Blackfriars, City Thameslink and Far-     BUYING IN HONOR OAK SE23
that is popular with the Saturday           a place to tango     ringdon. An annual season ticket to       (Average prices)
brunch crowd.                                                    Zone 1 from Zone 3 is £1,288 and to       One-bedroom flat                 £177,000
  The Talbot on Tyrwhitt Road is a very     Below: the area’s    Zone 2 is £1,104.                         Two-bedroom flat                 £218,000
good gastropub.                             most expensive       Thc council and its tax: Lewisham         Two-bedroom house                £275,000
                                            housing              has an elected mayor, who is Labour,      Three-bedroom house              £366,000
OPEN SPACES, THE ARTS                       overlooks the        as is the borough council. Band D coun-
AND LEISURE                                 broad expanse of     cil tax for the current 2011/12 year is   Four-bedroom house               £410,000
                                                                                                                                      Source: Hometrack
Small parks, all with splendid views,       Hilly Fields         £1,351.93.
are dotted throughout the area. The
best-known is Hilly Fields where locals                                                                    RENTING IN BROCKLEY AND HONOR OAK
                                                                                                           SE4 AND SE23
celebrated the millennium by installing
a stone circle. Blythe Hill in Honor Oak                                                                   (Average rates)
holds an annual festival, and Brenchley                                                                    One-bedroom flat £650 to £1,050 a month
Gardens, also in Honor Oak, celebrates                                                                     Two-bedroom flat £800 to £1,300 a month
the summer with a riot of bedding                                                                          Two-bedroom house      £1,050 to £1,500
plants and is a dog walkers’ paradise.                                                                     a month
  There are two council-owned swim-                                                                        Three-bedroom house £1,100 to £1,800
ming pools close to Brockley: Wave-                                                                        a month
lengths in Deptford, which has a                                                                           Four-bedroom house     £1,400 to £2,200
25-metre pool and a leisure pool, and                                                                      a month
the Ladywell Leisure Centre. The                                                                           Five-bedroom and above £1,500 to £2,800
Brockley Jack Theatre is a well-                                                                           a month
respected fringe theatre, and there are
art exhibitions at Arthouse on Lewi-
sham Road, an artist-led studio. Brock-                                                                    To buy a home in Brockley or
ley Max is a successful annual arts                                                                        Honor Oak visit:
festival in June.
  The nearest multiplex cinemas are in
26                                                                                     WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011 EVENING STANDARD

Homes & Property Inside story                                                 

Diary of an estate agent

Up in the air with
balloons and
back to earth
with pop royalty
Our agent celebrates a new branch opening
and is star-struck by a chart-topping client
MONDAY                                       THURSDAY
Our new branch in Finchley has just          Today I headed out to value a very
opened and it’s a hive of activity but       smart semi-detached house and,
naturally, there are a few teething          recognising the owner from old Smash
problems.                                    Hits magazine posters, I realised I was
  For example on Saturday — always a         in the company of pop royalty who’d
busy day — we discovered that our cars,      had four Top 20 singles.
which we had parked in a side road             I had to resist asking him to sing my
near the office, were locked behind a        favourite — but we agreed to keep in
barrier, leaving us with an office full of   touch while he searched for a new
clients and no transport for viewings.       home.
  And today when it rained our new             I rushed back to our branch opening
office sprang a leak. Buckets were           party, to which one kind client brought
found and builders called, but by 8pm        a bottle of champagne because he was
when I left, they still hadn’t arrived.      so happy to have us in the area.
                                               That made my day.
Thankfully this morning the leak was
fixed and a note from the builder said       ‘We know our glass doors
he was here at 5am.                          are clean, as this morning
  It’s not our week for car incidents. My
assistant manager Rod went out first         a client rushed out and
thing to value a stunning property, very     slammed straight into them’
much hoping we would be the agents
to sell it, and parked in the owner’s
drive. While Rod and the vendor were
chatting there was a sickening crunch.       FRIDAY
They opened the front door to discover       We know our new doors are clean
a crater where Rod’s car door used to        because this morning a client was
be and a very guilty-looking neighbour.      rushing to go out and slammed straight
But at least Rod got the instruction to      into the glass panel — ouch!
sell the house.                                And it seems my bad luck with the
                                             cars at the start of the week has now
WEDNESDAY                                    vanished, as I see that one of our
We headed into the high street with big      properties has been published and
bunches of balloons to promote our           promoted in a local property supple-
new office but it was a particularly         ment.
windy day so we began giving them              The vendor was delighted and the
away as hurriedly as possible before         phone has not stopped ringing for
we all became airborne.                      viewings.
  At least the children loved them — and       Happy days.
we even got a call from a seller who had
recognised some of the staff. This is not       John Greenaway is sales manager at
surprising as between them they have         Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Finchley
worked in the area for 61 years.             branch (020 8970 7856).
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                                                         27

     Follow us on Twitter
     @HomesProperty                                      Ask the expert Homes & Property

‘I want to point the
finger at the students
who are stealing my
precious sleep’

                                                     IN A recent answer on            WHAT’S
                                                     this page you suggested
                                                     lodging a complaint with
                                                     a magistrates’ court if a
                                           neighbour continued to be a
                                                                                      IF YOU have a
                                                                                      question for
                                                                                                            OUR LAWYER ANSWERS
                                           nuisance by making a noise etc.            Fiona McNulty,        YOUR QUESTIONS
                                           I have neighbours who make an              please email
                                           awful noise, playing loud music,           legalsolutions@
                                           often right through the night — and,       creating the noise or nuisance, then
                                           not just at weekends. My question          or write to Legal     the proceedings should be brought
                                           is this: Can I lodge a complaint           Solutions, Homes      against the owner or the occupier of
                                           without actually naming the                & Property,           the premises.
                                           offender? As it is a student house         London Evening          The reason why this course of
                                           next door it is virtually impossible       Standard, 2 Derry     action is acceptable as far as the
                                           to identify who is responsible for         Street, W8 5EE.       court is concerned, is because it
                                           the noise at any given time.               We regret that        would place an unfair and

                                                                                      questions cannot      expensive burden on you if you
                                                    BEFORE you make a formal          be answered           were required to establish the
                                                    complaint to the magistrates’     individually but      identity and to proceed against
                                                    court, you must notify the        we will try to        each and every person responsible
                                                    perpetrator of the alleged        feature them          for the nuisance.
                                           nuisance in writing, telling them          here. Fiona is a        If the noise is from a student house,
                                           about your intended course of              partner in the        you could always contact the
                                           action.                                    residential real      university or college they attend.
                                             You probably need to hire a              estate team at        Try the accommodation office to
                                           solicitor to draft the complaint           Thrings LLP           see whether you can obtain the
                                           because there is certain information       (        individuals’ names.
                                           that has to be included in it before                               If you have no success in
                                           the court can accept it.                                         establishing the names of those
                                             Ideally, notice should be given to                             concerned, I suggest that you notify
                                           the person or persons who will be                                in writing the occupiers of the
                                           the defendant or defendants in the         More legal            property of your intention to
                                           court proceedings.                         Q&As                  commence legal proceedings. You do
                                             If you do not know the name of the       Visit: homesand       not need to identify them
                                           person who is responsible for            individually.

                                                         WE ARE selling our house, which         certificate issued. In this case, all you need do is
                                                         we bought two years ago. The            ask for an inspection of the loft and, presuming
                                                         buyers have been asking about           it has been built in accordance with building
                                                         the loft conversion that was done       regulations and in accordance with the plans
                                                         well before we bought the place.        approved, it will be signed off and the
                                           According to them, there is no “building              certificate issued.
                                           regulations completion certificate” for it              If no plans were submitted at all, you will have
                                           and they are saying they will not proceed             to make an application retrospectively.
                                           until this is sorted out. This conversion had           If you have doubts about the work and feel
                                           nothing to do with us. Are they being                 that the conversion may not comply with
                                           unreasonable — and how should we deal                 building regulations, you may wish to instruct a
                                           with them?                                            surveyor to advise you on the likelihood of
                                                                                                 getting the works signed off, or the likely

                                                       THEY Iare not being unreasonable          success of a retrospective application.
                                                       at all. The existence of such a             Alternatively, if acceptable to your buyer,
                                                       certificate indicates that the loft       you could do nothing further regarding
                                                       conversion complies with building         rectifying the situation and instead offer them
                                                       regulations. Contravention of             an indemnity insurance policy for the lack of a
                                           building regulations is a criminal offence and        certificate.
                                           the buyers’ concerns would therefore appear to          They might accept this — but remember that
                                           be entirely valid. Firstly, find out if plans were    insurance will not give your buyer any
                                           submitted for the loft conversion. It could be        reassurance that the works have been done
                                           that the completed works have merely not been         properly and in accordance with building
                                           inspected and signed off and a completion             regulations.

                                              These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be
                                           relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you
                                           should obtain advice from a solicitor.
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 3 AUGUST 2011                                                                               29

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Victoria Whitlock finds a (legal) way to
keep tenants’ deposits in her bank account

             H WHADDYA know? An
             scheme to supposedly
             stop unscrupulous            accidental
landlords from running off with their
tenants’ deposits has cost taxpayers
£12.7 million. That’s because the
muppets who set up the Deposit            a penny. Mydeposits charges
Protection Service (DPS) four years       landlords a one-off joining fee of £60,
ago mistakenly thought the cost of        and then £17.50 for each deposit of
running the scheme would be funded        less than £300, or £30 for larger
from the interest earned from             deposits.
landlords handing over their tenants’        At current interest rates you’d have
deposits for safekeeping. They didn’t     to have a deposit of at least £1,200 to
envisage that interest rates might        invest for a year to earn enough to
plunge, thus putting paid to any idea     cover your costs, but I think £30 is a
of the scheme being self-financing.       small price to pay to be able to keep
  Now the Government has had to           the money in your own bank account
honour Labour’s pledge to bail out        (or biscuit tin, whatever). This way, if
the DPS, but the DPS is itself, in my     you’re landed with an unexpected
                                          maintenance bill or the tenant
                                          defaults on their rent, you’ve got a bit
‘Stop boo-hissing. I’m not                of cash in the bank/biscuit tin to tide
suggesting landlords run off              you over.
                                            I think the insurance-backed
with their tenants’ deposits              scheme is better for the tenants, too.
— but there is another way’               When my tenants leave, I give them
                                          their deposit back on the spot. But if I
opinion, an utterly pointless waste of    handed over their cash to the DPS, it
money. The is because, obviously,         could take at least 10 days for the
the sort of landlords who help            money to be transferred to the
themselves to tenants’ deposits tend      tenant’s bank account.
not to register with the DPS in the         Whatever you do, don’t allow a
first place. Why would they? That’s       letting agent to look after the deposit,
like leaving a prison door unlocked       especially if they charge you an
and expecting the criminals to check      “administration fee” for the
themselves in and out of their cells.     privilege. They’re supposed to
  Even though landlords are legally       surrender it to the DPS or sign up to
obliged to declare tenants’ deposits      an insurance scheme, but if they
within 14 days of receipt, I’m not at     don’t and they go bust/run off with
all surprised that even some decent,      the money — or drown in their own
law-abiding ones haven’t registered       oiliness — it will be down to you to
with the DPS. In fact, I’d urge them      refund the tenant. Many agents (at
not to.                                   least some of those I’ve dealt with)
  Oh stop boo-hissing, I’m not            deliberately give the impression that
suggesting they run off with their        landlords are not legally allowed
tenants’ money, I’m just saying that      possession of the deposit, but as long
it’s daft for landlords to hand over      as you’re registered with one of the
deposits to a third party.                above schemes you are, so insist the
  Why do that when it’s still perfectly   agent hands over the cash. Rugby-
legal to keep the deposit yourself? I     tackle them for it, if necessary.
don’t mean permanently, you can’t           Once you’ve got the money safely in
spend it, you mustn’t treat it like a     your account you’ve got 14 days to
bonus like some scumlord, but             register it with Mydeposits, or
there’s another lawful — in fact          surrender it to the DPS, if that’s what
government-approved — insurance-          you’d prefer. Then just ignore the
backed protection scheme called           sound of rogue landlords laughing at
Tenancy Deposit Solutions (see            you from their sunloungers in, that allows you to     Marbella.
hang on to the cash.
  Admittedly Mydeposits isn’t free,         Mother-of-two Victoria Whitlock lets
unlike the DPS, which won’t cost you      three properties in south London.

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