The bid that paid off

Super-stylish
sale
bargains
Page 27
Homes&
Property
Wednesday 7 January 2015
NEW HOMES: HOT AREAS IN 2015 P4 LONDON’S RENTAL HOTSPOTS P6 ST LUCIA P8 SPOTLIGHT ON MARYLEBONE P28
The bid
that paid off
CHARLES HOSEA
Our home: Page 20
London’s best property search website: homesandproperty.co.uk
2
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Online
homesandproperty.co.uk with
This week: homesandproperty.co.uk
Up and up: new
apartments in
Vauxhall and
Nine Elms have
leapt in price by
almost a third in
the past year,
pushing SW8
into the £1,000per-square foot
price league
news: four new areas join the
property postcode rich list
FOUR more areas — Vauxhall and Nine Elms, Victoria and
Pimlico, Hampstead, and Holland Park and West Kensington — have joined the elite group of London postcodes
where homes cost an average of £1,000 a square foot. Eyewatering price rises over the past year in SW8, the
postcode for Vauxhall and Nine Elms, are being blamed
on overseas investors who pushed average values per
square foot up 32 per cent, from £841 to £1,107.
In Pimlico and Victoria, SW1, another area where
thousands of new homes are being built, average prices
per square foot rose 16 per cent from £966 to £1,123,
according to today’s study by Lonres and Dataloft. Leafy
Hampstead, in NW3, saw a 12 per cent increase from £968
to £1,086, while West Kensington, on the “wrong” side of
Hyde Park, saw a 20 per cent rise, from £927 to £1,113.
Property
search
Trophy buy of the week
more than a touch of glass
£4.25 million: Howsham Hall is more glass than wall,
which is just as a Jacobean mansion should be. Set among
83 rolling acres on the outskirts of York, it has a lawn
clipped for cricket, a charming former ice house, and
gardens stretching to the River Derwent. The house,
stuffed with Tuscan columns and Adam ceilings, has seven
bedrooms, a magnificent great hall, drawing and dining
rooms, a breathtaking central staircase, a gym and
planning permission for a pool and spa. Through Savills.
O homesandproperty.co.uk/trophyhowsham
London buy of the week
new year, smart new flat
By
Faye
Greenslade
£299,950: start 2015 in smart style with a new home at a
boutique development carved from a restored and
extended Victorian block in Streatham. The six smart flats
combine original and new features — this top-floor home
comes with a skylit open-plan living/dining space with
exposed brick walls, honey oak floors and a high-spec
kitchen with integrated appliances. The bedroom has large
sash windows and plush carpet, and the bathroom is sleek.
Launching early next month through Newbourne Homes.
O Read Ruth Bloomfield’s full story at homesandproperty.co.uk
Inspiration
Craftsmanship
Heritage
THE MAYFAIR
Life changer jam today
— from your own orchard
ANTIQUES & FINE ART FAIR
THE LONDON MARRIOTT HOTEL
GROSVENOR SQUARE
LONDON W1K 6JP
£750,000: Batchelors Hall, in the East Sussex
village of Isfield, between Uckfield and Lewes,
offers bags of 17th-century charm. There are big
open fires and exposed beams in generous sitting
and drawing rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room with
a separate pantry, and five bedrooms upstairs, all
with countryside views. Outside, a perfect little
holiday cottage offers handsome earning potential,
while a fruit orchard and wild garden are waiting to
be cultivated. Through Freeman Forman.
8 - 11 JANUARY 2015
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
O homesandproperty.co.uk/buystreat
12.00 - 21.00
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THE
+44 (0)1797 252030
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TWO FOR ONE ENTRY WITH THIS ES ADVERTISEMENT
ANTIQUES
DEALERS
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LIMITED
Editor:
Janice
Morley
get
comfy...
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Homes & Property, Northcliffe
House, 2 Derry Street,
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From £199,950: flats at Sundial Court, Surbiton (homesandproperty.co.uk/sun)
STAMP DUTY reforms helped boost the
number of first-time buyers to a sevenyear high last year. Now, with election
jitters holding back bigger-earning
buyers, and with interest rates staying
low, 2015 is set to be the perfect year for
young Londoners to get on the ladder.
We take a tour of new-build starter
homes in London under £250,000 — visit
homesandproperty.co.uk/new250k
3
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
News Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Is chart star Bruno
getting broody?
Get the ciders
in, George
AP
É BRUNO MARS, right, has bought a
new house to celebrate the global
success of his new single, Uptown
Funk. The Grammy award winner
splashed out £4.5 million on the
seven-bedroom, 9,000sq ft property
in Los Angeles, which comes
complete with pop star accessories
including its own bar and wine cellar.
As far as we know, Mars hasn’t
popped the question yet but his
girlfriend, model Jessica Caban, may
be interested to hear that the house,
in a gated development in the starpacked Studio City neighbourhood,
has a separate children’s wing and a
play area. Mars already owns a place
in LA, in Mulholland Drive, bought for
£2.17 million in 2012.
É PENNARD HOUSE, below, in
Somerset is becoming the country
retreat of choice for pop stars. Singersongwriter of the moment George
Ezra, right, and Coldplay frontman
Chris Martin are among recent guests
to stay at the family-owned 130-acre
estate, while record companies hire
the entire property for Glastonbury,
as it is near the festival ground.
Photographers for Vogue and
Marie Claire magazines have
hosted shoots at the venue, and
fashion house Mulberry’s HQ is five
minutes down the road. The stately
pile is less than two hours by train
from London Paddington, and the
grounds, with a Victorian outdoor
freshwater swimming pool and
cider-producing apple orchards,
are the scene of frequent parties.
The house sleeps 12 adults, with
a further 10 spaces available in
tepees from May to September for
happy glampers. Visit
pennardhouse.com to book.
Not just the Queen
but Dame Joan, too
MATT WRITTLE
By Amira Hashish
Got some gossip? Tweet @amiranews
É THE elegant 19th-century
Belgravia townhouse, above, that
was home and workshop to Simone
Mirman, late milliner to the Queen
and film stars, is on the market
through Rokstone for £14.5 million.
Paris-born Mirman based herself at
9 Chesham House for 30 years, the
two ground-floor rooms serving as a
shop, while the first-floor main
reception room was a salon for VIP
clients who included actress Joan
Collins — made a dame in the latest
New Year Honours. On the two floors
above were workrooms where the
hats were made, and Mirman and her
husband lived on the top floor.
When she retired in 1990 the house
was turned into flats, but behind the
Thomas Cubitt-designed stucco
façade, it has been converted back to
a luxurious five-bedroom home. In
prestigious Chesham Place, it’s just
around the corner from Sloane Street
boutiques including Prada, Louis
Vuitton, Chloé, Fendi and Tom Ford.
Shoreditch celebrity ‘tea shop’ is £2.35m
Long Firm. It was also a set for
Duffy’s Stepping Stones video and for
a Vogue photo shoot with
supermodel Lily Cole, right.
The ground floor has hosted a
number of gigs and hit band Florence
and the Machine was discovered
while performing on Time for Tea’s
tiny stage. The property was
originally a bank before becoming a
pawn shop and eventually a
clockmaker’s. It was derelict in 1995
when “King of Shoreditch” Johnny
Vercoutre paid £95,000 for it — so he
stands to make a healthy profit.
PAVID PARKER
É THE Forties-themed Time for Tea
event space and film location, left, in
Shoreditch was expected to fetch at
least £2 million when it came under
the hammer through Savills.
However, the four-storey Georgian
freehold house is now on Fyfe
Mcdade’s books for £2.35 million,
after failing to find a buyer in the
September auction.
The quirky four-bedroom house,
which extends close to 2,400sq ft, is
regularly used for film and TV
productions such as ITV’s The
Bletchley Circle and the BBC’s The
4
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property New homes
homesandproperty.co.uk with
T
HE property spotlight is
contantly changing its focus,
with new areas highlighted
thanks to upgraded transport links, regeneration or
the arrival of new businesses or a
creative community.
Even the prospect of a new bridge
over the Thames can raise a district’s
desirability. In recent times, a single
piece of outstanding architecture, or a
particularly good new homes project,
has been enough to raise the bar —
bringing fresh vitality to an area and
making it a good place to buy in the
early stages of its upward curve.
Here are four places to watch in
2015.
Rising star:
Notting Dale in
W11 is pulling in
celebrity
creatives
including fashion
designer Stella
McCartney and
photographer
Mario Testino
WEST LONDON
Notting Dale is the splendidly original
name for the north-western corner of
the W11 postcode. Sitting between
White City and Ladbroke Grove, and
enclosed on two sides by roaring dual
carriageways, the area has an entirely
different character to Notting Hill, the
much better-known and better-off district to the east.
While Notting Hill got the sweeping
crescents, garden squares, then chichi
boutiques and brasseries, Notting Dale
lagged behind. Before the Second
World War it was a notorious slum.
Then in the Fifties, towering council
estates grew up around the modest
Victorian terraces, mews, workshops
and light industrial premises. Not much
else happened — until recent times.
Chrysalis Records was a trailblazer,
later joined by celebrated fashion and
From £415,000: More West apartments, W11, with shared ownership available
2015: HOTSPOTS TO WATCH — IN
portrait photographer Mario Testino.
Stella McCartney and Cath Kidston
have followed, while the Louise Blouin
Foundation, in a former coachworks,
is an art gallery and exhibition venue.
The Yellow Building, a trendy office
complex, looms over the Westway and
is reminiscent of great Art Deco factories such as the Hoover Building in
Perivale, putting this once-dead and
desolate zone on the cultural map.
Squatters once mockingly christened
the area Frestonia, after Freston Road,
where they lived before eviction.
Ironically, some of London’s first housing associations began their work here
in the 19th century and they are now
back, building new homes.
Peabody’s More West brings a mixture of flats for outright purchase and
Get in early as smart architecture and regeneration breathe new life
into emerging neighbourhoods across London, says David Spittles
Victorian gas holders was built using a
then-innovative geodesic design, an
early example of a building style associated with the curves of the Gherkin
in the City of London.
shared ownership, priced from
£415,000. Call 020 7775 8431. Part of a
neighbourhood upgrade spearheaded
by the Royal Borough of Kensington
and Chelsea, good-quality architecture
overcomes what at first may seem an
unpromising address alongside train
tracks and the Westway.
Launching soon is a scheme of four
outst anding modern houses in
Walmer Road. Designed by architect
and lecturer Peter Salter, the copperand-concrete homes are grouped in a
courtyard and have rooftop “salons”
EAST LONDON
Art Deco styling: The Yellow Building’s
trendy offices loom over the Westway
Mixed tenure: More West’s flats for outright sale and shared ownership feature
quality architecture. Through Peabody (from £415,000). Call 020 7775 8431
and terraces, plus underground parking spaces. Call developer Bay Light on
020 7985 9850.
NORTH LONDON
Hornsey, postcode N8, was an old London borough, swallowed up in 1965 by
newly created Haringey council. For
almost 50 years, the area has been
under a veil, but it is becoming a place
in its own right again.
It sits at the foot of magnificent Alexandra Palace Park, has a large stock of
handsome Victorian and Edwardian
houses, quick train links to Moorgate
and King’s Cross, and a slightly shabby
tree-lined high street that is now the
focus of regeneration, with original
shop fronts and the parish church
tower getting refurbished under the
watchful eye of English Heritage. A
former Salvation Army citadel, latterly
a music venue, is to become a new
Curzon Cinema.
New River Village, built on the site
of an old waterworks, retains the Victorian pumping station and has more
than 600 low-rise apartments running
alongside a quarter-mile stretch of a
canal that brings fresh water to London. One-bedroom flats cost from
£325,000. Call Highland Estates on 020
3641 4225.
Also on the high street, a former
refuse depot and swimming pool, derelict for a decade, is being transformed
into a 270-home estate with a Sainsbury superstore. Smithfield Square,
the first phase, launches this coming
Saturday. Prices start at £299,950 for
studios. Call developer St James on 020
3002 9460. These are homes for young,
style-driven urbanites looking for a
good-value, improving area.
A far bigger project is in the pipeline
on the other side of the railway tracks,
where planning permission is in
place for 1,080 homes on 11 acres of
National Grid land. One of the site’s
Leyton, postcode E10, has no jazzy new
skyscrapers or ritzy shopping mall to
match nearby Stratford — but this East
End outpost is nevertheless basking in
post-Olympics sunshine, sharing the
legacy benefits of the 2012 Games.
See for yourself by strolling down the
local high road, where traditional shop
fronts have been revitalised with a
colourful facelift. High street champion
Mary Portas would be impressed.
The A12 roars through the area but
Leyton has the Lea Valley for a back
garden and also borders Hackney
Marshes and Wanstead Flats, among
the largest areas of open land in London. Plus, it is on the Central line in
travel Zone 3.
As far as investment goes, it looks a
good bet. Leyton is jam-packed with
Victorian and Edwardian terraces.
These homes are not always beautiful,
but according to one local estate agent
they offer “freakishly good value” by
London standards, with lots falling into
the £400,000 to £650,000 price
bracket.
Developers have been quietly adding
to the stock. Claude Terrace is a
scheme of Victorian-style townhouses
aimed at young families trading up
from flats. When launched a year ago,
prices started at £395,000. The
magnificent former Leyton Municipal
5
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
New homes Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
From
£350,000:
apartments at
Tea Factory,
Brockley
Cross, SE4,
above an art
gallery
Mixed use: the former Leyton Municipal Offices, acquired by Lea Valley Estates, has
business space, an events venue, a real ale pub, and 32 homes are being created
From £299,950: flats at Smithfield Square, Hornsey, with a Sainsbury store on site
EVERY DIRECTION
Offices have been acquired, restored
and brought back to life after a period
of disuse, by “community developer”
Lea Valley Estates.
The listed building is now a space for
local businesses, while its great hall is
an events venue. The borough’s former
technical institute, part of the building,
houses a real ale pub and 32 homes are
being created within its walls. Call 020
8808 4070.
SOUTH LONDON
Brockley, postcode SE4, was discovered
by young upwardly mobile commuters
back in the Eighties, but the Overground
extension through this leafy swathe of
south-east London has been a game
changer, bringing hipsters from Dalston,
young professionals working in the City
and West End, and families priced out
of Greenwich and Blackheath. The
charms of Brockley lie almost exclusively within its main conservation area,
a network of wide, tree-lined avenues
surrounding Hilly Fields, a green
expanse where parents cluster with
teenage daughters attending Prendergast School, alongside the park.
Many of the vast Victorian houses
became flats but increasingly they are
reverting to single homes, along with
more modest, flat-fronted, semi-base-
ment terrace homes. Nothing much
had changed for 20-plus years around
the local train station, but with the East
London line extension has come a
batch of lively new shabby-chic bars
and cafés selling organic food, plus
delis and a micro brewery. It is a new
hub for Brockley.
“We opened in summer 2012 and the
change has been dramatic. There are
so many newcomers to the area and a
fantastic sense of community,” says
Alexandra Cousin-Bedford, owner of
The Gantry, a fun and friendly bar and
restaurant serving cocktails and a
French menu. Splendid Rivoli Ballroom, a popular local venue, is touted
as a redevelopment candidate. Local
conservationists help keep builders at
bay, but small residential schemes are
springing up. A used-car showroom
butting up against the tracks is being
redeveloped into homes, as is Brockley
police station in Howson Road.
Brockley Cross, a hazardous doubleroundabout junction and former crime
spot, has been given a pedestrianfriendly makeover and enhanced
by Tea Factory, a development of
copper-clad flats that cantilevers out
above street-level premises including
an art gallery. Prices from £350,000.
Call estate agent Sebastian Roche on
020 8690 8888.
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6
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Renting
homesandproperty.co.uk with
NEW SERIES: RENTING
The essential
guide for
Generation Rent
David Spittles launches a new series for
2015 focusing on London’s rental hotspots
R
ENTING has become a wellestablished London way of
life — changing the capital’s
housing market. It is a
similar story across the
country, with the number of people
renting in the UK almost doubling from
2.5 million a decade ago to 4.8 million
today. A further 1.1 million are expected
to join the rental sector during the next
five years.
About 30 per cent of all households
rent in the capital, and half of 20- to
35-year-old Londoners not only rent
now, but expect that renting will be the
norm in the future. This shift to private
renting may appear to go against the
nation’s emotional attachment to home
ownership but rental Britain is clearly
here to stay, driven by the high property prices that currently exclude many
would-be buyers. People today are also
getting married and starting families
much later in life, so the average firsttime buyer age has crept up from 27 in
the Eighties to 37 now.
A CHANCE TO LIVE
MORE CENTRALLY
Employment patterns are changing, too,
with people switching jobs and their
working location more frequently, which
puts a premium on flexibility. In London,
tenants can often rent more centrally
than they could afford to buy.
London’s rental market is also boosted
by the number of single households
here, and by the influx of economic
migrants and the growth in the number
of divorcees and students.
Britons are not newcomers to renting.
It was a popular way to live after the
Second World War and remained a
comfortable option until the end of the
Sixties. However, it acquired a downmarket image after a string of scandals
involving rogue landlords. Tight new
legislation followed and the sector’s
reputation has been largely restored —
yet London’s rental market has never
enjoyed the steady upward trajectory
seen in Continental Europe’s major cities, including Paris, Berlin, Brussels and
Amsterdam, where up to 60 per cent of
households happily rent privately, with
many families living in the same rented
house for generations.
TRY A DIFFERENT WAY
Recently, government and the property industry have been working on a
new “business model” for private
rented housing offering tenants goodquality accommodation, with security
of tenure, rented from a trusted private
or commercial landlord.
This is already taking shape, with
Choices: rents on one-bedroom flats
in Notting Hill, left, range from £1,200
to £2,600 a month, while in Crystal
Palace, right, the range is £625 to £825
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7
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Renting Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Waterfront
living: homes
at Johnson’s
Lock, on
Regent’s Canal
near Mile End
Park in Bow.
The park is a
green spine
through
the area,
reaching the
Thames at
Limehouse
HOTSPOT OF THE WEEK: BOW
£1,525 a month: a two-bedroom flat with a balcony and
on-site gym is available for rent at Caspian Wharf, Bow,
through 1st Avenue (homesandproperty.co.uk/rentcasp)
A nugget at the heart
of the golden triangle
B
£1,733 a month: a two-bedroom, eighth-floor flat, ideal for
sharers in Aqua Vista Square, Canary Wharf, to rent through
Benham and Reeves (homesandproperty.co.uk/rentvista)
purpose-built flats under construction
in places such as Elephant & Castle,
Wembley and Stratford.
CHOOSING A LOCATION
Two thirds of London tenants want to
be within a 10-minute walk of a Tube or
train station. Zones 2 and 3 are the most
popular rental areas, especially the
walk-to-work districts ringing the City
and West End.
Figures from estate agent Winkworth,
which has a capital-wide branch network, show a considerable variation in
rents. In the centre they are at least
twice as high as in outer London. In
general, rents are lowest in south London, outer north London and parts of
east London. While one-bedroom flats
in Notting Hill range from £1,200 to
£2,600 a month, in Crystal Palace it is
£625 to £825. In Tottenham or Wembley,
the range is from £600 to £800, while in
Walthamstow, it’s £600 to £700.
Find out the cost of renting in any area
of London, by street or postcode, using
a website set up by Mayor Boris Johnson. Its “rents map” reveals the average
cost of renting for the size of home you
are seeking, so a two-bedroom flat in
Kensington typically costs £620 a week,
whereas the London average is £325 a
week. Visit london.gov.uk/rents.
Though London rents are rising, tenants are having to compete for homes,
says estate agent Barnard Marcus.
Eleven tenants chase every new property coming on to the market. Those
seeking cheaper accommodation have
triggered a boom in flatshares, says
website Easyroommate. London’s
flatshare population is about 700,000
and average monthly room rental
is £563, some 40 per cent cheaper than
the cost of renting the apartment
outright.
ULLISH east London estate
agents speak of Bow being at
the centre of a golden triangle
formed by the City financial
district, Canary Wharf and Stratford’s
Olympic Park.
The area “arrived” about 10 years
ago when development spread from
nearby Docklands. The focus then
was on derelict canalside buildings
and industrial sites. Warehouse flats
and fancy new apartments attracted
incomers from pricier parts of town,
joining earlier gentrifiers who had
discovered great-value period houses
in neat neighbourhoods such as in
the Tredegar Square conservation
area.
But the London 2012 Olympics were
the real game changer for Bow,
Period homes:
Tredegar Square
conservation
area, above,
drew early
gentrifiers to
Bow 10 years ago
thrusting the area into the spotlight
and enticing a new crowd, says Mark
Wellington of estate agent Benham
and Reeves.
“It is unpretentious, lively, multiethnic and has lots of new bars,
gastropubs, coffee shops and
eateries, even a new on-site gin
distillery at Bow Wharf,” he says.
Down-to-earth Roman Road street
market is another attraction, while
there are well-kept pockets of green
space, and Mile End Park forms a
green “boulevard” to the Thames at
Limehouse.
Rents are rising, but Bow is cheaper
than nearby Victoria Park “village” in
Hackney — yet the latter is close
enough to walk to from Bow, as are
the waterfronts of Docklands.
■KNOW YOUR BOW
TRANSPORT LINKS
Getting to work:
Bank station: eight minutes
Canary Wharf: nine minutes
Oxford Circus: 16 minutes
TYPICAL RENTS PER WEEK
New-build flat: £300-£550
Period conversion flat: £275-£475
Period house: £300-£500
Ex-local authority home: £260-£400
£1,950 a month: a two-bedroom furnished flat in Ursula
Gould Way, in the Bow area, is available for rent through
Benham and Reeves (homesandproperty.co.uk/renturs)
8
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Homes abroad
THE PERFECT BEACH
From its west coast location on the
edge of the rainforest to its idyllic sandy
beach curving between the magical
Pitons, 10,000-year-old volcanic mountains that are a Unesco World Heritage
Site, Sugar Beach is indeed special.
It opened 30 years ago and today,
under Viceroy’s management, the
hotel boasts a £64 million makeover
and charges from £643 a night in high
season. Hollywood stars have stayed,
yet Sugar Beach is an unshowy, private
hotel with impressive annual occupancy over 80 per cent.
Accommodation is in 78 one- and twobedroom cottages with private plunge
pools. Some have sea views, others look
towards the Pitons. Newly released this
month are six freehold rental cottages
priced from £764,300. Owners have
four weeks personal use each year, two
in high season, but otherwise the hotel
will rent them. These are priced to generate a five per cent net return.
Nearer the beach, Sugar Beach
Residences are two- to four-bedroom
detached villas of 1,800 to 2,800 square
feet, built to order. Prices start from
£1.76 million. Also available are four off-
plan Glenconner Residences, larger
beachfront villas, from £3.5 million.
Resort facilities include tennis courts,
gym, a rainforest spa, scuba diving and
watersports, a kids’ club and three restaurants. Property director Penny
Strawson says: “Being part of a five-star
resort means our owners have effortless
access to every amenity and activity.”
St Lucia is so hot
Buy a winter retreat on this
tropical Caribbean island
from only £191,000,
says Cathy Hawker
BUZZING RODNEY BAY
Lush: stunning St Lucia regularly
has January temperatures
reaching 26C
From £191,000:
Hibiscus House,
right, on the Cap
Estate, where 250
villas and flats
are being sold
£1.76 million:
spacious villas,
left, built to order
at Sugar Beach
4CORNERS IMAGES
S
T LUCIA’S blue skies, lush
interior and January heat of
up to 26C are just a direct
flight away from London.
Tourism figures, up 6.6 per
cent for the year just ended, reflect the
enduring appeal of this 27-mile by
14-mile Caribbean island that caters for
affluent couples, families and sailors
with some seriously upmarket hotels.
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Cruise ships dock in the north where
middle-market hotels line the beaches.
This is the busiest, buzziest part of the
island with 44 restaurants in Rodney
Bay alone. Nearby are cinemas, shops
and a golf course.
A former sugar plantation, Cap Estate
at St Lucia’s northern tip has 250 homes,
mostly detached villas in grounds of at
least an acre. Prices range from £191,000
for two-bedroom flats up to £6 million
for substantial mansions.
Hibiscus House on the Cap Estate
rents from £1,447 a night. Its tropical
gardens have direct sea access while
inside are six en suite bedrooms. The
British family who own it have built a
new house nearby and are selling Hibiscus House for £3,152,700 reduced from
£3,789,600 through Savills.
Flats and villas at Allamanda, a gated
development overlooking the sea, also
on the Cap Estate, start from £379,000
through Sotheby’s.
O Sugar Beach: sugarbeachresidences.
com (00 1 758 456 8091)
O Savills: savills.com (020 7016 3740)
O Sotheby’s: stluciasothebysrealty.
com (020 7993 6156)
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9
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
homesandproperty.co.uk with
How to find the
perfect architect
architects who carry out residential
projects in your area.
2 ARE THEY FOR REAL?
There are people passing themselves
off as architects when they are not
fully qualified. So visit arb.org.uk to
check with the Architects Registration
Board before signing up a practice. If
you have serious problems the board
can also help mediate.
Tall, dark and handsome isn’t enough — your
project deserves more, says Ruth Bloomfield
When you are interested in an
architect, perhaps having viewed
their website, ask if you can meet
some previous clients and see their
homes. Nick Willson, of Nick Willson
Architects, says this will prove at the
very least that architects and clients
are still on speaking terms. As well as
seeing whether you like the aesthetic
and quality of the work, Richard
Hawkes, of Hawkes Architecture,
suggests asking a few practical
questions, such as whether the
scheme went over budget, how long
it took, how hands-on the architect
was, and how their fees were
structured.
Face time:
communication
and rapport are
essential
4 YOU WANT FACE TIME
Murray. Given that a major project on
your home is a big investment, in
both financial and emotional terms,
Homes & Property has come up with
a 10-point plan to help you make sure
you choose the architect who is just
right for you.
1 WORD OF MOUTH
Personal recommendation is a great
way to find an architect but if your
friends can’t suggest anyone,
contact RIBA, the Royal Institute of
British Architects, at architecture.
com — it will supply you with a list of
5 DEMAND ATTENTION
Don’t touch an inefficent firm that
does not get back to you immediately,
or hands you over to a junior.
6 BUSY — OR TOO BUSY?
You might think that an architect
with a busy schedule is a good sign.
But they may also be too busy to give
you the proper attention.
7 BE CLEAR, DEMAND CLARITY
3 MEET PREVIOUS CLIENTS
REX
W
ITH ONE in four new
romances now
starting online, it is
no wonder that a new
website promises to
match home owners with their
perfect architect. If your new year
resolution is to build a house — or, at
least, an extension — then read on.
The Architects Republic website,
architectsrepublic.com, offers a
free service, allowing people
considering home improvements to
select architects based on their
location, typical budgets, skills and
specialities, whether that’s designing
eco-homes or restoring historic
buildings. A shortlist of practices is
then produced, complete with an
online portfolio of previous projects.
All of the firms registered on the
site — at the time of launch it will be
about 50 — have won at least one
award for their work, though these
awards may be obscure, so view
them with caution.
Peter Murray, chairman of New
London Architecture, which
promotes quality design in the
capital, is a keen supporter of the
Architects Republic site but says that
meeting up with previous clients is
also crucial, and it is important to
decide how involved in the design
process you want to be, because some
architects have a clear philosophy
about what they want to create.
“There are quite often arguments
when the client wants to do one thing
and the architect says, ‘That is not
the sort of thing that I do,’” says
Home building projects Homes & Property
Don’t even think about hiring
someone you have only spoken to on
the phone or communicated with by
email. You must meet and see if you
are like-minded, says Chris RomerLee, director of Studio Octopi
architects. “You may work together
for a year or more, so communication
and rapport are essential.”
Make sure you are clear which partner
will oversee your project, says Silvia
Ullmayer, of Ullmayer Sylvester
Architects. You need continuity and a
senior point of contact is essential.
8 PLAIN SPEAKING
When it comes to what you need to
ask a prospective architect, Studio
Octopi’s Romer-Lee advocates
straight talking by both client and
company. If you are asking too much
for your budget you want the
architect who tells you right away,
not the one who holds back in the
hope that you will “find” more cash.
9 THE PLANNING HURDLE
Ask your prospective architect about
their experience and success rate of
getting similar projects through the
planning process.
10 OPEN HOUSE
The annual Open House weekend
features dozens of projects to
inspire you. It will be held in London
next on September 19 and 20. Visit
londonopenhouse.org for details.
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10
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Design trends
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Going
with
the
grain
Wood is full of pattern
potential — naturally.
Barbara Chandler
discovers a new trend
A
O ABOVE: wall mural from a new
collection of photography by Nic Miller
at Surface View. This design is
Weathered Wood 2 and costs £60 a
square metre. Visit surfaceview.co.uk
or call 0118 922 1327.
O RIGHT: wood ash from a dying fire
inspired this cotton cushion, 60cm
square, with a feather/down filling. The
maker, By Nord, is expert in furnishings
with photographic digital prints. The
cushion is £89 at occa-home.co.uk
CERAMIC tree trunk with
a vivid grain pattern and
standing more than three
feet high is grabbing attention at the Post Pop: East
Meets West show at the Saatchi Gallery
in Chelsea. It’s a larger version of a vase
on sale at Selfridges, and dominates an
installation by London artist/designer
Richard Woods, who calls his work
Nature Making.
“I’m twisting and distorting the way
natural woods can be used,” says
Woods, who also printed wood grain on
chairs at the show, and made prints of
sawn timber. He has made this style his
own, printing a sideboard and shelving
that is sold by Established & Sons.
Other designers have also hijacked
wood grain and tree rings, extracting
a new pattern potential from one of
London’s favourite natural materials.
We are seeing cushions, wallcoverings
and even rugs with a poetic timber
touch — wood you believe it?
O Post Pop: East Meets West, until
February 23, Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of
York’s HQ, SW3 (saatchigallery.com;
020 7811 3070)
O Visit establishedandsons.com
BISQUE
Make the most of winter with one of our stylish hotties
WINTER SALE
NOW ON
London showroom: 244 Belsize Road,
London NW6 4BT
T: 020 7328 2225
www.bisque.co.uk
11
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Design trends Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
O LEFT: this log-effect wall mural
comes in four pieces, to create a
surface 315cm wide by 232cm high. It’s
easy to hang with standard wallpaper
paste. Price is £69.99 from allposters.
co.uk
O BELOW: Scandinavian brand By Nord
has printed rough wooden planks on to
its Fishing Lodge Blue Wall cushion. In
100 per cent cotton, it measures
40cm X 60cm, and comes with a
feather/down pad filling. Priced £73
from occa-home.co.uk
O LEFT: inspired by a trip to Iceland,
Ella Doran’s new Rekki in Reykjavik
range gives wood grain an icy tint of
blue. Wood Grain Blue wallpaper,
printed in the UK on high-grade FSC
paper, costs £150 for a 10-metre roll —
52cm wide with a pattern repeat of
78cm. From elladoran.co.uk (020
7254 4744).
O WOODS BY NAME...
Richard Woods designed
these ceramic tree trunk
vases, left, for Wrong for
Hay, a brand set up last year
by London-based designer
Sebastian Wrong and Danish
manufacturer Hay. They
come in white, pink and
orange, and in three sizes:
small, 15cm high, £39;
O ABOVE: Wayne and Gerardine
Hemingway, at the cutting edge since
starting the Red Or Dead fashion brand
in Camden Lock over 20 years ago,
have created a budget take on the
wood plank theme — as a wallpaper for
Graham & Brown. It’s currently on offer
at £20 a roll. Visit grahambrown.com
or call 0800 328 8452. Stockists include
B&Q and Homebase. Use it for a Pop Art
cupboard rescued from a junk shop.
medium, 30cm high, £77,
and large, 45cm high, £232.
Available from the Hay MiniMart on the lower-ground
floor at Selfridges in Oxford
Street, W1 (0800 123 400;
selfridges.com).
The much bigger version is
now part of a Saatchi Gallery
installation, shown in the
main picture.
O RIGHT: Michaela Schleypen based
her Woodheart rug on a cross-section
of a 100-year old oak tree. Handmade
using a dense tufting technique in New
Zealand wool and Chinese silk, it’s
£975 a square metre. A version in
moisture-resistant synthetic fibre is
also available. See it at the FRONT
rug specialists’ showroom in Bruton
Place, W1 (020 7495 0740;
wearefront.com).
Winter
50% Sale
UP TO
OFF
Enjoy an extra
15% off
sale prices*
Chingford | Chiswick | East Sheen | Fulham | Hammersmith | Hampstead | Kingston | Tottenham Court Road
Beds, Furniture, Mattresses, Bed Linen, Bedding & Accessories
33 Stores Nationwide | 01243 380 600
www.featherandblack.com
*see
in store for details
18
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Reader promotion
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Dine at home in
designer style
Best of
British
Alison
Cork
Great deals galore
LIFT your spirits and enjoy a new year
treat with a 25 per cent discount from
Alison at Home across its furniture
and accessories range,* from handcarved, French-inspired chairs to
dining ware and bed linen. Crafted
from resin and pewter and finished in
an antiqued silver colour, the Moulin
candelabra, above, is modelled in a
traditional Art Nouveau fashion and
costs only £59.63 including discount.
Visit alisonathome.com to see the
full range. Order online or call 0800
472 5533 using code JAN725 to claim
your discount. While stocks last.
*Excludes clearance.
WILLOW & HALL
bedroom and
living room
furniture, made
by craftspeople
in Wiltshire, is
available in a
large choice
of fabrics, and
each item has
a five-year wood
frame guarantee.
Sofa beds come
with a 14cmdeep open
sprung, pocket
sprung or
memory foam
mattress.
Readers get a
further five per
cent off all
discounts with
reductions of up
to 35 per cent.
Prices start at
£954 and £1,121
for the Downton
sofa/sofa bed,
below. Order on
0845 163 3120
(quote ES21115)
or visit willow
andhall.co.uk/
bnews and use
the code at the
checkout before
January 21.
THE contemporary-chic Tretton
dining set from my-furniture.co.uk
includes an oval table with quality
solid oak legs and a white lacquered
finish, plus four matching white
Eames-inspired chairs.
The table measures H75cm x
W90cm x L160cm*. The chairs are
also available in a range of colours
including red, blue, green, purple and
black, while the table comes in both
the oval design pictured here, and a
round style. Readers are offered a
£30 discount, reducing the oval table
and four chairs from £399 to £369. To
claim, call 0800 092 1636 and use
code MFTR30 before January 31. See
the range at my-furniture.co.uk.
*Offer valid for white lacquered
oval table and four chairs in white
finish only.
Bargain news
Hall storage and
seating — in one
TRANSFORM your hallway with a
truly stunning addition and benefit
from The Cotswold Company’s
January sale offer of up to 30 per cent
off all wooden furniture until the end
of the month.
The Lyon Oak Monks Storage
Bench, left, boasts an appealing
rustic character with two deep
drawers for outdoor shoes and boots,
and a generous seating area.
Made from solid oak, the highwaxed and lightly distressed finish
will perfectly show off the natural
beauty of the wood.
The Lyon is currently reduced from
£425 to just £325, but readers can save
a further £20 on any orders over
£200. Visit cotswoldco.com or call
0333 200 1725 to order, using code
BENCH4, before January 31.
Price of
quality
kitchen
knives
slashed
CHOP, dice and slice like a
professional chef thanks to the
Jean-Patrique knife set, currently
reduced from £89.99 to just £34.99.
Each knife is forged and stone
ground to give you balance and
handling, and made using the finest
carbon stainless steel to offer
strength, durability and exceptional
sharpness. Visit oneregentplace.
co.uk to redeem your offer before
January 12. While stocks last.
O The companies listed here are wholly independent of the Evening Standard. Care is taken to establish that they are bona fide but we recommend that you carry out your own checks prior to purchases and use a credit card
where possible. To offer feedback on any of these companies, email [email protected] with “Bargain News” in the subject line. For more bargains, visit alisonathome.com or homesandproperty.co.uk/offers.
19
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Events Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
1
2
3
4
5
Five things to see this new year
By Barbara Chandler
1 WINTER DECORATIVE ANTIQUES
& TEXTILES FAIR
January 20 to 25. Battersea Park, SW11
(decorativefair.com)
CHALET chic is the theme of this
popular show featuring mini room
sets, with an “Alpine Retreat” in
the foyer, plus antler furniture,
hunting trophies (we like this
carved Black Forest bear, above),
period rugs, and French and
Swedish antiques. There are also
antique skis revitalised as lamps.
In all, 145 dealers are taking part.
Prices start at £15, and there’s a
free shuttle from Sloane Square
Tube station.
2 THEN AND NOW
Until January 23. Celebrating 50 years
of the London College of Furniture,
Commercial Road, E1 (thecass.com/
london-college-of-furniture)
THE East End was home for years
to the furniture industry, and at its
heart was — and is — the London
College of Furniture. Browse the
archives and see Parker Knoll
founder Frederick Parker’s
collection of chairs, along with the
work of college alumni, students
and lecturers from 1964 to 1992,
and the work of modern maestros,
including the iconic Venturi Stool
by Assa Ashuach, above.
3 PATTERN: WATTS’S ARCHITECT
WALLPAPERS
4 HEAL’S MODERN CRAFT
MARKET
5 THE MAYFAIR ANTIQUES
& FINE ART FAIR
Until January 18. Fashion and Textile
Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1
(ftmlondon.org; watts1874.co.uk)
February 2-15. The Heal’s Building, 196
Tottenham Court Road, W1 (heals.co.uk)
Tomorrow until Sunday. London
Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, W1
(adfl.co.uk)
THIS exhibition charts the rise,
from 1874, of Watts of Westminster,
now in Design Centre Chelsea
Harbour, SW6. The architects of the
title are George Frederick Bodley
(1827-1907, Gothic revival), George
Gilbert Scott, or “Middle Scott”
(1839-97) and Thomas Garner (18391906) — all trained by Middle Scott’s
father, Sir George Gilbert Scott
(1811–1878). Tickets: £8.80 adults;
£5.50 students; £6.60 concessions.
HERE’S one for the diary. Eclectic
collectables from an avant-garde
bunch of designers, and free
workshops using new materials
and processes. The stars are six
furniture designers who will take
part in Heal’s Great Bodging Race,
competing in the store’s front
window to create several pieces in
a week. Bodging, incidentally, is an
old term describing the use of
unseasoned “green” wood to
make, typically, Windsor chairs.
IN THE ballroom and foyer of this
West End venue will be a clutch of
specialists from the British Antique
Dealers’ Association and The
Association of Art & Antiques
Dealers. Browsers will include
interior designers, shopping for
clients. Marvel at fine English
furniture, Regency porcelain and
classics like this Fifties glass and
brass English clock, above, £950
from Jeroen Markies Art Deco.
20
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Our home
homesandproperty
A BOLD STROKE
OF GENIUS
Ben and Jane Kilburn took a dingy Dalston
house split into flats and turned it into a
bright family home packed with clever
design ideas, says Philippa Stockley
Y
OU just can’t prepare for
everything, as architect Ben
Kilburn and his wife Jane
found when they started looking in 2011 for a new house
near their old one in Dalston.
Ben, 49, and Jane, 47, a solicitor, began
to outgrow their home of 10 years when
first Tess, now 12, then Billie, 10, and
Esme, seven, arrived. After 10 months
of being shown unsuitable properties
they were totally fed up, when an agent
said he’d got a house he knew they
wouldn’t like, because it was divided into
three flats. “We jumped out of our seats,”
says Ben. “It was that moment when
your eyes meet across a crowded room
and you fall in love.”
A project like this is catnip to an architect, so on a gloomy November day the
couple went to view the big, four-storey,
1870s semi-detached house. It was dark,
dirty, battered from tenants’ bikes — and
a wall went slap up the middle of the
collapsing staircase, dividing the flats.
Apart from two Carrara marble fireplaces, all original features had been
ripped out or covered over, and there
were what Ben calls “significant” cracks,
both in the side and spine walls.
However, since a good architect and a
good builder can fix pretty much anything, the couple made an offer well
below the £850,000 asking price — only
to discover they hadn’t seen the worst
of it. The side wall was bellying out at
third- and fourth-floor level, and when
they brought in a structural surveyor to
work out why, they found a catalogue of
horrors. First, the old slate roof tiles had
been replaced by heavy concrete ones
that were pressing down on the house,
Restoration
drama: Ben and
Jane Kilburn with
daughters Billie,
Esme and Tess.
Right, the family’s
bright, light-filled
home library
causing the joists to pop out of their
sockets. Then, the person who converted
the house to flats had hacked through
the timber structural bracing to the
upper floors — so if not for the place next
door propping it up like a tottering
drunkard, the house might have fallen
down.
THE RISK PAID OFF
Feeling confident no one else would be
rushing to buy, and having been quoted
£50,000 to mend the “pregnant” wall,
the couple reduced their offer further.
To their shock, the owner put the house
into a December auction.
At this point lots of people would have
thrown in the towel, but not the Kilburns. Ben was out of town, so Jane went
to the auction alone. “You can track bids
on your phone,” says Ben, “but you
don’t know who is bidding.”
Having agreed that their max was
£800,000, he then watched the bids zip
Features: original marble fireplace and new moulded cornices
up to that mark. Then they started rising
in £1,000 increments. “It went to
£800,000, £801, £802, £803,” he says.
“Then it stopped.” Dismayed, he thought
they had lost it by a hair, when, 10 minutes later, Jane rang to say they’d got it.
Next, just before the Christmas break,
the couple were told they wouldn’t be
able to transport their mortgage from
the old house to the new one until the
bulging wall had been rebuilt, inspected,
and passed. They got that done by April
— and their mortgage was moved.
A
HAPPY ending? Not quite.
Before going to auction, Ben
had done the right thing and
checked with the planners
whether he could convert
the house back to a single dwelling from
the three flats. He was told it was no
problem. But between that phone call
and putting in their planning application, Hackney council changed its policy.
Replica: the replacement staircase has a lovely oak handrail
“Our hearts stopped,” says Ben. “We
were sitting on a half-derelict investment, and the tenants had left, so there
wasn’t even an income.” Luckily, their
application went to planning committee
— a bit like an appeal court — where it
went through without a hitch. From that
moment their luck changed. Between
May 2012 and May 2013 they were able
to rent a nearby flat and start the massive
building programme.
TIME TO STRIP
They had already taken off the roof and
rebuilt it, and rebuilt half the top of the
house. Now they stripped out all the
rotten wiring and plumbing, ripped out
the floorboards on the two lower floors,
along with the windows, demolished the
false ceilings, and took out the staircase.
“Bit by bit, we got pretty close to taking
the whole house down and rebuilding
it,” says Ben.
Welsh slates went up on the roof, plus
photovoltaic and solar panels. They
insulated the roof, the walls and the
floors. They replaced rotten floorboards
with good, similar Victorian reclaimed
ones; had the windows remade as timber
double-glazed sashes; put in underfloor
heating, new wiring, and plumbing for
extra bathrooms; had new cornices
moulded, and a replica staircase made
Universal appeal: cool colours and clean lines, a world away from those dingy flats
21
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Our home Homes & Property
y.co.uk with
Welcoming: the spacious kitchen, part of the reworked house’s award-winning mix
Brought back to life: reclaimed Victorian floorboards and new double-glazed sashes
with a gorgeous oak handrail. Slowly the
house came back to life as an open, welcoming and sustainable family home
with wonderfully high ceilings.
A stroke of genius was to connect the
spacious lower-ground to the raised
ground floor by means of an existing
small, two-storey extension. They
removed the floor in it, creating a sort
of large glazed chimney looking out to
the garden, and it holds their library. You
can call — and see — up or down between
these two floors, so everyone feels connected, wherever they are.
Looking now at this beautiful, serene
house, which won the Architects’ Journal
small projects sustainability award 2013,
you would never guess the transformation that went on here.
THE DETAILS
O House in 2011: cost £803,000
O Money spent: £400,000 (excluding
architect’s fees, estimated at about 15
Rear view: extension on to the garden
Space-saving stairs: to the attic playroom
per cent, in this case £60,000. Prices
vary, so agree them when hiring your
architect)
O Value now: estimated at £2 million
O Architect: Ben Kilburn
(kilburnnightingale.com)
O Builder: Padraig Flanelly at Moy
Homes (07976 362665)
O Interior design advice: from Kate
Hinckley ([email protected])
Photographs:: Charles Hosea
24
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Outdoors
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Giraffe sunflowers
and other surprises
solution, which offers the same benefits,
comes from growing climbers — just
check the brickwork is sound first.”
At a time when a third of UK homes have
traded plants for parking spaces, and
more people have paved patios than
trees in their back gardens, we gardeners have a real responsibility to help
lessen the increased risk of flooding.
The new 10-part series of Great British
Garden Revival, starting this week on
BBC2, is designed to pull us away from
paving and back into planted gardens,
with 11 presenters championing their
personal faves from cherry blossom to
peonies and even, from brave Christine
Walkden and Carol Klein respectively,
carnations and conifers. There is also
an increasing demand for Britishgrown plants, and Londoners will be
able to source special plants from outof-town nurseries at Grow London’s
three-day garden event in June on
Hampstead Heath, as well as the Secret
Sunday farmers’ markets at the Royal
Horticultural Halls.
With truffle trees and pure white wild strawberries, we’ve
got a sensational gardening year to look forward to
W
HAT’S hot for 2015? The
plot-to-plate link grows
ever stronger. Truffle
trees from Seeds of
Italy, £60 a pair, prefer
free-draining soil, so start digging over
the clay for fragrant shavings in years
to come.
The focus is on novel veg varieties this
year, such as the sweeter-than-sugar
liquorice plant, mustard from seed
bred by Colman’s and white wild strawberries to grow in a window box. These
seeds are all from botanist James
Wong’s Homegrown Revolution range
for Suttons, which is championing the
world’s first fully blight-resistant
( !&
&("
#
) $&-%+
,&%, *& $'$#%+
Pattie
Barron
tomato, the very welcome Crimson
Crush. Suttons also celebrates the sunflower with 14 new varieties that
include possibly the world’s tallest,
Giraffe, purported to reach 15ft, as well
as one that might be more relevant to
small-space Londoners, the Suntastic
Yellow, a mere babe at one foot tops.
Highlights at the Chelsea Flower Show
this summer include Dan Pearson’s
return after a 10-year absence with a
garden for Laurent-Perrier that is
inspired by the Chatsworth Estate; Jo
Thompson’s sylvan retreat with natural
swimming pool and writing room for
M&G Investments, and Matthew Wilson’s town garden for the Royal Bank of
Canada. This self-sustaining plot has its
own reservoir for watering plants, a
“floating” deck, pomegranate trees and
a boundary hedge of guava, which
Wilson assures will produce delicious
edible flowers, if not fruit, in our
favoured urban microclimate.
Chelsea Fringe will stretch the London flower show to a full three weeks
and is going global for 2015, with hubs
Skyscraper: sow the Giraffe sunflower for 15ft-high blooms
The RHS is investing a whopping £100
million in the future of horticulture over
the next 10 years, which includes a new
centre of excellence at Wisley and the
UK’s largest pollinator-friendly perennial meadow at Hyde Hall in Essex,
where designer Xa Tollemache will
create an inspirational garden with
edibles of the future, including chickpeas, lima beans, yams and tomatillos.
If that lot doesn’t get your horticultural
juices flowing, visit the newly completed Winter Walk at Wisley this weekend, and see scarlet stems, silvered bark
and sculptural trees reflected in the
ornamental lake, as well as a vibrant
berry bed, scented daphnes and winterflowering iris. Just a few weeks later,
these will be followed by the spectacular
flowering of over 100,000 crocuses on
the main lawn that are guaranteed to
see in spring, sensationally.
confirmed in Vienna and Slovenia
while director Tim Richardson is in
negotations with Milan, Melbourne and
Miami. If you have a flowery event to
share closer to home, sign up at
chelseafringe.com.
Scented shrubs: get inspired by the
Winter Walk at RHS Wisley
We’re finally getting the message that
plant diversity in our gardens is what
best brings in the wildlife, so expect to
see a shift towards shrubs, trees and
climbers, which provide a full range of
habitats and feeding stations. Green
walls are another way to create refuge
for wildlife, but note the scientific conclusion of the RHS boffins: “Green walls
often require special engineered structures and planting pockets for the plants
to grow. A much easier and cheaper
Small and sweet: white wild strawberries taste of pineapple
and their lack of colour makes them invisible to birds
Buy it: RHS Dahlia Collection
THE showy flowerheads of
these cottage garden
favourites will put on a
fabulous display, blooming
prolifically from
midsummer, especially
when deadheaded regularly.
They last well as cut flowers.
The RHS is offering three of
each of the following,
supplied as tubers, for £9.99:
Dahlia Ambition, right, with
vivid magenta semi-cactus
flowers up to 15cm across,
grows to 90cm; Dahlia Rip
City, left, which has fully
double flowerheads of deep
purplish-red, grows to 1.1m,
and Dahlia Jescot Julie, right,
with burnt orange and rich
plum petals on each
flowerhead, grows to 75cm.
The nine-strong collection
costs £19.98, saving £10 on
the usual price, but Homes &
Property readers can save a
further 15 per cent by
entering 310115 at the
checkout at rhsplants.co.uk
before the end of January 27.
25
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Home gadgets Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Take
Ta
ke
e it
it with
wi
w h you
you
yo
The latest compact
essential gadgets are
perfect for London
homes and for renters
moving on, discovers
Caramel Quin
1
2
3
4
5
1 STELLAR EAZISTORE PANS
2 JUDGE JEA11 INDUCTION HOB
3 ASUS S1 POCKET PROJECTOR
4 AMAZON KINDLE VOYAGE
5 BOWERS & WILKINS T7
Kitchen cupboards cramped? These
mirror-polished stainless steel pans
are designed to nest inside each
other. The three-piece set pictured
(£99.95) includes 16cm, 18cm and
20cm saucepans with glass lids, all
dishwasher safe and ovenproof.
The Eazistore range also includes a
two-piece stockpot set (£99.95, 22cm
and 24cm) and a non-stick frying pan
set (£69.95, 20cm and 26cm). Visit
hartsofstur.com.
Perfect for miniature kitchens, this
single hob, £49.95, simply plugs into
a mains socket. Induction cooking is
very energy-efficient, safe, accurate
to control and easy to clean. But
note that it only works with pans
that can be magnetised — so to check
yours, see if a fridge magnet will
stick to the bottom of the pan. Touch
controls let you set the desired
temperature from 60C to 240C. Visit
coopersdirect.com.
Many Londoners no longer bother
with a TV, preferring to watch DVDs
and streaming services such as Netflix
and Sky Go on a laptop or tablet. It’s
a clever way to save space... but far
from ideal when it comes to movie
night or the big match. So plug your
device into the paperback-size Asus
S1 pocket projector, £299.99, point it
at a white wall and turn off the lights.
You’ll get the big picture you’ve been
missing. Visit maplin.co.uk.
No room for bookshelves? A Kindle
takes the place of 1,000 books. The
Kindle Voyage, from £169, is only
7.6mm thick, so ideal for commuters,
and has the best display yet, but
whichever model you choose, your
Kindle can access more than
three million books, newspapers and
magazines. There’s even a Kindle
First service giving access to new
releases a month before publication.
Visit amazon.co.uk/kindle.
This portable wireless speaker is a
first from Bowers & Wilkins, a UK
brand famous for high-end hi-fi
kit of the sort found at Abbey Road
Studios. Stream music from your
phone, tablet or laptop using
Bluetooth, or plug in the output from
a TV. Priced £299.99, T7 is the size of
a hardback book, so you’ll get hi-fi
quality sound yet save on space. With
18 hours of battery life it is also highly
portable. Visit bowers-wilkins.com.
27
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Shopping Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
T
HERE is no better
time than now to find
designer bargains online
and in the shops — with
some prices slashed by
more than half.
2
1
1 ARAM Until January 31.
Drop chair by Arne Jacobsen for
Fritz Hansen in a range of colours,
down from £349 to £174.30.
Aram Store, Drury Lane, Covent
Garden, WC2 (aram.co.uk)
2 SCP Until stocks run out.
Elmer sofa by Lucy Kurrein, down
from £3,500 to £2,275.
SCP, Curtain Road, EC2
(scp.co.uk)
3 CONRAN Until February 2.
The beautifully made Rio Copa glass
pendant light by Michael Ruh is
reduced from £440 to £352.
The Conran Shop, in Fulham Road,
SW3 and Marylebone High Street, W1
(conranshop.co.uk)
3
4 CLARISSA HULSE Until
4
January 29.
Virginia Creeper cushion in Neon
and Pebble, less than half price at
£22, down from £55.
Clarissa Hulse, Corsica Street, N5.
(clarissahulse.com)
5 FUTURE AND FOUND Until stocks
run out.
Small triangles vase, down from
£16 to £11.20.
5
By Katie Law
Design
Desig
ign ne
ig
new
news
ews
ews
Future and Found, Brecknock Road,
N19 (futureandfound.com)
at the sales
6 DESIGNJUNCTION SHOP
Until January 16.
The Victoria and Albert sofa is half
price, down from £9,660 to £4,830.
Thedesignjunction.co.uk
7 ARIA Until January 25.
Jielde table lamp, also available
in blue or white, down from £220
to £154.
Aria, Barnsbury Hall, Barnsbury
Street, Islington, N1 (ariashop.co.uk)
8 CLIPPINGS Online until January 11.
Tall Boulder display unit by Coucou
Manou, down from £1,595 to
£1,116.50.
Clippings.com
6
7
8
28
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Property searching
Spotlight
Marylebone
Urban village
with that
Euro-vibe
A central London favourite, locals
love their Continental-style high
street and smart apartments,
discovers Anthea Masey
homesandproperty.co.uk with
H
OT celebrity haunt Chiltern
Firehouse isn’t the only
big blaze of excitement in
Marylebone — the madeover high street is a firm
favourite with shoppers from all over
London and abroad. So when André
Balazs opened his restaurant and hotel
in the magnificent red-brick former
Edwardian fire station in Chiltern
Street, he just knew he was about to be
coated in the fairy dust that has been
falling on the district for a decade.
With Michelin-star chef Nuno Mendes
at the helm, the Firehouse is so successful that everyone, it seems, wants to use
the Chiltern brand. In nearby Paddington Street are two new homes schemes
— Chiltern Place, a 12-storey office block
conversion into 50 flats, and The Chilterns, 44 new-build apartments with
prices from £4 million for a two-bedroom home. Developer Galliard Homes
expects to achieve a record £3,500 a
square foot for penthouses at The Chilterns, while star couple Brad Pitt and
Angelina Jolie were reported recently
to have viewed a five-bedroom duplex
penthouse there at £25 million.
SHOPPING-LED BOOM
The Portman Estate, Chiltern Street’s
landlord, came late to the game of
retail-led regeneration pioneered by
Howard de Walden Estates in nearby
Marylebone High Street, but has caught
up with its rival, curating a mix of shops
that works a treat.
Howard de Walden’s genius idea was
to take the run-down high street and
create a retail boom by playing down
the predictable and supporting innovative independent retailers to set up
shop there. Over the festive period,
as the dusk falls and the fairy lights
sparkle, Marylebone High Street does
a roaring trade. Sadly though, it has
become a victim of its own success with
many of the independent stores gone,
replaced by upmarket chains. Round
the corner in Chiltern Street, however,
there is a charming mix of independent
boutiques, a whisky shop, a woodwind
instrument specialist and an old-fashioned hardware store.
Some long-standing residents of the
red-brick tenements in and around
Chiltern Street claim paparazzi who
haunt the outside of Chiltern Firehouse
in the hope of spotting a celebrity are
an annoyance. But away from any
unwanted attention their street might
attract, Marylebone is a peaceful
residential district with lovely period
garden squares, mews homes, side
streets of useful local shops and cafés
and the feel of a European city where
most people live in flats, walk to work
and shop locally.
Day and night:
Coco Momo is
among a range of
popular cafés
and bars in
Marylebone
High Street
serving the
lunchtime and
after-work
crowds
Photographs:
Graham
Hussey
WHAT THERE IS TO BUY
Marylebone has a mix of properties
from Georgian and early Victorian
houses and quiet mews, to Victorian,
Edwardian, interwar and modern flats,
along with homes above commercial
premises.
However, it is easier to buy a flat there
than a whole house — figures from the
Homes & Property website show eight
times more flats than houses are currently for sale in Marylebone.
The most expensive houses recently
for sale have included a newly renovated 4,291sq ft property in Welbeck
Street, with five bedrooms and bathrooms, at £7.55 million, while the
cheapest have included an unmodernised mews home with development
potential in Devonshire Place Mews,
for £1.65 million.
Flats range in price from around
£375,000 for a lock-up-and-leave studio
to figures in the millions. A 349sq ft
studio in Forest Court, Edgware Road,
has been marketed for £375,000, with
a one-bedroom flat in Cranfield Court,
Homer Street priced at £600,000.
Asking prices for family-size flats and
maisonettes in Marylebone are now
approaching £3,000 a square foot. A
four-bedroom, four-storey, 3,971sq ft
maisonette in Wimpole Street with a
roof terrace is valued at over £2,700 a
square foot. However, as a general rule
price per square foot in Marylebone is
between £1,500 and £2,000, with
slightly more being asked in the medical district around Harley Street and
Wimpole Street.
The area attracts: estate agent Tim
Fairweather, of Sandfords, says Marylebone is a long-standing favourite with
high-earning doctors. The central London location and village atmosphere
also draw buyers from overseas, who
see property in Marylebone as a longterm investment.
Renting: one-bedroom flats rent from
about £300 a week to £1,000 a week.
Recent lets include a one-bedroom flat
in Homer Street with a communal roof
terrace for £325 a week, with another,
in Nottingham Place, at £975 a week. It
is possible to rent directly from the Portman Estate and Howard de Walden
Estates.
Recent Portman Estate rental properties range from a studio in Manchester
Street for £330 a week to a two-bedroom
flat in Bryanston Square for £1,350 a
week. Howard de Walden rental homes
have recently included a two-bedroom
Ossington Buildings flat at £565 a week
to £1,595 a week for a four-bedroom
house in Wigmore Place.
To find a home in Marylebone, visit: homesandproperty.co.uk/marylebone
£3.95 MILLION
£10.95 MILLION
£1.95 MILLION
A FIVE-BEDROOM family house in
Seymour Place, Marylebone, for sale
through Hanover Residential.
O homesandproperty.co.uk/sey
THIS listed four-bedroom maisonette with a private
lift and secluded roof terrace is for sale in Wimpole
Street, Marylebone. Through Knight Frank.
O homesandproperty.co.uk/wimpole
A FREEHOLD two-bedroom mews house with an
integral garage in Devonshire Close,
Marylebone, is for sale through Sandfords.
O homesandproperty.co.uk/devmews
29
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
Property searching Homes & Property
homesandproperty.co.uk with
CHECK THE STATS
■WHAT HOMES COST
BUYING IN MARYLEBONE
(Average prices)
One-bedroom flat £799,000
Two-bedroom flat £1.51 million
Three-bedroom flat £2.24 million
Four-bedroom flat £4.14 million
Source: Zoopla
RENTING IN MARYLEBONE
(Average rates)
One-bedroom flat £2,784 a month
Two-bedroom flat £3,843 a month
Three-bedroom flat £5,764 a month
Four-bedroom flat £6,705 a month
Source: Zoopla
GO ONLINE FOR MORE
Among specialist stores: La Fromagerie cheese shop and café in Moxon Street
Homewares, books and fashion:
Marylebone High Street has got the lot
Postcode: Marylebone is in W1, which
covers a large part of central London
including Mayfair, Soho and Fitzrovia.
Best roads: these include Harley
Street, Devonshire Place and Wimpole
Street in the medical district, and the
garden squares — Bryanston Square
and Montagu Square. Sandfords’ Tim
Fairweather also reports strong
Celebrity
magnet: Chiltern
Firehouse hotel
and restaurant,
launched in
February last
year in Chiltern
Street by
American
hotelier André
Balazs
demand for Marylebone’s cobbled
mews, while his personal favourite is
Portland Place, home of the BBC,
which he describes as “a really lovely
boulevard”.
Up and coming: Fairweather tips
nearby Fitzrovia, saying the roads
around Charlotte Street have not yet
been discovered by international
buyers.
Also undervalued is the area north of
Marylebone Road around Dorset
Square and Lisson Grove. A development at 53/55 Lisson Grove has five
new-build apartments, of which one,
a three-bedroom home, was recently
marketed at £895,000, or £973 a
square foot — which is considerably
cheaper than similar properties south
of Marylebone Road.
Travel: four London Underground
stations serve the Marylebone area —
Oxford Street, on the Central, Victoria
and Bakerloo lines; Marble Arch, on the
Central line; Great Portland Street, on
the Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith & City lines, and Baker Street,
which is on the same three lines as Great
Portland Street and additionally on the
Jubilee line. All of these Tube stations
are in Zone 1 and an annual travel card
costs £1,256.
Council: Westminster City Council is
Conservative-controlled, and Band D
council tax for the current year stands
at £676.74.
@CarolineGardn our new shop at
17 Marylebone High Street is proving
very popular with the locals
HAVE YOUR SAY
MARYLEBONE
@CarterJonas great dining in
#Marylebone @35newcavendish
next to our office, fusion food
@theprovidores & fab cocktails
@themarylebone
@presideonline our favourite place
in Marylebone is Caffe Caldesi.
A bar/restaurant in the Italian
tradition. Best place to sink a red
wine
@LoreleiKing fab place to live. For
eateries, recommend The Golden
Hind @BakerStreetQ
@EatMoveBloom @PortmanVillage
is an area to rival the High Street and
Chiltern Street #boutique #chic
For more about Marylebone, visit homesandproperty.co.uk/spotlightmarylebone
F
O The best schools in and around
Marylebone
O The lowdown on the best shops
and restaurants
O The latest housing developments
O How Marylebone compares with
the rest of the UK on house prices
O Arts, leisure facilities and open
space in the neighbourhood,
including a choice of two
fabulous Royal Parks
O Smart maps to plot your
property search
NEXT TIME: Balham. Do you
live there? Tell us what you
think @HomesProperty
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
We know the man — but what is his
jacket’s connection with Marylebone?
Find the answer at
homesandproperty.co.uk/spotlightmarylebone
30
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property New homes
Stella was the trendsetter
COLOURFUL, cosmopolitan and
slightly scruffy, the northern stretch
of Portobello Road beyond Westway
flyover has been winning new fans
since designer Stella McCartney set up
her fashion atelier in a former chapel
in Golborne Road, heralding the
neighbourhood’s “arrival”.
Prices lag nearby Notting Hill by 40
per cent or more. A former councilrun rehab centre, 321 Portobello
Road now offers ultra-modern
homes, below, by local developer
Cubic Studios. Behind the refurbished
traditional shopfront is a three-floor
new build, with daring interiors of
raw concrete and polished plaster,
reclaimed planks, galvanised steel,
industrial-style shutters and oversize
copper pipes that act as radiators. An
internal courtyard has a “living wall”,
and furniture, art and accessories by
local designers are for sale separately.
Prices from £1.2 million. Call estate
agent Domus Nova on 020 7727 1717.
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Smart moves
By David Spittles
From
£1.5 million: chic
apartments, left,
in Hollen Street,
Soho, include
duplex
penthouses with
glass walls and
roof terraces,
right
It’s Soho respectable
S
OHO is lurching upmarket as
it jettisons its sex-and-sleaze
image and attracts movers
from “respectable” near
neighbourhoods such as
Mayfair and Bloomsbury. New
Crossrail stations being built are
providing another area boost.
Bankers, business executives and
the idle rich are moving in, and the
district is in danger of becoming
sanitised. However, the new homes
are far superior to the dingy and
cramped flats of yesteryear. A new
development at Hollen Street brings
12 chic apartments to a prominent
corner. Light-filled interiors are slick
and contemporary, designed by
architects Johnson Naylor and
Darling Associates. Glass-walled
duplex penthouses have fabulous
roof terraces, while the discreet
entrance has a marble-lined lobby
with a specially commissioned
sculpture by British artist Charlotte
Kingsnorth.
Prices from £1.5 million. Call Knight
Frank on 020 7861 5499.
31
EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015
homesandproperty.co.uk with
New homes Homes & Property
DUAL BONUS LOW STAMP DUTY, PLUS CROSSRAIL
PROPERTY values in West
Drayton, a potential
Crossrail winner, are at the
lower end of the London
price spectrum, meaning
first-time buyers can
benefit from the new
stamp duty changes.
Two-bedroom flats, left,
launched by Bellway at
Drayton Garden Village,
a new neighbourhood of
775 homes where there will
be an upgraded pedestrian
route to the planned
Crossrail station opening
in 2018, cost from
£284,995, requiring stamp
duty of £4,249. Previously,
the stamp duty was £8,549.
Call 0845 676 0252.
Traditionally, West
Drayton appealed mainly
to people working at
Heathrow airport or at one
of the local business parks.
But Crossrail is widening
its draw with the prospect
of trains taking only 23
minutes to Bond Street.
Pair of eco-pads
in Peckham
Visit our new online luxury section
HomesAndProperty.co.uk/luxury
TWO stylish eco-friendly townhouses,
left, set in a Peckham backstreet close
to Queens Road Overground station at
Albert Way, spring a surprise.
Resourcefully squeezed on to a
small plot, each of the semis, by Quay
2c Architects, has 1,415sq ft of space
over three floors, with up to four
bedrooms, terrace and roof garden.
Priced £825,000. Call estate agent
Caddington Blue on 020 7117 6985.
This fast-changing district has been
boosted by conservation status for the
town centre. Up to 50 buildings in Rye
Lane are benefiting from Heritage
Lottery funding aimed at restoring the
high street’s architectural fabric and
bringing back vacant and derelict
space above shops for housing.
32
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Inside story
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Doggedly determined to sign up new tenants
MONDAY
Finding someone their dream home is
the reason many of us become estate
agents. Today a buyer who put in an
offer on an off-market property on the
border of Bayswater before the weekend, rings into our Notting Hill Gate
office to up the original offer, in order
to secure their perfect home. And so
begins my week…
TUESDAY
I am greeted with an early morning call
from a vendor who has decided to pull
out of a sale agreed with a young family
expecting their second child. The poor
family were due to move into their new
home in the next few weeks. It is not
surprising that they are extremely
unhappy with the news, so I spend the
rest of the morning searching our
listings and arrange for them to view
some more places in Notting Hill this
afternoon.
After seeing several properties, the
young couple fall in love with a beautiful family home in Holland Park Mews,
W11 and I am confident they will put in
an offer.
WEDNESDAY
Today we meet with our planners and
finalise the designs for our relocated
Notting Hill office, in Kensington Park
Road. We plan to move away from the
traditional Mountgrange Heritage
brand colours, and decide to go for
use this opportunity to update each
other on our progress, discuss current
and new instructions, and afterwards
make time for a drink or two in the pub
next door.
The sales team did a lot of valuations
on properties before Christmas, but
vendors, sensitive to the latest stamp
duty changes, were cautious about
putting their properties up for sale
immediately.
However, we are now getting
instructed to start marketing, which
suggests business is really starting to
pick up again now we are at the beginning of 2015.
Diary of
an estate
agent
blacks and greys to blend in with the cool
vibe of the local area and boutiques along
the street. To accommodate our growing
lettings and sales teams we decide to
build a wide, open staircase and extend
the office by including the basement to
create extra space. I leave the meeting
feeling excited about the structural developments at our new base.
My colleague Hen, who heads up our
lettings team, is about to take her
miniature wired-haired dachshund,
Peggy, for a walk, when we get a call
from a prospective landlord. He is keen
to meet up with Hen this afternoon for
a valuation.
The landlord happens to be an animal
lover and insists that Hen calls round
with Peggy. He is interested to know
more about our Pet-Friendly Lets
scheme. Hen outlines the positives of
considering tenants with pets, one of
which is not missing out on a growing
part of the London lettings market, and
the landlord — who takes a shine to
Peggy — agrees to instruct Mountgrange
Heritage and offer the pet-friendly
scheme.
FRIDAY
THURSDAY
This morning I am showing a potential
applicant round one of our short-let
apartments. It is currently occupied by
an actor who is said to be away,
rumoured to be filming a Hollywood
blockbuster. I arrive at the property
and press the intercom which is
answered by the actor in a flustered
voice, informing me that he is in the
shower and will be right down. To my
surprise, 10 minutes later he appears
at the door in his underwear — with his
hair perfectly coiffed. I assume he is
getting into character for his latest starring role, although my client does not
seem keen to linger and find out.
Next stop is the monthly sales meeting where negotiators from all the
Mountgrange branches meet up. We
The expectant family ring me to say
they would like to put in an offer on the
mews house, and I spend the morning
negotiating a deal with the vendor.
Then I set off on some more viewings
and receive my second offer this week
for a striking and extraordinary
townhouse in the sought-after area of
Holland Park.
This property has had a lot of interest
so I am not surprised that it has been
snapped up so fast by this particular
buyer. Great news — marking a good
end to a successful week.
O Sam Allport is associate director
of sales at Mountgrange Heritage
in Notting Hill and Bayswater
(020 7221 2277).
34
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Ask the expert
homesandproperty.co.uk with
How do I check if my tenants are illegals?
Q
Q
A
Fiona
McNulty
WHAT’S
YOUR
PROBLEM?
IF YOU have a
question for
Fiona McNulty,
please email
[email protected]
standard.co.uk
or write to Legal
Solutions, Homes
& Property,
London Evening
Standard, 2 Derry
Street, W8 5EE.
We regret that
questions cannot
be answered
individually but
we will try to
feature them
here.
OUR LAWYER ANSWERS
YOUR QUESTIONS
I HAVE let properties for
years but last night in the
pub I was told that under
a new law I could be fined
heavily if any of my tenants turn
out to be illegal immigrants. It’s
news to me. What is the correct
situation please?
A
THE Immigration Act 2014
requires landlords of
residential premises to check
the immigration status of
prospective tenants to ensure they
have permission to be in the UK.
Since December 1 last year, “right to
rent” checks are being piloted in
Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell,
Dudley and Wolverhampton in the
West Midlands, but the intention is to
introduce the scheme throughout
Britain during the course of this year.
Right to rent rules require landlords
and letting agents in these areas to
check that someone has the right to
live in the UK before letting a
residential property to them. This
includes landlords who sublet
property or who take in lodgers, and
it applies to new tenancies which
started last December 1, or after that
date. To check a prospective tenant’s
identity or citizenship, the landlord
must see a passport or a biometric
residence permit which is an
acceptable form of identification.
Checks do not need to be carried
out in respect of tenancies created
before last December 1.
If a landlord lets a property to
someone who does not have the right
to rent, that landlord could be fined
up to £3,000.
Many landlords already check on
the creditworthiness and identity of
prospective tenants, but there are
also unscrupulous landlords who do
not, and who also let substandard or
illegal accommodation to
immigrants. The Act is intended to
prevent this practice.
More legal
Q&As
Visit: homesand
property.co.uk
A FEW weeks ago I exchanged contracts on a
house but I am not due to complete the
purchase until the end of this month. The
price is £475,000 and I am paying £10,000
for contents. My conveyancer has just said that it is up
to me whether to use the old rules or the new rules
regarding the payment of stamp duty, but has given
no further guidance. What should I do?
NEW rules for stamp duty were introduced on
December 4 and it appears you exchanged
contracts before that. Stamp duty used to be paid
at a single rate on the full purchase price of a
residential property — so had you bought before
December 4, you would have used the old rules and the
duty would have been calculated at three per cent of the
full purchase price of £475,000. This is because the
relevant band for stamp duty would have been three per
cent for a purchase price of over £250,00 to £500,000
and would have amounted to £14,250. Stamp duty would
not have been payable on the contents price of £10,000.
The new rates are: nought per cent up to £125,000 — so
nothing to pay; two per cent on £125,001 to £250,000, so
£2,500 to pay, and five per cent on £250,001 to £925,000,
so £11,250 to pay, making a total amount payable of
£13,750. Under the new rules, again, the contents price of
£10,000 would be disregarded for stamp duty.
As you exchanged contracts before the new rules came in
but are completing after that date, your conveyancer is
right, you can choose whether to use the old rules or the
new. You will save £500 if you choose the new rules.
O 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.
36
WEDNESDAY 7 JANUARY 2015 EVENING STANDARD
Homes & Property Letting on
homesandproperty.co.uk with
Smoking out the cat in my pet-free flat
A
RE you a renter and a
smoker? May I suggest you
make it your new year
resolution to quit the
coffin nails? Of course it’s
none of my business if you want to puff
your way to an early grave, so you
would be quite within your rights to
tell me to butt out. But giving up might
make your life easier when it comes to
finding somewhere to rent.
The majority of landlords don’t like
letting to smokers and since this is one
prejudice we are still allowed to
express, many of us openly advertise
for non-smokers and write a clause in
the tenancy agreement banning smoking in our properties.
I realise that this doesn’t necessarily
stop smokers from finding accommodation — you just don’t own up to the
habit, then light up as soon as the landlord is out of the way — but if you are
caught you could be chucked out.
You will probably have to resort to all
sorts of acrobatics to smoke without
getting busted, such as hanging out of
windows. Or you will have to spray the
place frantically with Febreeze before
the landlord pays a visit, but only a
smoker would think they can mask the
stink of cigarettes so easily.
Even if your landlord doesn’t mind
you smoking, you will probably have
to pay to fumigate the property when
The
accidental
landlord
you leave. I am seriously worried that
my tenants are going to kill themselves
smoking — and not in the obvious way.
As I have banned them from lighting
up inside the flat, they have taken to
smoking on top of it. They clamber out
of a window on to the flat roof every
time they want a fag. Not only is this
annoying the other residents in the
building, but they are also in danger of
falling through into the flat below.
When one of the other residents
called to alert me to the tenants’ antics
I wrote to warn them that it is not a roof
terrace, it isn’t intended for parties or
fag breaks, and it could give way under
their combined weight, but apparently
that hasn’t stopped the frequent illicit
puffing.
I thought a gentle warning face to face
might work better so I repeated during
a routine “property inspection” that
the roof was strictly out of bounds.
“But you don’t want us to smoke inside
the flat,” was their idiotic reaction, as
if I was obliged to provide somewhere
£750 a week: in Wenlock Street, Hoxton, Hamptons has this
smart, split-level one-bedroom flat, close to shops and the
Tube, available to rent (homesandproperty.co.uk/rentwen)
for them to light up, even though I had
made it clear when they viewed the flat
that smoking was prohibited.
I was about to persist in my argument
when I was distracted by the sight of a
ginger cat sitting on the sofa. This is a
smoke-free and pet-free property.
“Who does that belong to?” I asked.
They all looked sheepish, then one
announced it was a stray they had
taken in. “He’s not really ours,” she
said. “He’s a sort of flat-cat.”
Oh dear. As the creature seemed very
much at home and smiled at me I
£485 a week: this refurbished two-bedroom cottage in W5,
overlooking Ealing Common, is available to rent through
Hamptons. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/rentealing
agreed that Ginger could stay. But later,
as I was leaving, I bent down to stroke
“flat-cat” and he shied away, as if he
sensed I was the Cruella De Vil of cat
land. “Oh he’s just nervous,” volunteered one of the assembled company.
“At my old flat one of the tenants used
to torment. . .” She swallowed the end
of her sentence but flushed beetroot
red as she realised she had already
revealed he wasn’t flat-cat, he was her
cat. I sighed. “Just make sure he doesn’t
do any damage. And STOP SMOKING
ON THE ROOF — or he won’t be the
only thing that’s flat.”
O Victoria Whitlock lets three
properties in south London.
To contact Victoria with your ideas
and views, tweet @vicwhitlock
Find many more homes to rent at
homesandproperty.co.uk/lettings
PUTNEY
SW15
NOW OVER 60% SOLD
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