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  • Council pays rogue landlord £500,000 in housing benefit
    Bernard McGowan, who has £30m in property, received money from Brent despite being bannedA repeatedly convicted landlord, ruled unfit to rent out property in a north London borough in 2015, has since received more than £500,000 in housing benefit payments from the same council that banned him.The discovery that a ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-20
  • Buy perennials for summer colour now
    It’s a rare horticultural win-win: the best time to plant and the best time to buyIn January, frequently the coldest month of the year, planting up swathes of summer flowers can seem like a very distant dream. However, as they lie deep in their dormancy, now is (perhaps counterintuitively) the ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-20
  • Lenders cut mortgage rates to give a kick-start to 2019
    As Brexit takes its toll on the property market, there is some good news for borrowersFirst-time buyers and homeowners remortgaging their properties have been given some good news at the start of the year as a number of lenders have cut their rates in an increasingly competitive market.Last week HSBC ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-20
  • Council houses were once a glory of the public realm. Let’s return to those days | Rowan Moore
    It’s scandalous that local authorities are being forced to rent from private landlords the same properties they once owned… before right to buyBuild more council homes. Not so long ago, this idea was, although not new, radical. So thoroughly had Margaret Thatcher schooled the nation in the virtues of private ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-20
  • Late January, time to feed birds and burn branches
    More than anything it’s time to tidy up – and for that there’s one indispensable garden toolEdging towards the end of January, quiet gardening now. Time for bird feeders and fire. We spent Christmas at the beach hut. My mother-in-law is nearing 94, our weeks ever more precious together.I turn ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-20
  • Looms with a view: weavers give ancient craft a modern twist
    From spun metal to twisted horse hair, these four women are finding new platforms for an old craftFrom gallery spaces to Instagram, practitioners of the ancient craft of handweaving are finding new platforms for their work. This, coupled with a growing appreciation for all things handmade and an increasing awareness ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-19
  • The cabin in the woods: ‘When it rains, it’s loud but lovely’
    Created from sustainable sources by architect Piers Taylor, and parked in a Somerset valley, is a mobile home that’s both in and of the treesMobile home. It takes just two words to stir up the contradictions in British attitudes to that most basic of needs: where, and how, to live. ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-19
  • Could renting without huge deposits become the norm?
    Tenants are being offered schemes that do away with the need for large amounts upfront Scraping together a deposit on a new flat is always tough for tenants, with the average amount demanded now more than £1,400 in England and Wales. Would you rather pay an insurance fee of about ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-19
  • Let’s move to Somers Town: one of London’s best-kept secrets
    It’s ripe with history and character, from magnificent social housing to spooky churchesWhat’s going for it? We shan’t mention HS2 and the new Euston station (well, OK, just once more). But ’twas ever thus. Apart from a brief fancy period in the early 19th century when Charles Dickens and Mary ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-18
  • Italian town puts dozens of homes on market for as little as €1
    Officials in Sambuca, on Sicily, seek to revive depopulated town – but there’s a catchBritish house prices may be crashing, but you would still be hard-pressed to find a cheaper property than those on sale in one Sicilian town, where homes are going for as little as €1.Dozens of properties ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-17
  • Demand for credit cards and mortgages in UK falling fast, warns BofE
    High street bansk predict borrowing on cards will fall to lowest since 2007 with mortgages down to 2010 levelBorrowing on credit cards is expected to plunge to the lowest levels since 2007 in the three months before Brexit, according to the Bank of England, in the latest indication of stresses ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-17
  • UK house prices fall at fastest rate in six years on back of Brexit – Rics
    Outlook for sales the weakest in two decades, say Britain’s surveyorsThe looming threat of Brexit has dragged down the UK property market further, with prices falling at the fastest rate in six years and the outlook for sales the weakest in two decades, according to Britain’s surveyors.The Royal Institution of ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-16
  • Persimmon expects higher profits as help-to-buy props up prices
    Housebuilder is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the taxpayer-funded schemePersimmon has upgraded its profit forecast after building more homes and increasing its prices, with the support of the government’s help-to-buy scheme.Britain’s second-biggest housebuilder reported a 4% rise in revenues to £3.74bn in 2018, after completing 406 more homes than ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-15
  • Families facing homelessness after tycoon issues eviction notices
    Controversial landlord Fergus Wilson forces Kent householders to find new homesDozens of families are facing the risk of homelessness after receiving eviction notices from one of Britain’s biggest and most controversial buy-to-let tycoons.Fergus Wilson is giving 90 households in Ashford, Kent two months to get out after he decided to ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-14
  • Growing pains: how the climate crisis is changing British gardens
    Across Britain, gardeners are facing the challenges of an unstable climate: extreme weather, unpredictability and prospering pests – and trying a range of solutions to copeOn a dank day in January, a small slice of Walsall is blooming. Marie and Tony Newton’s back garden is filled with summery colour: miniature ... read more
    Source: GuardianPublished on 2019-01-14
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