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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 201

Date:- 15 May 2005

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How To Rescue A House

ARE you considering buying a derelict property to transform into your dream home? 

Are there any empty derelict properties in your street that have intriguing and mysterious backgrounds? 

If the answer is yes, then the BBC would like to hear from you. Thousands of derelict homes across the UK are proving to be a real blight on the local community. Living next door to a derelict property can decrease the value of your home by up to 10%. 

And yet there are people out there who would love the challenge of taking on a derelict property and turning it into their dream home. So what's stopping them?

Few buildings have immediately traceable owners. Lost Property, a new series for BBC Two, will trace the genealogy of derelict homes and uncover the problems that have led to their decline. The search could unearth a history of long running family feuds, legal wranglings, cash flow problems, or even murder! 

"It seems such a waste that there are properties that are just left to go to rack and ruin - especially at a time when people are desperate to get onto the property ladder. One solution to the current housing shortage has been to build new homes, yet there are currently thousands of homes across the UK that are sitting empty and derelict. We want to try and match these neglected properties with new owners who can restore them to their former glory"
says Rachel Innes-Lumsden, Executive Producer of the series. 

As well as tips on how to track down owners, Lost Property will be full of help and advice for people who want to buy and restore a derelict property. From financing to fencing, mortgages to mortise locks, the team will help make these blots on the landscape a thing of the past. 

What's the story behind the derelict house on your street? 

Who owns it? 

What can be done about it? 

Are you interested in buying it? 

Please call the BBC production team on 020 8752 6025 or email them direct to:-  

Alternatively, please write to us:-

"How To Rescue A House"
Room 5262
BBC White City
201 Wood Lane
W12 7TS


LIVERPOOL is becoming the location, location, location for homebuyers. The city council is using the latest technology to slash the time it takes for land searches, and to help make Liverpool one of the most homebuyer-friendly places in the UK.

The council is taking away the strain for thousands of people seeking to move house or relocate to Liverpool. It has set up an electronic connection to the National Land Information Service (NLIS), so that land and property searches now take just 1 day - instead of 10. It's providing a faster, cheaper and more responsive service for home buyers and solicitors, and making the council's service one of the best in the country.

The city council's assistant executive member for customer care, Councillor Karen Afford said:- "When you're making the biggest investment of your life, you need to be sure that the service you get is excellent. We are using new technology to make sure people get high quality land and property search results in just one day. Liverpool is becoming an increasingly popular location for home buyers, and this new project means we can offer people one of the best services in the country. What's more, it will be cheaper, saving cash for hard pressed homebuyers."

The NLIS is a national service to provide all land and property information throughout England and Wales, on-line. It replaces complicated, time-consuming paper searches with a simple, on-screen routine which takes less than an hour, rather than a week or more under the old scheme. 

In the past, solicitors would submit search requests on behalf of clients, and a number of different council departments, including legal services, planning, environmental health, building control and highways would be involved in the search. 

The new project brings together the computer systems of all council departments so that solicitors can submit search requests online and it is automatically processed at one, central point. Searches no longer have to pass through several departments, removing delays for home buyers as they anxiously await the results for their search for a dream home. 

The full results are whizzed back to the solicitors' desktops faster than you can say 'Sold!' 

Streamlining the process will also save money - and the council is passing the savings on to home buyers and solicitors by drastically cutting the price of searches. 

Liverpool city council chief executive, Sir David Henshaw, said:- "Liverpool is now a property hot-spot and this project helps to take away the strain for thousands of people moving house or relocating to Liverpool. The new system means we can complete and validate searches in just one day - a tenth of the existing time. It's great news for home buyers, and will make finding a new home much quicker, easier and cheaper. There are many reasons why Liverpool is becoming so popular with home buyers, and this is yet another incentive to relocate here."

The city council can now compete effectively with personal search companies, who are submitting increasing numbers of search requests to the council. Many house hunters are not aware of the differences between a full search and a private search, but only a full council search can guarantee accuracy. 

The new, improved service and pricing model will be launched at a special event at Liverpool Town Hall on Tuesday 10 May, 8am to10.30am. The event will give local solicitors the chance to see how the new system works, find out about the savings they can make and meet council staff.

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