T HE Wimbledon effect is said to carry on throughout the summer, inspiring Londons amateurs to pick up a racket and hit the tennis courts. Well, you might be surprised to learn that you could start practis- ing your forehand in a court located in your own back garden. Increasing numbers of London apartment buildings have tennis courts in their communal gardens. They create a social hub, with resi- dents organising tennis tournaments and inviting friends over after work for a game. And having a private court means you dont have to com- pete with the whole neighbourhood when trying to reserve a slot in your local park. Judy Urmossy of Kinleigh Folkard & Haywards Putney Hill office is selling a two-bed- room apartment in Heath Rise, which benefits from a tennis court, for 319,950. She says that the facility is in hot demand. Well-maintained communal tennis courts add prestige to any develop- ment, especially during the summer months, she says. During the Wimbledon fortnight in particular, when the courts are at their busiest, potential buyers are 24 Wednesday, 15 July 2009 London Lite Having atennis courtis justace WHATEVER YOUR BUDGET, PROPERTIES WITH ACCESS TO AMarket moves... A POLL by smartlandlord.co.uk shows people would pay over the odds to rent from such star landlords as George Clooney, but would want a discount from tycoon Sir Alan Sugar, footballer Wayne Rooney or Grant Bovey, who launched a new property company earlier this year after his old empire collapsed. According to the survey people would happily pay an extra 9.9 per cent rent for a property from Clooney (the Beckhams have stayed in his 4m villa on the shores of Lake Como in Italy) but it also found tenants would demand 5.1 per cent off if they knew a property was owned by Sugar, 15.4 per cent in the case of Rooney and a huge 26.4 per cent if the landlord was Bovey. WITH the August bank holiday on the horizon, our thoughts turn to home improvements once again. But DIY can be seriously hot and sweaty so working on the garden, terrace or even your window box looks like a far better alternative. Clifton Nurseries summer sale, starting this weekend, slashes prices by up to 75 per cent on products ranging from pots to planters, hanging baskets to posh garden furniture and exotic olive trees to romantic roses. And dont worry if you dont have a full-on garden: watering cans and trowels are also down by as much as 50 per cent. Clifton Nurseries, 5A, Clifton Villas, W9 (020 7289 6851, clifton.co.uk) WHEN it comes to property, Rachel Weisz, right, star of The Mummy, is clearly not a fan of the ancient world. She purchased an enormous listed Victorian property last year in north Londons leafy Primrose Hill for a cool 3.27m, and lives with film director fianc Darren Aronofsky and their son when the family are in the UK. However, the actress has applied for special listed building permission in order to make interior alterations, bringing the property up-to- date and in line with her more modern specifications. WhyIlivein...EastDulwich andthreeforsaleintheneighbourhood Six-bed double-fronted semi with three living rooms, two bathrooms, large cellar and garden. 950,000. Winkworth, 020 8299 2722 RobdaBank DJ AND Bestival founder Rob da Bank, 36, lives in a three-bed house in East Dulwich, with wife Josie and their two young boys Arlo and Merlin. Bestival, 11-13 September, Isle of Wight. bestival.net Im a champion for East Dulwich. You dont see many suits about because theres no Tube, just an overland or bus. Instead of feeling like an annexe of the City, like many London areas, it has a real sense of community and theres loads of creativity here, too. The high street is full of independent shops, restaurants and bars. Franklins on Lordship Lane is one of my favourites and offers modern British cuisine. Hope and Greenwood, in North Cross Road, is a traditional sweet shop and a kids fantasy. I spend a lot of time in the Blue Mountain Caf for its cool atmosphere, and it sells everything from jerk chicken to sandwiches. The East Dulwich Tavern is at the end of my road and hosts great comedy and folk music. The kids love the Horniman Museum on London Road. Its a really inspiring place with a robot zoo, an aquarium and lots of stuffed animals. Four-bed house, living room with space for dining table, bathroom with roll-top bath, cellar and garden. 509,950. Foxtons, 020 8613 6200 One-bed period conversion with shared garden and private balcony. Close to East Dulwich rail station. 259,950. Foxtons, 020 8613 6200 BY ALEX KASRIEL Property&interiors even more drawn by their appeal. And courts certainly give that extra wow factor. Montevetro, the stunning Battersea development designed by architect supremo Richard Rogers, is exclusive not only because of its stylish apartments with river views, but because it includes a tennis court. The price for a two-bedroom pad here is 1,175,000. Rachel Stanford-Tuck, who is sell- ing apartments in the building on behalf of Knight Frank, says it is quite unusual to have a tennis court on site, so it is a unique selling point for developments that do. It is a bonus that people will take into account when deciding on a property to buy, she says. This is also the case in some of Londons older mansion blocks, where a tennis court might be a welcome surprise. Marc Crerie, an insurance broker, 34, lives in a one- bedroom apartment in the Royal Herbert Pavilions, a former military hospital in Woolwich, where there are around 200 flats. He pays a service charge of 2,500 a year in return for which he enjoys eight hectares of gardens, a gym, a swimming pool and outdoor tennis court. Residents have to reserve the court but it is rarely booked up. There are not many complexes like this in the area or in London, to be honest, says Marc. When I have barbecues I always book the court for a couple of hours. Its a great facility. He is now looking for somewhere bigger so he has put the property on the market for a modest 179,995 through royalherbert.co.uk. Renters can also get in on the court action since rental prices have come down significantly, says Ruth Barr, head of lettings at Knight Franks Wimbledon office. With levels decreasing on the high- end properties especially, a tennis court is now a desired extra for which you no longer have to pay an added premium, she says. WedotennisBBQs MARKETING manager Anna Brandon, 42, and husband Toby, 43, bought their two-bed flat in Art Deco block Heath Rise, Putney, for 166,500 in 2001. The annual 1,700 service charge includes a gardener and porter. Needing more space for a second baby on the way, they are selling it with Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward for 319,950. Anna says: The thing about a court on your doorstep is you play lots of tennis. Our baby minder is also a tennis instructor and when our daughter Alice is asleep, we go out and play. We have a tennis party with a barbecue in the gardens every year as most of our friends play as well. If I know they are coming round I put up a notice to book the court, but its never that busy. Its a shame we have to sell. Im looking at nice places but nothing competes with having a court. STUDIO in cool, modernist High Point building in Highgate: lovely communal gardens, outdoor pool, tennis court. 179,950, Anscombe & Ringland (anscombes.co.uk). GARDENS, tennis court, gym and indoor pool in Royal Herbert Pavilions, Woolwich. One-bed, 189,950 at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. (020 8852 9451) THREE-BED in Queens Club Gardens, Kensington mansion block with court and gardens, 550,000, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. (O20 7731 0051) TWO-BED first-floor flat in glitzy Kings Chelsea block with 24-hour porter, gym, pool and tennis court, 1.2m at Beany Pearce. (beaneypearce.co.uk) COURT-SIDE HOMES FOR SALEtennisoutdoorandpoolswimming but nothing competes with having a court. SALEFORHOMESCOURT-SIDE index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html