ONE of property tycoon Cecil Chao's tenants at Villa Cecil, veteran journalist Peter Seidlitz, is packing his belongings and departing - though he is quick to say it is not Cecil's clattering helicopter driving him away. ''Far from it. My wife Silvie and I find Cecil's helicopter a great source of entertainment,'' commented the former Foreign Correspondents' Club president. ''We play our own version of Trivial Pursuit everytime Cecil takes off, trying to guess where exactly he might be going. I mean, there's not that many places you can commute to by helicopter in Hongkong, is there?'' He adds, with a mischievous laugh: ''I'm really moving because I'm fed up having to work so hard to help maintain the helicopter and yacht of my landlord.'' Peter, Far East and China correspondent for the German newspaper Handelsblatt and based in Hongkong since 1985, is moving with his wife to Beijing, where one of their close friends is paramount leader Deng Xiaoping's daughter, Deng Lin. They connected through an interest in contemporary Chinese art; he as a collector and she as a painter. Holding pride of place in his impressive collection of modern art is a painting given to him by Deng Lin. According to Peter, Deng's daughter is very much an artist - eschewing the ''princeling'' lifestyle of other favoured progeny for a more bohemian existence. ''She is extremely modest, even driving her own little yellow car,'' he said. ''I never talk politics with her or ask about her father. Just over a week ago I had dinner with her and then dropped her off at one of the gates to the Forbidden City, where she lives with the Deng clan.'' Moving from the rented colonial villa in Pokfulam to a smaller pad in Beijing means a large part of Peter's art collection will have to be sold. So tomorrow at the Mandarin and on April 29 at Sotheby's Contemporary Chinese Paintings auction at the Furama, the Seidlitz Collection - including paintings by Deng Lin - will go under the hammer. Maybe Cecil's wife Terri, a keen painter herself, will suggest to hubby that he ask Peter for a painting in lieu of the last month's rent.