Letting in the City

You would think that properties in central London would be flying off the market as soon as they became available to let. Unfortunately for one property opposite the Natural History Museum this wasn’t the case. In this area properties usually go for around £3000 a week however one property couldn’t even find tenants that were willing to pay 25% of this price.

Marc Von Grundherr from Benham and Reeves has said, “Tenants simply hated it and the £700 a week rent achieved reflected it. It had a terrible layout with two bedrooms off the reception room.

“We finally agreed with the owners to rejig the apartment. We removed every wall in the property and effectively started again. We placed the kitchen off the reception room and created two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Now the same flat with the same square footage rents out for £1,500 a week.”

When tenants are looking to pay this amount of money a week any detail can become a deal breaker. Usually you would expect that lets that are difficult to rent are in areas that aren’t particularly desirable, however this particular property was situated not far from the very popular Hampstead’s high street. The reason for this is because the owner didn’t see the need to upgrade the property. Having said this, the owner’s daughter then came to the rescue of the property. She fitted a new bathroom and an ensuite as well as giving the property a lick of light coloured paint and as a result she secured a corporate tenant for the next two years.
Von Grundherr continued, “Buy-to-let is all about having someone look objectively at a property, knowing what people want.

“Most people chase more bedrooms, but the Princes Gate flat shows that sometimes the problem is the set-up and you can get more for less.”

Most of the time if a property hasn’t been let or hasn’t had some serious interest within four weeks of being on the market then there is something wrong and most of the time it is the price. Even a property that isn’t the most desirable will rent if it proves to be good value for money.

Other things to consider would be furnishing. In the cities most potential tenants want furnished properties. This helps if the rooms are a little uninspiring. By investing in some furniture it make the property more attractive and therefore more likely to receive offers. However, if you are opting to furnish your property make sure your landlord insurance covers or take out additional contents insurance.

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