Moving to a Central London property? Top ten packing & moving day tips

The right packing materials and professional help simplifies moving to a central London rental property

Whether you’re moving out of the family home for the first time or are a seasoned mover, packing up your worldly goods to move to a Central London property can be an overwhelming experience.

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Park life: Central London’s best open spaces

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London is constantly being referred to as urban – a sprawling metropolis buzzing with noise and people. But did you know an estimated 47% of the capital is physically green, with 8.3 million trees and over 3,000 parks? Its grassy credentials are so strong that there’s even a growing movement to make Greater London a National Park City – a new take on a National Park.

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Students: Properties to rent in Central London near campus

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The appetite for further education continues and with no cap on undergraduate numbers in England, there is increasing pressure on student accommodation. While universities themselves might not be keeping pace with demand, the private rental sector is stepping up to the plate to provide undergraduates with decent accommodation.

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Bruce Ritchie is on panel talking to students from Georgetown University

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Bruce Ritchie, CEO of Residential Land joined a panel discussion set up by The Georgetown University City Alliance and hosted at the Goldman Sachs’ Fleet Street offices in London. There were over 200 attendees consisting of Georgetown University students and private guests. The discussion itself was on “London Residential Real Estate: Affordability Crisis or Investment Opportunity”. The experts on the panel explained the current situation and then hosted a Q&A session for the students afterwards.

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Other panellists on the day included Roger Orf (C’74), Partner & Head of Real Estate Europe, Apollo; Anthony Myers, Senior Managing Director & Head of Real Estate Europe, Blackstone; and Tony Pidgely, Chairman & Founder of Berkeley Homes.

Your 10 must-see summer events & openings in London

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Residential Land has some brilliant Central London rentals that put tenants in the heart of the city action. This summer London is bursting at the seams with events, attractions and experiences. Here are our top 10 highlights not to be missed:-

  1. The Royal Academy of Arts in Mayfair will stage one of its much-anticipated exhibitions this summer. David Hockney RA: 79 Portraits and Too Still Lifes will run from Saturday 2nd July until the Sunday 2nd October 2016. The pieces depict many of Hockney’s famous friends, carrying with them the bright aqua and cobalt blues for which he is renowned

  1. The royal overtones of Hyde Park are a fitting stage for the King of Motown, Stevie Wonder. The musician will entertain the crowds on Sunday 10th July, with tracks from ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ as part of the park’s British Summer Time festival programme. Expect support acts including Pharrell, Corinne Bailey Rae and King.

  1. Theatre goers are in for a real treat this summer as The Bodyguard returns to the Dominion Theatre in Fitzrovia this July, with soul diva Beverley Knight taking the lead role. The first show takes place on Friday 15th July, with plenty of high notes in every sense.

  1. Buckingham Palace, which is a short walk from Westminster, is once again opening its doors for a summer season. This year’s theme is the royal wardrobe. ‘Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe’ will reveal the style secrets of our always immaculate sovereign. The exhibition runs from Saturday 30th July to Sunday 25th September.

  1. The Notting Hill Carnival is the must-visit event during the August Bank Holiday. Taking place over two days – Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August, the streets of W14 are brought to life with colourful costumes, competing sounds systems and the smell of jerk chicken.

  1. The Westbourne Summer Festival on Saturday 16th July brings a sense of fun and community to The Canalside on the Warwick Estate in Paddington. This year’s theme is ‘happiness’ – so bring your family and a smile!

  1. The Hampstead Summer Festival runs for almost two weeks with events scattered throughout the Hampstead neighbourhood. The pinnacle, however, has to be The Big Fair taking place on Sunday 3rd July on Heath Street. Over 100 stalls will line the road, with live music, street food, a fun fair, circus acts and family entertainment.

  1. Dig out your Union Flag and brush up on the words to Rule Britannia. Pomp and ceremony are the order of the day at The Royal Albert Hall in Kensington for the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10th September. If you can’t get a pass for the real deal, you can buy tickets for Proms in the Park – an open-air concert in Hyde Park on the same night.

  1. Rub along with the Barmy Army at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Wood between Thursday 4th and Monday 18th July, when the spiritual home of cricket will host England versus Pakistan. It’s the first Investec Test Match of the season between the two rivals, so expect plenty of sledging and howzats!

  1. New in Marylebone this summer is the opening of Sherlock Holmes: The Experience. This immersive exhibition takes up residence in the basement of Madame Tussauds on Marylebone Road. Grab your pipe and deerstalker hat before heading to NW1 from Friday 15th July.

Contact Residential Land today for rental advice and a wide selection of houses and flats to rent in Central London.

Profiling tenants using social media – is this a good thing?

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Residential Land, Central London’s largest private landlord, has been reading about a new service that allows landlords to profile tenants by viewing their social media accounts.

While checking out a person’s characteristics and behaviour via online research isn’t anything new – it’s quite commonplace among employers during the recruitment process – it is a new idea in lettings. Statistics show that over half of employers have researched a job candidate on social media*, with 62% examining Facebook, 45% Twitter, and 44% LinkedIn. If the new service offered to landlords takes off, tracking likes, follows and flicking through digital photo albums could become a new tool in tenant referencing.

It is thought online research will uncover whether the tenant has a pet, throws wild parties, sublets, loses their job or spends extended periods of time away from the property – all things that may invalidate a tenancy agreement or jeopardise the ability to pay the rent.

Social media tracking is also being sold as a useful tool for managing tenants while in situ, especially as some milestone events might not be shared with a landlord as much as they are shared in cyberspace.

Online referencing, however, does pose the question: is social media ‘skimming’ a valid way of checking up on a tenant or is it borderline snooping?

Here’s the small print. The social media sites are only monitored with the tenant’s permission. Whether a tenant will then censor what they post because they know their landlord is looking, remains to be seen but it does question the validity of social media referencing.

Stuart Birke, Head of Lettings at Residential Land comments: “While we can see why landlords may want to have an additional check on their prospective tenants, as well as monitor the behaviour of those living in their properties, no one should rely solely on social media monitoring. At Residential Land we carry out very thorough checks and use a stringent referencing procedure to vet all tenants, investigating employment status, credit histories and behaviour in previous let properties. We then work hard to maintain a professional relationship with tenants during the whole tenancy, building a level of trust and first-hand communication that is reliable and honest.”

* Survey by Careerbuilder.co.uk May 2015

Contact Residential Land today for rental advice and a wide selection of houses and flats to rent in Central London.

Image source – Brafton

Residential Land sponsors Sir Tom Hunter’s ‘kiltwalk’

Residential Land is proud to sponsor Sir Tom Hunter’s great fundraising charity, ‘kiltwalk‘. Every year walkers unite to raise funds and pay tribute to the many amazing and brave children who have touched their lives. 100% of the funds raised go to children’s charities throughout Scotland, helping to support the vital work they do.

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Sir Tom Hunter

Who is kiltwalk
Kiltwalk is a unique charity that enables walkers to raise money for a wide range of children’s charities and causes across Scotland. By staging events that bring together thousands of walkers who fundraise for their chosen charity or cause, we help Scotland’s most vulnerable, disadvantaged and sick children.

What is kiltwalk
A Kiltwalk is a powerful fundraising model, developed and under-written this year by Sir Tom Hunter and The Hunter Foundation. Their support will enable 100% of the sponsorship money raised by Kiltwalkers to go directly to their charity or local cause. Every walker can select the children’s charity or local cause that they wish to donate to. Just over 10,000 walkers could raise in excess of £1.5 million – a sum that will significantly reduce the suffering of thousands of children across Scotland.

If you would like top take part in the ‘kiltwalk’ please follow this link here >>

Residential Land win Asset Manager of the Year at RESI Awards 2016

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The wait is over and it is official, Residential Land has been announced winners for ‘Asset Manager of the Year’ at RESI Awards 2016.

Winners - Asset manager of the year

The RESI Awards took place on Wednesday 11th May 2016 at Grosvenor House on Park Lane where over 1400 property professionals all appeared to show their support for the property industry.

While we have always thought we deliver an exceptional service above that of our peers, it is wonderful to receive industry recognition for our work. Residential Land was crowned winner of the Asset Manager of the Year category at the RESI Awards 2016 – a glittering ceremony organised by Property Week magazine to celebrate good practice and innovation in the residential property market.

This year’s list of judges read like a ‘who’s who’ of property elite, with the Deputy Mayor for Housing, Lang and Property (at the time Richard Blakeway) being joined by representatives from Jones Lang LaSalle, Wellcome Trust, CBRE, Savills and British Land, among many others. In fact, Residential Land’s very own Bruce Ritchie was on the judging panel, although not responsible for appraising entries in the Asset Manager of Year category.

The judges in the Asset Manager category were looking for entrants who met a strict criteria, which included: an outstanding level of achievement in the past 12 months; an innovative approach to asset management; an active physical approach to management; a strong client focus; bold or well timed investments; a strong financial performance, and the ability to overcome and face challenges. We’re thrilled that the esteemed judges agreed that Residential Land had met all the above criteria in a way that was head and shoulders above the competition.

The subsequent judges’ report said of Residential Land: “Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land is the biggest provider of privately owned rented property in prime central London. In 2015, the company cemented its status as a top player in the UK’s private rented sector by transforming key relationships with two of the world’s largest fund managers. The firm took over responsibility for asset management from Apollo Global on its £1.4bn joint venture with Canadian fund management giant Ivanhoe Cambridge. Residential Land also completed several stand-out deals, including the £100m purchase of 39 Hill Street in Mayfair to rejuvenate the building, and the buyout of 122 ats in Hamlet Gardens in Ravenscourt Park from Swedish fund manager Akelius.”

The judges praised the company’s “excellent track record”, “strong deployment of capital in new deals” and “bold investments”.

For a refreshingly different approach to lettings and a tenancy run by a professional, friendly landlord, contact Residential Land today

Congratulations to all of the other winners on the night. You can find a full list of them here >>

It was also great to see The Josh Carrick Foundation as the headline charity for the event and to hear that they raised over £16,000 over the course of the evening. The Josh Carrick Foundation aims to fund research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer for the advancement of health and to also provide funds for technological advances in cancer research. The foundation also wishes to help raise awareness of testicular cancer. http://thejoshcarrickfoundation.org/ 

We now look towards the RESI Conference, which will be a place to learn, debate and connect with the industry’s innovators and future thinkers and have woven into the programme numerous networking opportunities and activities.

Looking to rent a Central London property? Here are 8 things to expect from your landlord

Residential Land is prime Central London’s largest private landlord and we want to break the mould and change widely held perceptions of landlords in general. We set very high in-house standards, creating a transparent, fair business that always puts the interest of the tenant first. We want every tenant to have a positive experience when dealing with a landlord, so we have created a list of the top eight things to expect from a landlord, based on our own approach to lettings.

Looking to rent a Central London property? Here are 8 things to expect from your landlord

  1. Professionalism – your landlord is providing you with a service and therefore should act in a professional manner at all times. This means being polite, courteous and responsive – respectfully acknowledging your contact and replying in a reasonable timeframe.

  1. Fairness with fees – there are set-up fees when starting a new tenancy but tenants shouldn’t feel ripped off. Residential Land prides itself on low fees – probably the lowest in London – made possible because people are dealing directly with us as a landlord and not a letting agent. We’re completely transparent about fees – there are no hidden charges.

  1. Minimum standards – your landlord should take pride in the property they offer. When you move in you should find a clean, fit-for-purpose apartment or house. At Residential Land every property to rent in Central London is professionally cleaned before a tenant moves in. Ongoing maintenance is just as important and Residential Land keeps all its properties, including the internal and external communal areas, well maintained.

  1. Helpfulness in an emergency – the unexpected does happen and a good landlord should be there to support you. Residential Land has an emergency helpline staffed on a round-the-clock basis so you have advice and a calm voice when a property emergency does occur.

  1. Attentiveness when it comes to property maintenance – a landlord is responsible for many aspects of maintenance within a property, making sure the home environment is safe and secure. At Residential Land we aim to respond to maintenance issues within 24 hours of a problem being reported.

  1. Meeting industry expectations – although not a licensed industry (yet), lettings self-regulates and is striving to raise standards in order to provide a better experience for tenants. Residential Land and its individual employees are members of the British Property Federation, the Housing Ombudsman Service, NLA, ARLA, RICS and ARMA, participates in the outgoing Mayor’s London Rental Standard initiative and protects deposits with mydeposits.co.uk.

  1. A degree of flexibility – one of the best perks of renting a Central London property is flexibility but this can only be delivered by an understanding landlord. Here at Residential Land we offer flexible rental terms and the ability to rent on a furnished or unfurnished basis, giving tenants useful options.

  1. Ability to be reactive and proactive – a lazy landlord is a bad landlord. With Residential Land, every block and development we own has a dedicated building manager whose job it is to make sure properties and communal areas are in tip top condition. While we carry out regular inspections and scheduled maintenance, we encourage tenants to point out potential problems so we can quickly address them.

For a refreshingly different approach to lettings and a tenancy run by a professional, friendly landlord, contact Residential Land today.

What’s new on the Central London food scene?

By living in a Central London property, you are surrounded by the world’s best gastronomic experiences, with Michelin-starred restaurants, food markets, pop-up supper clubs and emerging chefs all together in one big melting pot.

The Ivy Café - the more relaxed little sister to Covent Garden’s legendary

Central London’s largest private landlord, Residential Land have rounded up the latest food news from the capital so you can plan your next dinner date.

The Ivy creeps into St John’s Wood

The Ivy Café – the more relaxed little sister to Covent Garden’s legendary The Ivy – is coming to St John’s Wood, opening on the 22nd June. The new all-day restaurant will trade in what was formerly Megan’s Café on the High Street. Diners will relax surrounded by marble floor tiles, a pewter bar, vintage leather bar stools and classic pendant lights, echoing the iconic look of its West End counterpart. Expect a classic menu with modern twists and a stunning cocktail list, featuring delights such as Garden of the Abbey – elderflower vodka, cucumber, apple, lime and cider sparkle.

Summer masterclasses at Claridges

If you’re a fan of Masterchef and fall into the Greg Wallace camp – a dessert lover – then book yourself onto one of two masterclasses running at Claridges this summer. Chocolate is the star of the show on 4th June, while the 17th September is focused on British puddings. Both masterclasses start with an introductory talk delivered by an expert, followed by a demonstration with a degree of participation, and finish with lunch in the kitchen or afternoon tea in Claridges’ sumptuous foyer.

Guilt-free eating out launches in Mayfair

Eating out should be a pleasure but if the thought of over indulgence sends you on a guilt trip, fear not. You can now nourish your body while experiencing taste sensations over at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. Wellbeing guru Madeleine Shaw has developed wheat, processed sugar and dairy-free menu options that will be served across the hotel’s three restaurants. Expect buckwheat, quinoa, kale and energy balls to feature.

Finally…….let the food force be with you

If you like your potato gratin served with a side of geek, keep your eyes peeled for details of a new pop-up restaurant with a Star Wars theme. The venue will be somewhere in London and has been given the name The Fork Awakens, although details of the exact location haven’t been revealed. Tickets will cost £65 each, with doors open from 23rd June to 2nd July 2016.

For a selection of houses and flats to rent in Central London close to the best restaurants and the most exciting new food ventures, contact Residential Land today.