Residential Land Property News Section

Top 10 most sociable areas to rent in Central London

Central London is a place where you can arrive on a Monday knowing no one and have a large circle of new friends by Friday. While some people choose to rent a Central London property for professional reasons, many choose the capital for the bars, café culture, live music scene, restaurants, clubs and cultural opportunities.

central london property

If you’re new to renting a  Central London property or are moving to a new area in the city, here’s our snapshot of the most social areas:-

If you choose….

Property to rent in Chelsea

Choose Chelsea and your ‘locals’ will include VQ 24-hour café, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, The Five Fields, Benihana, Bluebird, The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Canvas, Juju, Boujis and Raffles. Plus your new social circle just might include royalty!

Rent in Chiswick

Drink, dine and socialise along Chiswick High Street – which was shortlisted in the Great British High Street competition 2015. There’s also a weekly farmers’ market and the annual Bedford Park Festival – plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle.

Edgeware Road property to rent

For a cosmopolitan atmosphere and the sound of clinking mint tea glasses, head to the Middle Eastern restaurants at the Marble Arch end of the road. If you’re looking to meet fellow culture vultures, visit the Wallace Collection for free art tours and classes.

Rental property in Hyde Park

Hyde Park has become the epicentre for Central London social events. Two highlights include the Barclaycard British Summertime Concert and the Winter Wonderland. Book tickets and you’ll have no trouble persuading family and friends to visit.

Rent in Marylebone

Café culture is alive and well in Marylebone, with ample opportunities to catch up over a coffee. Marylebone Village has an extensive list of cafés and restaurants, including The Monocle Café, The Nordic Bakery, Coco Momo and 108 Pantry.

Properties to rent in Mayfair

Meeting with friends? Why not book an indulgent afternoon tea at one of Mayfair’s smart hotels? Recommended are the May Fair Hotel on Stratton Street and the Millennium Hotel on Grosvenor Street.

Paddington properties for rent

Paddington is quickly evolving to become more than just a transport hub. New residential quarters are emerging as part of the Paddington Waterside Regeneration, and social events already taking place include paddle boarding, dragon boat racing and a classic car show.

Renting in South Kensington

If you’re a lady (or gentleman) that likes to lunch, then South Kensington is for you. Book a table at one of the many restaurants along Old Brompton Road, Brompton Road, Bute Street or Fulham Road. Or be absolutely fabulous and sip champers with friends at Harvey Nichols.

St John’s Wood rental properties

St John’s Wood is the classic village within a city, making socialising a cinch. As well as a tight-knit atmosphere, there are three milestone community events – the early summer classic and super car pageant, the Christmas fayre and the summer fayre – when residents gather and celebrate living in London.

Homes to rent in Kensington

There’s a never-ending programme of exhibitions and events in Kensington, with many based in the museums (V&A, Science and Natural History) and The Royal Albert Hall. Don’t overlook the extraordinary Roof Gardens  - it remains a Central London social stalwart.

If you’d like more details on living in Central London, including a selection of properties to rent in the above areas, contact Residential Land today.

10 things to ask and look for when viewing a property to rent

Finding a property for rent in Central London is an exciting time for tenants as there is a fantastic choice of houses and flats out there (of course, your search should always start with Residential Land).

 Property checklist

It’s easy, however, to get carried away when looking at London property and some tenants might be tempted to make a snap decision when viewing. To stop you saying ‘I’ll take it’ before you’ve had time to think properly, Residential Land has prepared a list of 10 crucial things to ask and look for when viewing a property.

 Here’s our expert advice

 1. What can you afford? – make sure when starting your viewings that you know how much you can spend per calendar month. Once you know this and are confident with your limit, it makes your search much easier. Also ask yourself whether you have the deposit required (usually 4-6 weeks rent) and or you are able to pay in advance. Once you have these things sorted it will help you concentrate on your living requirements when on viewings.

2. Ask about the extra costs – ask the landlord or agent if there will be any extra costs such as heating, internet, water, electricity etc. That way you will know what to expect before you put your offer in on the London property you are viewing.

3. Do you have your references at the ready – if you are on a tight deadline it is always recommended to have your references ready so that the process of putting an offer in and moving in are as efficient as possible. Rental properties usually get snapped up quickly so it is important to be able to have everything ready so you don’t miss out.

 4. Find out what happens in an emergency – the unexpected does happen so it’s good to know who will deal with maintenance in the event of an emergency. Is round-the-clock support in place? Residential Land provides every tenant with a 24-hour maintenance service.

 5. Ask about the local area – location, location, location. Whether you do your own research or ask the landlord/ agent, make sure you find out before you rent a property that its well catered for in terms of transport links, restaurants and other available local amenities.

 6. Find out who your neighbours are – it is always worth finding out about who is living around you when looking for a property.

 7. Check communal areas and facilities – make sure they are well maintained and ask who is responsible for their upkeep. Some London rentals enjoy communal gardens and shared laundry rooms but you’ll need reassurance that these facilities will be professionally maintained by an experienced block manager.

 8. Ask to see the EPC certificate – every property for rent in Central London needs to have an EPC certificate as part of the marketing. The certificate will show you how energy efficient the property is. If it isn’t very efficient, your utility bills may be higher and the property might need works, such as a new boiler, double glazing and better insulation.

9. Check for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors – by law, every property offered for rent must meet new fire safety rules. Landlords have to install a smoke alarm per storey in a let property – including mezzanine floors – where there is some living accommodation present. The rules also state that a carbon monoxide detector must be placed within any room that contains a solid fuel combustion appliance. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be tested and evidenced as working at the start of a new tenancy or when it renews.

 10.  Ask to see the gas safety record – a landlord is legally obliged to carry out an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance/flue in a let property.  A valid gas safety record provided by a registered gas engineer will prove that gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.

If you are just starting your property search, browse our available apartments and contact us to arrange a viewing.

 

Why and how is the Central London rentals market growing?

London. It’s a dynamic, ever-evolving city where commerce, creativity and culture thrive. We’re proud to offer tenants first-class rental properties in high-quality locations so more people can enjoy living in the capital. The Central London lettings sector is growing at an astounding pace and as 2015 has now passed and 2016 starts, it’s a good time to assess the private rental sector and what might lie ahead.

residential land - central london property

Why is the Central London lettings market growing?
There is no one answer, rather a combination of factors. These include:-

Flexibility and choice unique to renting – many tenants choose to rent so they can move about the capital as they need to, whether it’s for work or social reasons. Today’s tenants are confident in their choice of status and benefit from the quicker set-up timeframes and lower initial move-in cost compared to buying a property – especially when they deal directly with a landlord like Residential Land.

Better quality of Central London rentals – landlords such as Residential Land are focused on providing tenants with bright, well maintained, modern properties to rent where people would want to call home. One of the best things about renting a property is that they hold less responsibility than owning your own home, especially with a 24 hour maintenance service available, such as the one provided by Residential Land which suits busy London residents who have peace of mind provided by a professional landlord.

A more transparent, governed industry – protecting our tenants is of paramount importance and we ensure every let we manage is legally compliant and safe. We make it our business to stay on top of the industry’s laws and legislations for tenants’ peace of mind. We are determined to be the respected, trustworthy face of lettings in London, delivering a first-class service direct to tenants and pushing rogue landlords out of business.

A competitive buying market – more Londoners are turning to the rental market as they have found buying a property in Central London a frustrating or fruitless process. For many, a rental property has become the quickest way of securing a premium address in the capital, with some exemplary rental properties in enviable locations available through Residential Land.

Central London rentals – the future
There’s good news ahead, with plans to increase the number of properties to rent in Central London, catering for an increasing population and rising desire to live in the capital. Institutional investment in the private rental sector – of which Residential Land was one of the first – is being backed by the Government’s £1 billion Build to Rent scheme, with quality accommodation for more conscientious tenants who expect a professional service.

If you would like to know more about the rental market in Central London, including what it’s like to rent directly from a professional landlord like Residential Land, contact us today. Why not take a look at our current portfolio and find your next rental property in Central London. Search here >>

The secret of securing a property to rent in Central London

If you are looking for a property to rent in Central London, we can confidently guess you’ve searched the property portals and even letting agents’ own websites and found lots of suitable properties….only to discover a tiny tag on the corner of the photo that says ‘let’.

property to rent in Central London

Frustratingly, many agents choose to list properties they have already let to boost their online presence, while others may be slow to remove listings once a new tenant has been found. As you may have discovered, the Central London rental market moves at the speed of light and you might already have experienced disappoint that a rental property you have found has already been let by the time you make an enquiry.

There are a few tricks of the trade if you want first refusal on houses and flats to rent in Central London. Here are our top three suggestions that will put you in pole position:-

Cut out the middle man – a landlord can be a large reputable company as well as an individual, so don’t discount going directly to the property’s owner. Residential Land is one of capital’s biggest private landlords, with a portfolio of over 1,200 houses and flats to rent in Central London.  All the properties we let are clean and modern, managed by dedicated building managers and supported by a 24-hour maintenance team. When you deal directly with Residential Land, you skip the letting agent, resulting in quicker access to lets and less red tape.

Register directly with a landlord or agent – did you know that landlords and agents hold waiting lists of tenants who get first refusal on properties? To get on the list you need to register with the company directly, leaving your requirements and contact details. You’ll then be contacted as soon as a new rental property matching your description is taken on. It’s highly likely you’ll be notified before the property is promoted to the mass market or published online.

Set up property alerts – a great way to ensure you don’t miss a rental as soon as it goes live online is to create property alerts. Rightmove and Zoopla offer a ‘property alert’ facility, which emails you as soon as a property matching your requirements is published online. Residential Land is pleased to list all its houses and flats to rent in Central London on both Rightmove and Zoopla, so create an alert today!

Why not jump to the front of the queue by contacting Residential Land to register your details? By dealing direct with us – the landlord – we can notify you of new London rentals as soon as they become available, reducing the chance you’ll be pipped to the lettings post.

Where to find the Best London Student Accommodation

Image: University College London, Gower Street, Fitzrovia

Image: University College London, Gower Street, Fitzrovia

The months of August and September are a unique time in the London property market, especially for landlords and letting agents. Younger students will be digesting their A Level results and securing university places, while second and third year undergraduates will have their minds set on accommodation and maybe taking the step up from living in university halls. It’s true that some of the best London student accommodation lies in the private rental sector and here at Residential Land we can match students with apartments and houses close to their university.

We have already helped hundreds of undergraduates secure the perfect London property and we find time and time again the top priority is distance to the university. Drawing on our local knowledge and lettings experience, we have compiled a quick guide to the capital’s top four locations for London student accommodation:

Fitzrovia – This London neighbourhood has always had a scholarly feel, having been home to artists including Sir Charles Eastlake and Ford Madox Brown, politicians such as Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and literary figures including George Bernard Shaw. Fitzrovia is just a short walk from a clutch of London’s finest higher education facilities, including University College London, the University of London, University of Westminster and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Fitzrovia property is also a short walk from Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street and The British Museum.

Marylebone – If your studies require a quiet enclave away from the bright lights of the West End, look no further than property to rent in Marylebone. Famed for its village atmosphere and high ratio of celebrity residents, Marylebone offers a chic place from which to be based. Within a short stroll from Cedar House is the Royal Academy of Music, the independent Regent’s University and the University of Westminster.

Kensington – Lying to the South West of London, Kensington is a fantastic choice for international students. Many Kensington apartments, including 85 Lexham Gardens, 79-81 Lexham Gardens, Roland House and Imperial House, are tenanted by overseas students who are studying at the nearby Boston University or Richmond, The American International University. Other educational institutions in or near Kensington include Heythrop College, University of London, Imperial College and the Royal College of Art.

Hyde Park – Hardly anyone can resist the charms of Hyde Park – one of only eight parks with Royal status, spanning over 350 acres and home to famous landmarks such as Speakers’ Corner, the Serpentine Lake and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Apartments to rent in Hyde Park suit students studying at the Royal College of Art and the Royal College of Music, which are both located to the South of the park.

If you need to secure accommodation for the new academic year or are thinking or transferring from halls of residence, contact Residential Land today; we are able to move you in on the same day!

Top 10 tips on how to keep your home safe while you’re away

Christmas is finally upon us, which for many Londoners means one thing: time to escape the city! But whether you’re heading to the Cotswolds or The Alps, the last thing you need is to worry about the security of your home while you’re away, or worse, come home to a break-in.

To keep your mind at ease, we’ve put together our top ten tips of how to keep your home safe and sound while you’re away, so you can enjoy your heard-earned break without a care in the world. Happy holidays!

Lock - Residential Land

Lock your doors and windows | Image credits:- www.moneysupermarket.com

1. Lock all windows and doors securely

As obvious as it may sound, you’d be surprised how many people forget to lock the bathroom window or bolt the terrace doors. Take the time to check every window, door and possible entrance to your property has been doubly locked, and never leave keys in the lock – keep them all in a designated safe place such as a drawer instead.

2. Unplug all electrical items

Avoid the consequences of an unexpected power surge by unplugging all electrical items while you’re away, including microwaves, televisions, kettles and toasters. Switch off the gas supply and check smoke alarms are in working order too, so if a problem did arise the neighbours would be alerted to it.

Instagram post | Image credits:- www.instagram.com/feedingthecat

Instagram post | Image credits:- www.instagram.com/feedingthecat

 

3. Don’t tell the world that you’re going away

As much as you want to boast on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that you’re off on a sunny holiday or enjoying a cocktail on the beach, wait until you return to share those envy-inducing pictures and updates. Not only will you be telling the world that your house is empty, you may also be voiding your insurance policy, as some companies refuse to pay out following a burglary if you’ve publicly declared your absence on social media.

4. Inform your building manager that you’re going away

If you live in a property with a building manager, let them know that you’ll be away and how long for so they can keep an eye on your property and deter any suspicious-looking visitors. They may also be able to store your mail for you if it’s kept in a public place.

Don't leave valuables visible | Image credits:- www.thesweetsetup.com

Don’t leave valuables visible | Image credits:- www.thesweetsetup.com

 

5. Move high-value items out of sight

Any items of value such as laptops, jewellery and cameras should be hidden in a safe place away from windows. Under pillows, in drawers beneath clothes and full laundry baskets are good hiding places, and for anything of particular value consider investing in a small safe for true peace of mind.

6. Clear out the fridge

The last thing you want after a relaxing holiday is to return to a smelly fridge, so go through it carefully before you leave, taking care to check the use-by dates of any particularly pungent items and throw them away if necessary.

7. Empty all rubbish bins

Hot weather and rubbish bins are the perfect breeding ground for bugs and rodents. Empty and bleach all bins before leaving to ensure you don’t return to an unwanted colony of beasties.

Mail | Image credits:- www.wikipedia.org

Mail | Image credits:- www.wikipedia.org

 

8. Put your mail on hold

A growing pile of mail, flyers and free newspapers on the mat is not only a nuisance when you open the door on your return, but equally alerts criminals to an unoccupied property if it can be seen through a window. Ask a kindly neighbour to collect your mail and parcels, otherwise you can use the Royal Mail holding service while you’re away. [http://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/keepsafe]

9. Add a timer to visible lights

Closed curtains and a dark property is a clear sign to thieves that the building is empty. To avoid this, keep some curtains partially open (upper floors are ideal) and add a light timer so that light is emitted during the evenings to give the impression that someone is home.

Milk | Image credits:- www.marycrimmins.com

Milk | Image credits:- www.marycrimmins.com

 

10. Cancel any milk, grocery, or paper deliveries

A growing collection of milk and groceries outside your property is not only messy and wasteful in terms of perishable items, its also another clear sign that no-one is home. Put your regular deliveries on pause while you are away, and thieves will be none the wiser.

Residential Land goes offplan in west London

Residential Land is proud to announce that it has completed on Palace Wharf, a deal for a riverside scheme in Fulham that has planning permission for 27 residential units.

For further information please read the article in Property Week below or follow the link to read it on the Property Week website

Ritchie’s Residential Land goes offplan in west London

Bruce Ritchie’s Residential Land has completed a major off-plan residential purchase in west London, after taking advantage of a lull in the Asian forward-sales market.

Backed by Canadian pension fund giant Ivanhoé Cambridge, the private rented sector (PRS) specialist has forward-purchased Chase New Homes’ scheme at Palace Wharf in Fulham at £1,250/sq ft – with the deal worth around £37m in total.

Palace Wharf, Fulham

Palace Wharf, Fulham

The site, near the famous River Café, has planning consent for 27 residential units, comprising five townhouses and 22 flats. “We see that to fulfil our stock requirements we need to be buying new as well as existing [stock],” Residential Land chief executive Ritchie told Property Week. “There’s an opportunity while Asian markets cool for us to replace that Far Eastern buyer with investor money, PRS money, rather than ‘export money’.”

The deal is Ritchie’s first off-plan purchase with Ivanhoé Cambridge and comes after Ivanhoé invested in a fifth Residential Land fund in February. The new £650m fund is focused on a broader area of prime central London, and its upper price point for investment has increased from £1,500/sq ft to £1,650/sq ft.

As well as buying the Fulham scheme, Residential Land has sold a £47m residential block in Marylebone to a group of Middle Eastern investors. Elliott House, 1 Molyneux Street, has been sold to developer Coronado – with backing from Shariah-compliant Al-Rayan bank.

Residential Land had already stripped out the building after receiving planning permission in 2012 to increase the size of the 1930s block from 28,500 sq ft to 35,500 sq ft – increasing the number of flats from 23 to 31.

Coronado will now take over the redevelopment to create the enlarged building, with Residential Land exiting at a price of £1,650 on the existing square footage.

Ritchie said it was a sign Shariah-compliant purchasers were becoming more comfortable with development.

Prime Central London prices rise above 2007 peak values

Central London residential prices have now risen by about 16% above their 2007 peak values, but the widespread industry consensus of opinion is that values will continue to grow , putting the sector in to a super prime category compared to the rest of the UK and other world cities. This was highlighted in a recent CBRE report entitled ‘Why London Still Packs a Superprime Punch’ – download it here.

Residential supply remains restricted, and both domestic and international demand, particularly from the Far East remains very strong.

The reasons for this overseas demand remain the same, overall quality of environment for foreign owners, safety for assets and persons and easy access. In addition and as importantly there is a good choice of apartments and houses to choose from, all designed and finished to the highest world standards.

Residential Land remains committed to this sector, both in the traditional prime areas of Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, but also in the newer prime pockets in St John’s Wood, Hampstead and Regents Park and are actively seeking to increase their portfolio.

If you have any opportunities, both existing or new build, contact our acquisition experts here or email enquiries@residentialland.com

Savills spotlight on Prime Rental Markets

Savills have recently produced their 2011/2012 Winter report on prime rental markets.

Their key findings are:

  • In the face of economic uncertainty, prime rental growth has slowed.
  • However, stock levels have been contained as renewal rates have remained high and tenants have sought increased tenancy lengths.
  • Over the medium term, tenant demand and rent levels will remain driven by limited mortgage availability and increased demand from those delaying house purchasing.
  • In the short term this will be tempered by the outlook for the financial and business sector, which is a key component of rental demand.

The report states that whilst growth has recently eased in the prime rental market of London, rental growth is expected to outperform the UK over the next five years.

Residential Land has all of its residential investment portfolio in prime central London and continues to experience high levels of occupancy and growing rent levels.  The company continues to look for new investment opportunities.

If you have any residential property opportunities within Prime Central London please contact one the Residential Land’s acquisition team or email enquiries@residentialland.com

To download a copy of the Savills report, visit:
http://www.savills.co.uk/research/residential-research.aspx

Lord Digby Jones – Prime London property prices likely to rise

Former government minister and CBI head Lord Digby Jones was the subject of this weeks ‘Fame and Fortune’ interview within the Money Section of the Sunday Times.

When asked “Is property still a good investment?” his response was “Yes , especially in London. I don’t think you can go wrong buying a flat in London and putting in a tenant . I will look to invest again, perhaps in the prime market , where the value is most likely to rise , though probably at the lower end of prime, where yields are higher “.

Residential Land are prime central London experts and we are actively seeking to increase our portfolio. If you have any opportunities for us, contact one of our acquisition experts or email enquiries@residentialland.com