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Renting in London: when it makes sense

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
28 Feb 2018  |   Thea Carroll

For many years at the prime end of the market, people have tended to lean on the more traditional forms of transaction such as buying as opposed to renting, while no such sentiment existed in cities like Paris and Berlin. These days, it is not just acceptable, but shrewd to consider renting in the capital. It seems 2018 is the year, ironically, that London joins the Continent.

Many agents across London are recording near record figures for letting income—in some cases, it is exceeding sales income. The reasons for this are multi-faceted, however, it’s largely due to the past 4 years of uncertainty beginning with George Osbourne’s Autumn Statement on December 3, 2014. Since then, the changes to Stamp Duty, CGT (Capital Gains Tax) for foreign sellers, general elections, Brexit and wider geo-political concerns have cooled the sales market, bolstering the rental appeal as a short- to mid-term, secure option.

The London economy is also proving, increasingly, to be driven by more diverse industries. No longer dominated by steady professional services, the Capital’s new silicon city is attracting professionals from the world of technology, media and telecom communications, whose job numbers now trump that of insurance and finance. That, in turn, means an increased number of highly transitional businessmen and women who don’t need to stay in one city but might work throughout Europe’s capitals. For them, having a ready-made, hassle-free pied-a-terre in the middle of London is a handy solution.

Renting is also a useful way of dipping one’s toe into the market. For those clients who want to get to know an area or a property before committing for the long term. We regularly negotiate a right-to-buy clause so that we have first refusal should the vendor wish to sell or the client wish to buy at a later stage. Of course, renting is also a naturally attractive option for the global elite who move around the world according to the seasons and social calendar.


The Buying Solution’s service: what we offer

Such is the growing demand for rental homes in the capital—be they for periods of three months or three years–that The Buying Solution has recently introduced a rental finding service in London and the Country.

The approach mirrors our property buying service in that we carry out a detailed consultation about the exact requirements, preview and discount the vast majority of properties on the market, and use our collective and expansive number of contacts and experience to open otherwise closed doors—to date, over 70% of rental properties secured have been off-market. We carry out all the due diligence, negotiate the best terms for clients and manage the whole transaction through and past move-in by even setting up your utilities for you.

Finding the perfect rental solution has its challenges – there is a certain pressure for it to be perfect as there is less scope to make adjustments. Most common among our clients’ requests is that the properties have been recently renovated to the highest standards and fall in exactly the right location. But further requests are more esoteric and cover meeting detailed privacy concerns, to finding adequate outside space and dog-friendly leases or proximity to industry specific requirements such as professional recording studios and editing suites.

We will always go that extra mile to meet these requirements. One client recently remarked after the conclusion of their rental search: “The properties you find are far superior to anything that we’ve seen in the past through other companies – you are The Rental Solution.”

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