KFH has recently launched a short lets department which is enjoying growing demand across a wide range of districts in London.
“Short lets are generally perceived to be in the centre of London but we have found demand to be across the board,” says Carol Pawsey, Group Lettings Director.
Offices such as Belsize Park, and KFH’s new Holland Park branch, have seen immediate take up of the company’s new service, as have outer London branches such as Wimbledon, Earlsfield and Kingston, amongst others.
“Often outer areas do not have a reasonable hotel and the best option therefore is a short let,” says James Thornett, Lettings Regional Director.
Corporate clients are usually the main customers of short term renting which tends to be between one month and six; however KFH’s outer London branches have had enquiries from a surprisingly wide variety of tenants.
New short let customers include retirees based in Europe returning to the UK to visit family; homeowners whose own houses are undergoing refurbishment; and potential buyers who are either between homes or who wish to familiarise themselves with an area.
KFH has also seen demand from people needing to be near local hospitals for a brief period and from others attending summer sporting fixtures, such as the Wimbledon tennis championships.
About 20% of KFH landlords who usually let on longer leases have also signed up for the new short let service and James Thornett estimates that between 5% and 10% of the rental market is short lets. “It’s sizeable and likely to grow further as the flexibility is recognised”, he says.
The average rental period is three months and properties let range from one bedroom flats to five bedroom houses. High spec, furnished homes tend to let the fastest and average rentals vary between £400.00 to £1,000.00 per week.
Short let landlords can expect a rental increase of between 50% and 100% compared to longer tenancies, “but you need to have your property well-prepared for that incoming tenant”, says Pawsey. “Tenants are paying a high rental and they do expect the property to be ready, waiting and in good condition”.
Short term letting can conveniently plug a gap at a slow time of year, like Christmas, or between longer tenancies and is also a lucrative form of rental, in its own right.
Though almost any type of property would successfully work as a short let, not all homes are eligible. Some local authorities and some blocks of flats have restrictions on letting homes for less than a year’s tenancy. Landlords are also advised to inform the building insurers, though letting a property may not necessarily alter the premium.
“When a short let works well, it works really well,” says Pawsey, “and is advantageous to both sides”.