DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL LONDON LETTINGS FIRM DRAKER LETTINGS
Q. I have a one-bedroom flat to let that has been on the market for six weeks now. The asking price is £350 per week and I have turned down an offer of £325 per week because I really want to achieve the asking price. I am now getting increasingly nervous. Is there any advice you can give me?
A. The period of time between putting a property on the market and actually securing a tenant is often the most stressful time for our clients. Landlords need to give careful consideration to how their property is marketed. This will help them decide when to say yes. If you have had two weeks’ worth of solid viewings and the best offer you’ve had is £325 per week, I would strongly recommend that you seriously consider it. There can sometimes be a difference between the theoretical marketing price of a property and the price actually secured. Void periods can also play a deciding factor in accepting an offer. Waiting for the asking price can become a false economy if the property is vacant for a long time. That said, we are currently in a strong lettings market and your agent should be able to achieve the asking price.
Q. Is it better to let a property out furnished or unfurnished? I am getting conflicting advice.
A. Central London is the one of the few cities in the world where both furnished and unfurnished properties are regularly let out. The typical tenant for larger apartments and houses tend to be let out unfurnished. This is because the types of people these properties attract are often relocating to London for a few years, bringing their furniture with them. One-bedroom properties and studios, however, are usually let out furnished. Following the same logic, tenants for smaller properties tend to stay between one and two years and therefore normally arrive with just a suitcase and basic belongings. Ultimately the level of furnishing is down to each landlord’s preference. Some clients find that a fully furnished solution works best for them, whereas others prefer to keep their capital outlay to a minimum. There is no real difference in rent achieved for a furnished or unfurnished property, which is an important point to consider. But beware, if you go down the unfurnished route, the property needs to look clean and presentable with no marks on the walls or floors.