Landlords of sought after lets in London getting 12 months rent in advance, research shows

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Price may be falling in some parts of the prime London property market but new research shows that rich tenants are paying the entire cost of six or 12 month tenancies and deposits in advance in a battle to secure homes in London’s best addresses. A typical wealthy up front tenant letting a two bed flat in London's West End on a £3,500 per week let are willing to pay the landlord over £200,000 up front before moving in, according to the research from lettings firm E J Harris. Indeed in the first 10 weeks of 2015 it is estimated that over £100 million has been paid up front by affluent tenants, many of whom are part of a new breed from countries such as Russia, the Ukraine, China and Nigeria. The research suggests they are business people, socialites and students from very wealthy families and are able to pay anything from £9,000 to £10,000 per week on a luxurious residential property in London’s best addresses. In a normal year one in 10 tenants in the prime central London will typically pay their entire rent and deposit up front in order to secure the property they want, however this year this has jumped to one in five tenants. According to the firm this surge in up front rental payments since the start of 2015 reflects the current frenzy in the London lettings market as stamp duty and pre-election mansion tax concerns have turned vendors into landlords and buyers into tenants. The Central London £2 million to £20 million sales market has stalled and been replaced by a buoyant lettings market for properties within the same value range. The top 10 locations for up front rental payments are Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, St James’s, Soho, Fitzrovia, Marylebone, Westminster, Chelsea and Kensington. The top London address for up front rental payments is Mount Street in Mayfair where over 80% of the tenancies are secured by up-front payments and the firm says that this is because the number of tenants seeking properties on Mount Street vastly exceeds supply. Mount Street is closely followed by Mayfair’s Dover Street, where 70% of tenancies are secured by upfront payments. This is followed closely behind by Eton Place in Belgravia, Trevor Square in Knightsbridge and St James’s square where over 60% of tenancies are secured by up-front payments. In Ward our Street in Soho, Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge and New Cavendish Street in Fitzrovia over 50% of the tenancies are done by up-front payments. ‘The dramatic rise in up front tenancy payments is driven by several factors. Stamp duty and mansion tax concerns has turned purchasers into tenants and so competition has risen for the best homes which has led to a rise in up front bids,’ said Elizabeth Harris, managing director of E J Harris . ‘Alongside this the London lettings market has become increasingly international with a new wave of wealthy tenants from Russia,… Continue reading →

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