Why ten­ants should try a lit­tle hag­gling

As new­bie land­lords swamp the mar­ket, Lon­don renters might just be able to drive a harder bar­gain. By

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Letting On -

like me who house a lot of peo­ple from over­seas, in­clud­ing for­eign students. If other parts of Lon­don are see­ing a sim­i­lar drop in de­mand, this could be a very wor­ry­ing time for those land­lords who are de­pen­dent on the ren­tal in­come, such as pen­sion­ers and new in­vestors who have big mort­gages and low yields.

Thank­fully, my friend is nei­ther. She bought the flat to live in many years ago and when she moved out of Lon­don she hung on to it to give her a pen­sion. She isn’t re­ly­ing on the ren­tal in­come and she can cover the mort­gage her­self.

“You al­ways get peaks and troughs,” she tells me, “I’m not wor­ried, the mar­ket will re­cover.” She’s right of course, be­ing a land­lord is a roller coaster ride and when the mar­ket dips you have to hang on in there un­til it starts to rise.

She has dropped the rent to be­low what she was get­ting three years ago and I agreed with that. It’s bet­ter to ac­cept a lower yield than leave a prop­erty empty and have to pay the mort­gage your­self, all the bills and coun­cil tax, as land­lords no longer au­to­mat­i­cally re­ceive a re­duc­tion for empty prop­er­ties. My friend is lucky she can af­ford to hang on to her flat with a lower rent but this might be a tough sum­mer for other land­lords need­ing in­come.

£515 a week: a very pretty one-bed­room fur­nished house in Doughty Mews, Blooms­bury, WC1, is avail­able to rent through GLP (020 3858 2408).

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