+44 (0)20 7408 5155 enquiries@residentialland.com

Louise Savage, Sales & Marketing Director at Residential Land writes a monthly column for City AM offering readers advice on renting properties in the capital. Some of the most recent questions include:

Dear Louise, I am looking to rent out my flat in Putney as I can’t sell it for the price I want. Can you give me any tips on how to maximise the rental return?

The easiest and cheapest way of adding immediate rental value to any home is by clearing the flat out and removing all of your personal effects. Leave your furniture, pictures and rugs but be prepared to remove them if a good prospective tenant requests it. Then clean it until it gleams and paint it. It’s so simple and very effective, but for some unknown reason, most landlords don’t do this, so it will automatically put your property ahead of most of your competition. 

Understand your potential market and tailor your property to attract that type of tenant. For example, a corporate tenant is likely to have higher expectations than a student.

If you have time to rent the property out yourself you will save huge sums on estate agent fees. Advertise in Loot or on free websites such as Gumtree and put a sign up in your window. If you do it yourself, make sure viewings are safe and that you fulfill all of your legal requirements such as setting up a tenancy deposit scheme and organising an energy performance certificate.

Also, be realistic and flexible. Remember the longer your property is vacant, the less income you will have over the total term.  Your mortgage and bills still need to be paid so try to weigh up the costs against the advantages of holding out for more rent. You may need to offer rental terms of less than the standard year in order to achieve the best possible rental return.

Dear Louise, I have just moved out of a flat in Shoreditch and my landlord is withholding half my deposit on what I consider to be wear and tear. I have had a full inventory check-out and the flat was cleaned before I left. What are my rights on this?

Your deposit will be legally protected by the tenancy deposit scheme if you moved into the property after the 6th April 2007 and your rent is below £25,000 per year.  If this is the case, ask your landlord for details of the scheme that was used and contact them directly. They will be able to act as independent arbitrators between you and your landlord and will help you to agree on a sensible deposit refund.

If your tenancy is not protected by the tenancy deposit scheme you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor who will be able to advise you if you have a case for the small claims court.

Either way, you will need to provide information or evidence to substantiate your claim so put together a pack for the arbitrators or small claims court.  This should include your original signed check-in and check-out inventories, a letter from the inventory clerk detailing their findings, and any photographic evidence that you have of the condition of the property at check out.

Louise Savage is a director of Residential Land, London’s largest prime central London landlord.  www.residentialland.com


Residential Land are prime central London’s largest private landlord.  Properties to rent througout the capital with flats available in Bayswater, Marylebone, Pimlico, South Kensington and many more.