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Dated rental properties in Prime Central London, are their days numbered?

It is no secret that Prime Central London lettings offerings vary from the exquisite to the plain and ugly. 

The exquisite boasting a beautiful refurbishment, interior designed lay out, underfloor heating, remote controlled everything, state-of-the-art appliances, polished concrete floors, super-sized built in wardrobes, surround sound and palatial penthouse dimensions. 

With the ugly made up of magnolia walls, beige carpets, net curtains, cold bathrooms, and burnt hot ring hobs; to name a small handful of detrimental features.

As sensitive as the market can be in relation to price, presentation can be the ultimate failure for a lot of landlords. 

There is a common disregard where rental properties are concerned, with many a disgruntled sales vendor offering an unmodernised, cold and damp property to the rental market and wondering why there are no tenants, even at a rental price well below market value. 

While the benchmark for ‘Fit for Habitation’ for the Prime Central London Corporate client might be set high, this may not be high enough to attract tenants. 

For the most part I would agree, the ‘plain and ugly properties’ are indeed fit for habitation, but perhaps not for the tenants that the Prime Central London landlords are or should be appealing to.

Unfortunately many landlords shudder at the thought of injecting money into their rental investments, especially if the end goal is to sell.

Many overseas landlords haven’t seen their investment in several years and others wear rose tinted glasses where their properties are concerned. 

However there is no need to create the exquisite. With such a strong demand for mid-level properties throughout Zone One, the key is for clean and fresh, neutral and modern, with good storage and lighting. 

Lengthy void periods are becoming more and more frequent for tired and dated properties, and these voids do not come without a price. 

In a market which has been dictated by tenants due to a lack of fluidity, there is no hiding flaws any more, action must be taken. 

As with any business, a target audience is established and the product created, tailored and marketed towards that specific audience. 

In Prime Central London, the target market is known, be it corporate, affluent individual or the super wealthy. 

Their tastes understood; from redecorated this decade and clean, to the exquisite interior designed penthouse. It’s time for all rental properties to fall within this spectrum, Landlords need to think of their asset as a business and present a marketable product to their target audience.

*Olivia McSweeney is Lettings Manager at UK Sotheby's International Realty

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