Warning to tenants as London lettings market sprints ahead

The firm warns that applicants need to be prepared to pay a holding deposit immediately after a viewing to be sure of securing a property.

The competition for property is so fierce that the firm’s Islington office, let one property at asking price within 30 minutes of receiving the instruction. In a similar vein, Hyde Park office has seen the parent of one foreign student fly into the country specifically to pay one year’s rent up front, rather than waiting for an international bank transfer, to be sure of securing a particular apartment.

Cluttons is currently experiencing record numbers of tenant applications. Demand is high from applicants across the board as foreign students pour into London ahead of the new academic year, the corporate lets sector remains buoyant and there is strong growth in applications from potential buyers, who currently prefer to rent.

However, this record demand comes at a time of heavily restricted supply, especially as many accidental landlords left the lettings market in the first half of the year. As a result bullish landlords currently hold the cards and the best properties are let in minutes and hours rather than days or weeks.

Lynn Hilton, Partner for Residential Lettings said:

“The lettings market is currently so fast-paced that tenants need to move very quickly to beat off intense competition to secure a property.

“When viewing a property, applicants need to be prepared to make an instant decision. In the current market, competition is such that prospective tenants should expect to have to pay a holding deposit immediately after the viewing. Offering rent up front or agreeing to remove a break clause are other valuable tactics for tenants desperate to find the right property.”

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