David and Samantha Cameron have become the country's highest profile short-let tenants following their abrupt exit from No. 11 Downing Street. Their stay at a friend's seven-bedroom Holland Park property is expected to brief - and we can only guess that there's no tenancy agreement or exchange of money (heaven forbid a deposit dispute!) - but the move does bring the short let market into focus.

Sometimes there are times when only a short let will suffice but it's a niche market that needs expert professional management. Tenancies of less than 6 months can suit landlords and home movers - here are just some of the reasons why.

Short lets are good for:-

  • Home movers who are moving out temporarily due to building work

  • Tenants who are trying out new areas before settling down

  • Professionals on short contracts or secondments, looking for home-from-home accommodation

  • Buyers who have a gap between the sale of their old home and the completion date on their onwards purchase

  • Sellers who want to buy a property without a chain 

  • People who have to move quickly due to a change of circumstances, such as a flood or employment status (see David Cameron).

Short lets are good for landlords who:-

  • Want to maximise yields during major sporting tournaments, such as Wimbledon

  • Who have studios and one-bedroom apartments in major cities, where there is a good supply of corporate tenants

  • Are thinking of selling the property in the next 6 months

  • Home owners who want their property to be occupied and earning an income while they are away for extended periods

Things to consider:-

Tenants:

If you are a tenant thinking about a short let, be aware that the monthly rents on short lets usually comes at a premium. And don't become too attached to the property as there's no guarantee a landlord will renew a short tenancy.

Landlords:

If you are a landlord, be prepared for a higher level of wear and tear, and the expectancy that a short-let property is offered fully furnished. There’ll also be more frequent inventories, check ins, check outs and inspections - perhaps at additional costs. If your property is in a managed block and you're a leaseholder and not a freeholder, you'll need to get permission from the management agent before agreeing a short let. 

Owner occupiers:

If you're an owner occupier considering renting out a main residence with a mortgage on it, you'll need consent from your lender to turn your house into a buy-to-let venture. Don't forget, there may be tax to pay on any income generated from a short let, so seek professional financial advice.

There are plenty of new companies out there offering properties in London on a short-term basis but almost all of them fail to provide the same level of protection for the tenant, landlord, money exchanged and property as a professional letting agent would.

London Residential would be delighted to talk you through your short let options, whether you're a tenant, landlord or homeowner. Our staff and agency has the full support of industry memberships, qualifications and schemes, such as Government-backed deposit protection and a professional full management service.