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:-
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.
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.
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.
Images of the Holland Park townhouse showed two armed police officers positioned outside on Thursday. Cameron and his family reportedly left the house and headed off on the school run.