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London’s most expensive rentals revealed

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From penthouses to gated detached homes, ranging between the modest three bed to the extremely spacious 11 bed and with a price jump of 8567% between the most affordable borough and the most expensive, leading London lettings and sales agent, Benham and Reeves, has looked at how the most expensive rental properties in London vary by borough.

Benham and Reeves looked at stock listed on the major portals, pulling the most expensive rentals for each borough to highlight how even the most expensive rental properties can differ massively in price, size and style across London’s diverse rental market.  

The most expensive are, of course, found in London’s most prestigious boroughs with a five bed penthouse listed in Westminster at £260,000 per month the highest of the lot, closely followed by a seven bed penthouse in Kensington and Chelsea at £173,333 a month.  

Camden ranks third at £140,000 a month, but for that money, you do get an eight bed detached house and a swimming pool.

Barnet is the last borough where the most expensive rental property exceeds the £100k mark, with a four bed converted chapel sat in seven acres, listed at £104,000 per month.

If you prefer a river view, the most expensive property in Lambeth offers all-round views of the Thames from all three bedrooms and is listed at £36,000 per month.  

Or if space is more your thing then for £14,000 per month, you can secure an 11 bedroom detached home in Hounslow, or a seven bed detached home in Greenwich, Kingston, Enfield or Bromley for between £16,000 and £32,000 per month.

Perhaps the best high-end rental bargain is a semi-detached property in Sutton that boasts eight bedrooms and while it’s the most expensive rental property listed in the borough at the moment, it’s the cheapest across all boroughs at just £3,000 per month.  

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr,  commented:

“The cost of renting can vary drastically by borough and this is the case even at the very top end of the market. However, while some of these monthly sums may seem ludicrous to the average London tenant, it does demonstrate how renting is becoming more of a life choice rather than something we are forced to do.

When you think of renting in London you think of shoebox studio flats with barely enough room to swing a cat, but this simply isn’t the case. There are so many outstanding rental properties of all shapes and sizes and we are seeing more and more people from all walks of life, choose to rent rather than to buy.

Not only does it allow us to live where we may otherwise be unable to buy, but it provides a degree of freedom and flexibility that everyone from working professionals to families are starting to lean more towards.

As a result, we’re seeing a wider range of properties appear on the rental market to satisfy this demand and the London buy-to-let market continues to be a profitable business despite attempts to dampen the financial return via stamp duty increases and other changes to legislation.”

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Cost of maintaining a buy-to-let hits £12k a year in parts of the UK

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Leading property management platform, Howsy, has looked at the cost of maintaining a buy-to-let property each year and how this varies across the UK.  

Buy-to-let can be a tricky business if you don’t tackle it properly and there are a whole host of costs that can trip up the amateur investor. From the more obvious additional three percent stamp duty tax, to various other tax implications, void periods, mortgage costs, agency fees, the cost of finding a tenant, and more, Howsy’s previous research shows the average buy-to-let brings an annual return of just £2,000.

With the Government’s continued attack on UK landlords, making the most out of your investment financially can be tough and even when you consider all financial commitments for a property, many can still be caught unaware by out of the blue maintenance and repair costs. 

Buy-to-let landlords should squirrel away savings in anticipation of these events and an industry rule of thumb is an annual budget equivalent to 1% of your property’s value. 

So what does that equate to?  

Across the UK landlords should be tucking away an annual budget of £2,344 to cover repairs and maintenance, with this rising to £4,746 in London, with the North East home to the lowest repair costs at just £1,328. 

Of course, markets with higher rent returns may seem promising from an investment standpoint but the higher the reward, the higher the cost when things do go wrong. In Kensington and Chelsea, this annual 1% saving climbs to an eye-watering £12,292, hitting nearly £9,000 in both the Cities of London and Westminster.  

Outside of London, South Bucks and Elmbridge are home to the most expensive buy-to-let maintenance costs at £6,091 and £6,019 respectively.

Head to the likes of Burnley or Blaenau Gwent however, and this yearly maintenance budget drops to less than £1,000 a year.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: 

“The buy-to-let sector can be a minefield for the amateur investor and now more than ever, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.

While technology now allows a greater level of control and service when managing your investment at a lower cost via online platforms, it isn’t just about the financial side of things. Providing a fit for purpose property is not only a legal requirement but essential to ensure a happy tenancy and a reduction in void periods.

Of course, things can go wrong and having the budget available to fix them is a must. In the worst-case scenarios, a cash pot equal to one percent of your property’s value might not be sufficient, but it should cover you for most eventualities and is a good benchmark to start on.

As with all buy-to-let investments, good preparation, organisation, and education are key, and whether you go it alone or have a great management agent if you stay on top of things, a bricks and mortar investment is still one of the best you can make.” 

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