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February 1, 2023
Jeremy McGivern
Posted in: Luxury real estate London

Renting a luxury apartment in London? Here’s what you need to know

If you are new to London, you may decide to look for luxury flats for rent in London so that you can do some exploring before deciding on which area you would like to buy. In this case, you need to be aware of the potential pitfalls when renting luxury apartments, because the rental market is a complicated one.

And I am sorry to start on a negative note, but the first thing that you need to know is that the quality of many rental properties can be extremely poor. Even if you are looking for luxury apartments for rent in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Chelsea. So, you must be prepared to be shown a lot of decidedly average properties if you decide to deal with the letting agents directly.

Remember, the letting agent’s job is not to find you the best property for you to rent in London. They are paid by the landlords and their job is to let their clients’ properties to any tenant that they have registered with them (assuming that the tenant is trustworthy) for the highest price possible. In short, you are not their focus.

While there are some good letting agents in prime central London, I’m afraid that there are many who are not, so don’t expect them to send you luxury flats for rent in London that exactly match your requirements and you will also find that to be shown the best luxury London apartments for rent, you will also need to call the agents on a regular basis.

However, as a basic guide you should always ensure that the letting agent is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) and that they also have a recognised “deposit scheme” so that the deposit you put down at the start of the tenancy is protected.

luxury flats for rent in london
luxury flat interior in Prime Central London

What should you consider when choosing luxury London apartments for rent?

You will know how many bedrooms you require, etc., but what do you also need to be near and what amenities do you need with your luxurious flat? This may sound obvious but, for example, if you have children, you need to consider how close you need to be to their school(s).

If the children are young then it is likely that you will want to be very close because not only do you not want a long commute to the school, but their friends will also probably live close by. So, you really need to choose the school before you decide where you want to rent. Conversely, if you have teenagers, the proximity to the school will probably be less important.

Special note if you are planning to rent a luxury apartment in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC): The borough covers quite a large area and it is the only borough in which the residents’ parking permit allows you to park in any residents’ bay in the borough.

This may sound like a small detail, but it is a major bonus. Unfortunately, while many new build flats for rent in London will have underground parking, they may not be eligible for RBKC residents’ permits, so if this is important for you, please check with the letting agent before you investigate new build flats for rent in London.

One other key point to check is whether there are any building works planned in the vicinity. The last thing you want – especially if you have small children or plan to work from home – is to have major renovations, and the noise that goes with them, taking place next door. So, in terms of residential buildings, it is always best to check the local council’s website for the planning section.

luxury flats for rent in LondonKnightsbridge
Knightsbridge private mews alley road street

Tell-tale signs

As mentioned, some luxury flats for rent in London are in decidedly average condition. Sometimes this is not always as obvious as you might think, so it is worth just checking the age and quality of the appliances.

You should also undertake research on who the landlord is: how well does the letting agent know them and are they a professional landlord. For example, with property in Belgravia, your landlord is likely to be the Grosvenor Estate and the Wellcome Trust has many properties in South Kensington. Such landlords give tenants more confidence as they have large maintenance teams and also don’t want the reputational risk of behaving poorly.

Luxury Rental Finder

The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the potential pitfalls with luxury flats for rent in London, so it probably sounds rather negative and daunting. However, there are great properties available and if you undertake the necessary research and due diligence, you will find a wonderful home to rent.

Your first inclination may be to search the various property portals which is not a bad place to start but you cannot rely on them. Firstly, many of the properties will already have been let. Secondly, the higher your budget, the more likely that the property will not be listed on the websites. So, there is no substitute for speaking to the letting agents on a weekly basis if you want to have first refusal on the best homes.

Of course, this is a time-consuming exercise and many tenants also want advice on the entire process of renting a property including; How to accurately determine the value of a property, deposit protection, how to engage in an effective rent negotiation etc. If you feel that you would also benefit from expert advice, then you may want to retain a luxury rental property finder.

If you would like to discover more about this, please email dee@mercuryhomesearch.com or call 02034578855 (+442034578855 from outside the UK).

About the author, Jeremy McGivern

My name is Jeremy McGivern. I am the founder of Mercury Homesearch, the internationally renowned property search consultancy, and author of The Insider’s Guide To Acquiring Luxury Property in Prime Central London. I have been acquiring property in prime central London for clients for over 13 years.

Having physically viewed over 22,000 properties in prime central London, studied the details of over 153,400 apartments, houses and investment opportunities and spoken to 232+ estate agents every week for over a decade.

My advice is in high demand and has featured everywhere from Bloomberg Television, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph to Forbes India and Bahrain Confidential.

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