Landlords! Avoid the void this summer

Don’t get caught without a tenant this summer, says estate agent John Horton. It is simple advice that’s currently proving trickier than you might think


The busy season for rentals has now arrived.

However, the market seems very different in comparison to the beginning of last summer. So what’s changed?

I can’t find fault with The Queen’s Jubilee, Euro 2012, Wimbledon or the Olympics. And despite my general irritation with the endless stream of rain, I can’t even point the finger at the pesky precipitation. Aside from all of those seasonal distractions, here at Horton and Garton we have recorded a higher number of properties to rent with more availability, resulting in a wide choice for those willing and able tenants in the marketplace. This in many ways was good to see as the local market has been starved of variety and quality when it came to lettings. However, for many landlords it has become an unwelcome reality.

The solution? A bit of straight talking. Namely, we recommended a tactic unheard of last summer. We urged our landlords to stay competitive with their pricing. And for many, that meant a slight revision of asking prices downwards. The result was a record dozen new lets in under a week! And a lot of happy landlords who managed to ‘avoid the void’ and keep their properties occupied this summer. There is nothing riskier for landlords than an empty property. The lack of income is the obvious danger. But having good tenants also helps ensure the property remains safe and sound.

In the end, 75 per cent of our landlords chose to revise their rates accordingly and the market responded with enthusiasm. Which means it’s onwards and upwards, once again, for the Horton and Garton team. So If you are a London landlord and would like the professional advice of a hands-on ARLA agent, pop in to see the Horton and Garton team where you are guaranteed of a friendly welcome and an honest opinion.

John Horton is Director of Horton and Garton estate agents in 176 King Street, Hammersmith W6 ORA. Call 020 8819 0510 or visit us online at: or follow @Safeashousesw6 on Twitter

(This feature originally appeared in Westside magazine. An abridged version appeared in the Hammersmith & Chiswick NCT magazine.)