West London’s rental market is buoyant, with a new breed of landlord encouraged by TV property programmes, and new generations of tenants.

Young professionals embarking on careers after university are helping stoke demand for good rental properties in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush.

Rents in west London have risen by up to 7% this year, according to Willmotts, which has been in the property business since Queen Victoria was a thirtysomething.

William Taper, associate director in the residential lettings department, told Move To that the market was becoming more educated, with potential renters more knowledgeable – and, consequently, more choosy – about flats… and a new breed of landlord emerging.

“A lot more people are buying to let, and as a result there are a lot more single landlords,” he said. “They talk to friends at the dinner table, and think it’s a great thing to do. There are a lot of new people out there.”

Fuelled by the constant diet of home improvement programmes on television, an increasing number of people see buy-to-let property investment as a goldmine… but being a landlord carries responsibilities too, and Willmotts is in a good position to offer advice, based on years of experience.

“One hundred and fifty years counts for a lot,” said William. “Most of our clients have been with us for years, and we’ve built the business on trust.”

That trust often extends to giving the firm near Hammersmith tube station responsibility for between-lets redecoration and refurbishment, especially in the case of landlords who live outside London or overseas.

“The rental market is very strong in Hammersmith, West Ken, Shepherds Bush, Turnham Green, Ravenscourt Park and Chiswick,” said William. “Rents have risen by up to 7%, depending on location, size and quality. Demand is high for good properties, and tenants are prepared to move if they feel they aren’t getting a good deal.”

He said that the summer market was being propelled forward by the traditional student influx to colleges such as Imperial, and by new professionals. “They are in the early 20s, out of university, maybe going for their first job, excited to be in London, moving out of their parents’ home and looking to share,” he said.

One of the pluses of what can otherwise be a stressful job is receiving positive emails recognising the service that Willmotts has given, and thanking staff for acting in a straight, professional way. “A lot of people come back to us and tell us they trust us, which makes the working environment so much nicer,” said William.

Willmotts is at 12 Blacks Road, W6. Call 020 8748 6644.
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By Tim Harrison 13.08.13

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