Property services


- Property Developers (with a strategy to build and hold tenanted apartments)
- Investor Landlords (seeking to purchase multiple pre-tenanted apartments)
- Estate Agents (if you are mandated to lease whole unbroken blocks of apartments)
- Serviced Apartment operators (If you are looking to expand your portfolio)

I do not know how much you already know about Serviced Apartments so I’ll start at the beginning; A serviced apartment is a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays, which provides amenities for daily use. 

Working with serviced apartment companies is really a landlords dream as the income stream is guaranteed regardless of occupancy rates. The owner has piece of mind that the service provider (serviced apartment operator or Management Company) will rent only to the most qualified clients and tenants, many of which have long standing relationships with them. Between guests the operator completely refreshes and restocks each unit so it looks and feels like knew including taking care of any essential maintenance.

In ever changing market it is good to know that by leasing to a serviced apartment operator you will enjoy the following advantages:

- Assured income regardless of changing occupancy
- Lower marketing and administrative expenditure
- The operator creates desirable living spaces that attract high-income, low risk tenants
- One convenient point of contact for all service issues
- Reduced turnover expenses

In Central London I have many clients that would like to rent multiple units in the following areas:

- Mayfair
- Anywhere in Westminster borough (Marylebone, Baker street, Paddington etc..)
- RBKC (Chelsea, south ken, Gloucester road, Bayswater, Hyde Park)
- City (Aldgate, Spitalfields, Tower Hill)
- Camden (st johns wood, king cross, angel, Old street, regents park, Caledonian road)
- Wansdworth (Vauxhall)
- Lambeth (Waterloo, Lambeth North)
- Southwark (London bridge, Bermondsey (Not Old Kent road!), Canada Water
- Tower Hamlets (Limehouse, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Westferry, Bow)
- Newham (Stratford only)
- Hammersmith and Fulham, Chiswick, Ealing
- Richmond & Kingston
- Central Wimbledon

Outside of London the same operators are searching for stock in key metropolitan towns and cities throughout the UK:

- Thames valley: Reading, Slough, Newbury, Maidenhead, Bracknell, Windsor,
- Surrey: Egham, Woking, Croydon, Camberley
- The Shires: Farnborough, Wokingham, Basingstoke
- Oxford
- Bath
- Southampton
- Bournemouth
- Poole
- Exeter
- Plymouth
- This list is not exhaustive…

Some of my clients will rent small (whole) blocks of 5-10 properties, others are looking for 10-50 (the majority) and some would happily take 50-300 apartments. With all of these companies the rule of thumb is 70% studios or 1 bedroom apartments with the balance in 2 bed (prefer 2 bath) or 3 bed units. 3 bedroom units are less popular in Central London.

My clients will take an FRI lease for a minimum of 10 years (in some cases it is 25 years with appropriate break clauses built in), rental values are close to AST rates but expect to discount by 10% on large amounts of apartments. You can build in annual rent reviews upwards only in line with RPI (capped), plus you are absolved of all management fees because the operator takes care of everything. The landlord is obligated to pay for the full fit out of white goods plus a brand standard fit out, but the operator would facilitate this and they will accept an increased rent free period in lieu of the cost.

In terms of the covenant strength of the operators I am connected with, I am able to demonstrate they are all a very safe bet.

I would welcome the chance for an in depth discussion with any interested parties, and if you represent a Serviced Apartment company who is looking to expand its portfolio – you’ve come to right place.
This fact sheet is available to download using the link below.

Ben Davis,
13 Feb 2012, 08:56