July 7, 2017

Fun in the Sun at Fortune Street Park on Saturday!

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 1:02 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for something fun to do in the summer sunshine this weekend, why not pop along to the Fortune Street Park Summer Funday, taking place from 12 noon until 5pm in this wonderful Park behind the Barbican. There’ll be plenty to do for young and old alike, including a mini petting farm, live music, storytelling, football tables, ball games and babies’ soft play. The weather looks promising for the day and there will be plenty of space to spread out a picnic blanket and make a day of it.

While you’re there, be sure to buy a raffle ticket to be in with a chance of winning a bottle of our very own Frank Harris champagne! For more information, you can email information@friendsfortunepark.com, visit their Fortune Street Park page on Facebook, or follow them on twitter @FortuneStPark and Instagram @FortuneStreetPark.

Frank Harris & Company is the leading agent for selling and letting properties in and around the Barbican and the Golden Lane Estate. We have many years of experience and we are genuinely passionate about this wonderful part of London. If you are considering buying or selling in this iconic part of London please do get in touch, we would be delighted to help.

July 5, 2017

Fearless in our pursuit of finding you the perfect property!

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 2:30 pm

Did you spot our Frank Harris posters in the latest episode of Fearless, ITV’s exciting drama featuring Helen McRory as a human rights lawyer, who finds herself caught up in some rather tricky situations?

The programme was filmed in West Smithfield, an area we at Frank Harris love and know well.

The images to the right show some rather worried looking faces from last night’s programme, but rest assured you will remain happy and calm throughout your experience of buying, selling, letting or renting with Frank Harris! Get in touch with one of our four central London branches today to find out how we can help with all of your property requirements.

June 12, 2017

For an agent you can trust, look for the ARLA Propertymark logo

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:48 pm

Are you somebody looking to rent a property? Perhaps you are a Landlord looking to let out your valuable asset? If so, then you will want to work with an agency with membership to ARLA Propertymark.

Renting or letting a property can seem like a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time and you are unsure of the process and all that it involves, so it’s vital you work with an agent you can trust. Large sums of money, as well as a fair amount of time and paperwork are involved. It’s important, therefore, that you feel you are in safe hands with somebody who can steer you through the maze of ongoing legislation and legalities surrounding the industry.

If you look at the Frank Harris & Co., window displays across our London network of branches you will see this sign displayed:

This differentiates us from other agents who are not members, because we are:

  • Backed by the Propertymark Client Money Protection scheme
  • Experienced and trained professionals required to undertake regular training
  • Kept up-to-date with complex legislative changes and best practice
  • Adhering to a nationally recognised Code of Practice
  • Submitting independently audited accounts to Propertymark annually
  • Members of an independent redress scheme
  • Fully compliant with Professional indemnity insurance

So, you can walk into our offices and be confident in the knowledge that we will guide and advise you in the most professional direction, which not only benefits you and the property, but also protects you and your money. Do get in touch to find out more, or to discuss your own property requirements, we would be delighted to help.

May 24, 2017

Brunch at Bala Baya in Borough

Webber Street, SE1

Our South Bank office has just been instructed to market a wonderful two double bedroom lateral apartment on Webber Street, SE1, which is located moments from Borough underground station. The property is set on the 5th floor of a portered development and provides a superb opportunity to purchase a home which would allow you to take in some of the most amazing views across the Capital from a balcony that extends to nearly the full length of the apartment. Views stretch across to the City, east to the Shard, and west to the London Eye.

After a busy working week, why not relax by walking to the Union Yard Arches to take in a play at the Union Theatre or enjoy a bite to eat at Bala Baya, which describes itself as beinga bakery in the morning, a fast paced pitta kiosk with a sit down mezzanine at lunch and a buzzy street level restaurant at night.’ For those looking for something altogether more energetic, why not start the weekend by booking a session at Flying Fantastic, an Aerial Fitness school on Union Street.

Do get in touch to find out more about the apartment or to arrange a viewing. We would be delighted to help.

May 17, 2017

All that jazz!

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 9:59 am

Property for sale, Cloth Court

Our Frank Harris Long Lane office is excited to be marketing these two stunning one bedroom apartments in Cloth Court.

The beautifully designed properties are located within easy walking distance of a wide array of wonderful local amenities, superb transport links, places of historical interest, and, not least, the City. Barbican Arts Centre is just a five minute walk away, and the properties will also provide fabulous access to some of the best new cultural attractions currently being planned for the area, including the newly relocated Museum of London, and a forthcoming world-standard concert venue being built at the moment. For those looking to combine the best of City living with frequent travel abroad, the apartments provide access to every serving London airport.

Property for Sale, Cloth Court

 

The apartment also provides fantastic opportunities to enjoy some wonderful nightlife within the locality. Members of our Long Lane team recently enjoyed a fantastic evening at Oriole Bar, which plays host to a selection of jazz artists throughout the week…and on Sunday and Tuesday evenings the jazz is completely free of charge. The bar also offers a wide array of cocktails to sip as you sit and enjoy the music. With all this on your doorstep it’s highly doubtful, but if you ever felt the need to venture beyond the Square Mile then the upcoming Crossrail line, due to open in 2018, is just a few minutes’ walk from the apartments.

Both properties feature bespoke carpentry and contemporary design finishes throughout, making them ideal pied a terres for those wishing to purchase a base in the heart of the City. Do get in touch to find out more information and to arrange a viewing of these wonderful opportunities.

 

 

April 5, 2017

Easter theatre children’s egg-stravaganza

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , — Frank Harris @ 12:47 pm

What better way to enjoy an Easter family day out than a trip to the theatre? Southwark’s Union Theatre is putting on Honk! for a rare revival of the show that beat The Lion King and Mamma Mia to the 2000 Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

In this re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling, we follow Ugly on his journey across the marsh after being pushed out of the flock by the other farm animals. The promised “egg-stravaganza” includes puppetry, magic, illusions and, to the delight of the children in the audience, water guns.

Honk! Photo by Nick Rutter

Written by British duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, Honk! has been seen by more than six million people worldwide in over 8,000 productions. Other plays by the pair include Mary Poppins, Half a Sixpence and their soon to be released musical, Wind in the Willows.

For those of you that haven’t been there recently, the Union Theatre has moved to new premises. It outgrew its original venue in an old paper warehouse and is now in larger purpose-built space across the road. There’s also a new café and bar. Since its formation in 1998, the theatre has built a reputation as one of the top fringe venues in London for musicals, putting on both new productions and revivals.

In September last year, it launched the Union Youth Theatre for children aged 4 to 18. This gives members the chance to train with professional actors and directors, and rehearse and perform in the theatre. So, if your children get the theatre bug after seeing Honk! you know where to take them.

Honk! is on at the Union Theatre, Union Street, SE1 0LR from 29th March to 22nd April. Tickets are £22.50 for adults and £17.50 for children of 14 and under. Concessions are available. For more details and information about the Union Youth Theatre, go to www.uniontheatre.biz.

April 4, 2017

Afternoon tea in London’s hidden conservatory

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 11:34 am

Afternoon Tea at the Barbican Conservatory (Photo by Tom Flynn)

We Brits don’t need much of an excuse for a cup of tea. Our annual intake is a staggering 60 billion cups, which works out to 900 cups a year for every man, woman and child.

It’s surprising then that though we have been drinking tea since the 1600s, the tradition of afternoon tea is a relatively new one. It was started by the Duchess of Bedford in 1840. To stave off her peckishness between lunch and dinner, she would have tea, bread and butter, and cake served to her in the afternoon. She soon started inviting her friends, and taking afternoon tea became a fashionable thing to do. Women would dress in long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon cuppa and sandwiches in drawing rooms across London.

These days, the capital is full of hotels and restaurants where you can enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. Few venues in London though offer as stunning a backdrop as the Barbican Conservatory.

Barbican Conservatory (photo by Lee Mawdsley)

London’s second largest conservatory is now serving afternoon tea on Sundays. The conservatory, perched on top of the Barbican Arts Centre, really is a hidden oasis. Opened in 1984, it houses more than 2,000 tropical plants and trees. It is also home to a variety of bird life, as well as ponds teeming with exotic fish and terrapins. And, it includes an arid house where you will find ‘Fred’, the largest saguaro (giant cactus) in Europe. It was donated to the Barbican by the mayor of Salt Lake City.

The Barbican also offers one-hour tours led by its resident gardeners. So, you can find out all about the flora and fauna before tucking into your dainty sandwiches, cake and, of course, favourite brew.

To find out about Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory and Barbican Conservatory Tours go to www.barbican.org.uk.

April 3, 2017

See the works of London’s future artists at Central Saint Martins

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:25 pm

CSM EGG by Anna Fox

King’s Cross’s Granary Square is a wonderful addition to London life. As well as offering some stunning bars and restaurants it is also home to Central Saint Martins, the world famous arts and design college.

Central Saint Martins was formed in 1989 when Saint Martin’s School of Art combined with the Central School of Art. Now housed in the award-winning Granary Building, it includes the Lethaby Gallery, which is open to the public. Named after the first principal of the Central School of Art, William Richard Lethaby, it showcases the creative talents of staff, students and former students.

One of the gallery’s highlights this year is the MA Fashion Show: Blink. The show features work by acclaimed British photographer Anna Fox who has documented the creation of the collections produced by final year students. Fox engaged with the students over a two-month period to reveal the process of fashion design from first fittings to the catwalk show at London Fashion Week in February.

In May and June, the gallery will open its doors to the Degree Shows 2017. This gives the public the chance to see some of the exciting work produced by the college’s graduating students. It ranges from painting, photography and installation in Show One to design and fashion in Show Two.

MA Fashion Exhibition: Blink is on at Central Saint Martins between 12 and 26 April. Degree Show One is on between 24 and 28 May and Degree Show Two between 21 and 25 June. 

 

Street Art Experience

More things to do in London!

If you really are stuck for things to do… Funzing describes itself as the “Airbnb for creative experiences”. It’s a website where you will find an endless supply of interesting events across London. It is also a platform for anyone with a special skill or hobby to share their expertise with fellow Londoners (and earn a bit of cash in the process).

Events range from learning to make hummus to an introduction to trapeze skills, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Two local events we’ve picked out are Make Your Own 100% Natural Beauty Products and Street Art Experience!

There are hundreds of others to choose from and we defy you not to find something that piques your interest.

 

March 31, 2017

Get your fix at the London Coffee Festival

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:15 pm

London’s first coffee house opened in Cornhill in 1652 and within a dozen years 82 more had opened within the old walls of the City. The capital’s love affair with coffee had begun and 365 years later is showing no sign of waning.

If you are one of the millions of Londoners who wouldn’t dream of starting the day without their fix, you won’t want to miss the London Coffee Festival.

Latte Art

Now in its seventh year, the event is the largest gathering of coffee lovers in Western Europe. Aficionados can enjoy a host of events, one highlight being a competition between the world’s best baristas for the title Coffee Master. Another will be Latte Art live, a showcase of ‘milk-based artistry’. That’s a new one on us but it sounds like a big step up from the usual foam and sprinkles.

There will also be a range of workshops covering everything from brewing styles and bean varieties to tips on opening your own coffee shop.

Visitors will be able to soak up all the free coffee on offer by feasting on street food from some of London’s top food concepts. There will also be wine, whisky, craft beer, chocolate and tea tasting.

And those after a more relaxing experience can enjoy the opening night Espresso Martini party with a set by legendary DJ Norman Jay MBE.

The London Coffee Festival takes place at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane from 6 to 9 April 2017.
Tickets are from £16.50 for adults and £4.50 for children.

 

March 7, 2017

Introducing…Keiron McGill

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 1:56 pm

Keiron McGill, Sales Manager

We are delighted to announce that Keiron McGill has joined our Frank Harris team as Sales Manager of our Southampton Row branch. Keiron brings over twenty years of agency experience with him, which has been gained mostly from his time spent working within the local area.

Keiron loves all things London-related and his knowledge of this particular enclave is second to none.

Keiron did, however, began spending less time out and about in his spare time seven months ago, when he became an extremely proud father to a baby daughter, Maisy Summer; needless to say, he is looking forward to introducing Maisy to everything that this area of London has to offer as she grows older.

 

Loft Style Mansions Flat

Three Bedroom Lateral Apartment

 

 

 

 

Do get in touch to discuss your property requirements with Keiron; since joining us, he has hit the ground running and has already taken on a variety of exciting new instructions, ranging from a three bedroom lateral apartment through to a loft-style mansion flat.

 

January 24, 2017

Your chance for a slice of television history

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 11:18 am
Florin Court, EC1M

Florin Court, EC1M

Our Frank Harris & Co. Long Lane office is delighted to be marketing a wonderful Art Deco apartment in historic Florin Court, which was made famous when it was used as the home to Hercule Poirot, known as Whitehaven mansions.

Poirot is, of course, Agatha Christie’s much loved fictional character who was brought to life by LWT on television from 1990-2013.

To find out more information or to arrange a viewing of this fabulous apartment, please do get in touch with a member of the Frank Harris team, who would be delighted help.

January 4, 2017

Time for a fresh start on Waterloo Road?

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 2:01 pm
Waterloo Road, SE1

Waterloo Road, SE1

If your resolution this year is to detox and declutter your life, why not take a look at this fabulous, minimal apartment in Waterloo Road, available to rent through our Frank Harris office on Stamford Street?

With its streamlined interior, it provides the perfect setting to kick start your New Year health regime…there’s plenty of space for your juicer in the industrial-style kitchen, stacks of room to try out your new fitness DVD in the open plan living space and a fantastic bathroom to sit back, relax and think good thoughts! Do get in touch to find out more.

 

December 21, 2016

Taking your first steps as a Landlord…

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 2:18 pm

If you’re now a seasoned property investor it might seem a long time since you took those significant first Hand 3steps to becoming a Landlord. If you are just starting out, here are some important points to consider at the beginning of your journey.

  1. One of the most important things to consider is whether or not you plan to manage all aspects of the tenancy yourself, or simply hand things over to us to take care of instead. Our dedicated and highly experienced Property Management Department is here to help at every stage; here’s a checklist of things to consider:

Your own Property Management Checklist

  • Sign and return Terms of Business
  • Organise an Energy Performance Certificate
  • Arrange a Gas Safety Certificate
  • Make sure all electric appliances and installations are safe and compliant
  • Provide manuals of all appliances to tenants
  • Arrange any pre-tenancy works
  • Purchase items requested by tenants
  • Book a professional clean
  • Arrange for extra sets of keys
  • Source an inventory company, book the inventory and check-in appointments
  • Open utility accounts for the property
  • Send rent demands when necessary
  • Check rent is paid on time
  • Chase unpaid rent
  • Arrange day-to-day maintenance and repairs
  • Arrange for access for contractors via tenants when works are required; attend when necessary
  • Arrange payment of contractor invoices
  • Retain invoices for tax purposes
  • Visit the property regular
  • Be on call 24/7 to deal with any emergency
  • Deal with any insurance claims
  • Send all statements to accountants
  • Arrange payment of all service charges, if applicable
  • Pay all Insurance Premiums for building and contents insurance
  • Work with third parties such as building managers or party wall surveyors
  • Book an end-of-tenancy inventory check-out
  • Close all utility accounts
  • Put together a deposit claim and negotiate deductions with tenant directly
  • Carry out necessary works at the end of the tenancy
  • Replace missing or damaged items ahead of the new tenancy

The alternative Frank Harris & Co’s Property Management checklist:

  • Instruct Frank Harris & Co., to manage your property/properties
  • Sign and return our Terms of Business
  • Fill out and return our Client Information Form
  • Give us manuals of all the appliances at the property

…then sit back, relax and let us take care of the rest.

  1. Are you legally and legislatively compliant? Keeping abreast of all the recent legislative changes within the private rental sector is becoming increasingly time-consuming. However, it’s extremely important that new Landlords remain fully up to speed with all aspects of health and safety legislation that they are ultimately responsible for. This includes, but is not limited to, being compliant with gas, electrical and fire regulations; you will need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your rental property and you must provide Tenancy Deposit Protection for your tenant. You must comply with Right to Rent, which means it is your responsibility, as Landlord, to ensure that any tenant renting your property is legally allowed to rent property in the UK. We are always here to provide information and support to you and to guide you through all the legal and legislative aspects of becoming a Landlord.
  2. Let your mortgage provider know that you are letting out the property
  3. If you are an investment landlord you are likely to have secured a specific buy-to-let mortgage product for your property; however, if you are an ‘accidental’ landlord, your lender will need to know that you are not the person living in the rental property and must be advised that it is being let out. This point is generally contained within your mortgage company’s terms and conditions and you would be at risk of being penalised by them if you do not make them aware of the property’s rental status.
bar150441_01

Energy Performance Certificate

Make sure you have the right insurance

  1. You will need to make sure that you have specific Landlord Insurance in place before your tenant moves into your rental property. This is likely to cost more than your standard household insurance but will protect you and your property in the event of accidents and/or damage occurring.
  2. Be aware of the tax implications of renting out property You might have to pay a percentage of tax on the rental income you receive and it makes sense to set a proportion of your income aside each month in anticipation of your tax bill. There might be certain aspects of your rental income that you can offset and a tax or financial advisor can provide further details about this. If you would like more information, please get in touch with Private Finance, our associated Financial Advisors.

What rental income can you expect from your property?

Make sure you spend time looking into the rental yield you are likely to achieve on your tenanted property. Get in touch with your local Frank Harris & Co., team to arrange a visit to your property; they will be able to offer excellent advice based on their years of experience of letting comparable properties in the local area. It’s also worth visiting some of the main property portals, such as rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla to give you further examples of properties for rent that are similar to your own.

And finally…

Remember we are here to answer all your questions and help guide you through every stage of the rental process.

December 15, 2016

Calling all Students! Why Bloomsbury is the place for you

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:41 pm
Frank Harris-Night-4

Kings Cross Station

Are you a student at UCL, UCH, Birkbeck College or SOAS, struggling to find the right apartment to rent? Finding an area that ticks the boxes can be difficult, especially if you’ve grown up in a different part of the country – or the world – and don’t know your way around. Keep reading below to find out why Bloomsbury is just the place for you.

Travelling to University couldn’t be easier

As any commuter will tell you, public transport costs an arm and a leg. However, you wouldn’t have to worry if you lived in Bloomsbury. All of the institutions mentioned above are within a 10 minute walk from our properties, apart from UCH, which is only 15 minutes away. Been up all night finishing your assignment? Been making the most of the local nightlife? Left your work to the last minute? With traffic delays taken out of the equation, these short walking distances give you some valuable extra time in bed, or time to proof read your work. If you happen to study at LSE or St. Martin’s but want to live in Bloomsbury, our properties are less than 10 minutes away if you hop onto the Piccadilly Line.

Perfect for shopping, drinking and eating out

If you love a good book, or are looking for a particular title on your reading list, then you have a handful of fabulous bookstores to pick from. Oh, and don’t forget the fantastic Waterstones on Gower Street; not only does it look amazing, but it also has a café inside which provides a perfect place to study over a cappuccino. There is also an internet café and gym nearby, along with a wide selection of shops to buy food, clothes, health and beauty products and stationery. Why not lose yourself in a film (or two) at the six-screen Curzon Cinema in the Brunswick Centre.

So, you’ve finished your assignments, you have some free time for the first time in months and you want to let your hair down. Beer, ale, wine or cocktails; whatever your favourite tipple might be, there is something for everyone within walking distance. If you do fancy travelling just a bit further afield, Covent Garden is walkable; if you want to take the tube it is only two stops from Russell Square on the Piccadilly Line; Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street are also within walking distance too, with all that they have to offer.

Do you consider yourself to be something of a foodie? We’ve got Italian, sushi, Indian, fish and chips, Chinese, burgers, Mexican, Vegan nearby, just to name a few. Popular haunts include Pizza Sophia (Pizza), Café 49 (pasta, sandwiches) and Tortilla (Burritos). Oh, and if you don’t fancy leaving the comfort of your fantastic rented flat, why not get Deliveroo to send something tasty to you at home?

Frank Harris-Night-35

The British Museum

A bit of culture

Fancy taking some time out for a slice of cultural life? Well, you have a wonderful selection of museums to choose from, including The British Museum and the British Library, The Foundling Museum and The Charles Dickens Museum. With other smaller, more specialist museums there really is something for everybody nearby.

No garden? No problem. We have greenery!

There is a slim chance that you will find a property with a garden, or at least some outside space. The beauty of Bloomsbury is the amount of green space it provides. Brunswick Square Gardens are truly beautiful at all times of the year. If you’re looking to kick a football about with your friends, take a stroll to the Astroturf football pitches in Coram’s Fields, next to Brunswick Square Gardens. Russell Square is within walking distance and provides water features, a café and plenty of space to relax. What more could you ask for? These are great tranquil areas within a busy city.

September 19, 2016

Preparing your property to rent

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , — Frank Harris @ 1:10 pm

Our Property Management team offers some helpful hints to landlords who are about to market their rental property:

It may sound obvious but one thing tenants consider carefully when they are searching for a property is whether it is well maintained. They often see this is as a reflection of how the property will be looked after by the landlord during their tenancy. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but there are some tell-tale signs that indicate you will be a caring and vigilant landlord:

Is the decoration in order, or is it chipped, scuffed and generally tired? Are there historic leak stains present? Redecorating doesn’t have to be done throughout the property, sometimes the woodwork is in good condition but the walls need freshening up, or vice versa. This may only apply to one room or a hallway, which receive heavier traffic, or it could be that just the external parts of the property require attention. We would not recommend carrying out touch-ups if you need to paint a small area, as this can make the area look patchy. It is usually best to paint the whole wall to ensure uniformity of colour; more often than not, the price difference is smaller than you might expect. If you decide to carry out a full redecoration, it is best to stick to neutral colours, as this will mean your property appeals to a diverse group of people. Sometimes a particular colour can put off a potential tenant, which limits your market.

Are the carpets in good condition or are they discoloured, worn and fraying? If the carpets are in bad condition, it is something that people notice straight away. We spend a lot of time looking down, even if we don’t mean to. In a rental property it may be a good idea to replace the flooring with a hard wearing carpet, as this should wear better and prevent you from having to replace it regularly. Again, if you do decide to replace it, choose neutral colours to please the majority of viewing tenants. As a landlord, you have a responsibility to try to prevent accidents in the property and frayed carpet or rips could potentially cause trips or falls, which in turn could end up costing a lot in legal bills. Sometimes, only small parts of the carpet need to be replaced. If you have been prudent, you may have kept carpet off-cuts from the original installation. This will help if there is a small area with a stain or burn mark and there are contractors out there who can easily replace small areas for you. Alternatively, you should consider keeping a note of the carpet details and the contractor may be able to order a sample piece to use as replacement.

Is the garden tidy or overgrown? More often than not, the garden is the first and last thing a tenant sees on a viewing and outside space tends to become more of a consideration during the warmer weather. Simply cutting back trees/bushes/plants, weeding any flower beds and mowing the lawn can transform an ominous Jumanji-looking garden into an enticing area in which tenants can picture themselves during the summer months.

Is the furniture in good condition or it is tired/frayed? Sometimes no furniture is better than old tatty furniture. If you would rather not incur the cost of replacing the furniture, donate the old furniture to charity and market the property as unfurnished.

Are the window dressings in good condition or are they stained and ripped? Sometimes dry cleaning curtains can cost as much as replacing them and there is no guarantee that dry cleaning will improve their condition. It can be a good idea to recycle your old curtains/blinds and start again with a hard-wearing, tenant-friendly, neutral set of curtains or blinds. Tenants like to be reassured that they will have their privacy when they move into a property, so damaged curtains can be off-putting on a viewing.

Does everything work as it should or will tenants encounter loose door handles, rickety wardrobes and items held together with sticky tape? It does not take a lot to tighten up a door handle, add an extra screw to a wobbly shelf or replace a washer to stop a tap from leaking. If the address is number 9 but the door number is loose and has fallen down to read 6, this can be off-putting to tenants, who may worry that they might not receive their post. These are the sorts of issues that go through potential tenants’ minds when looking for a property. If you are unable to do these jobs yourself, a local handyman equipped with his tools and a ‘to do’ list can fix these for you.

Property to rent Queens Quay, London, EC4V

Property to rent Queens Quay, London, EC4V

Is the bathroom floor tiled and are the tiles in good condition or are they cracked/moving? If the bathroom floor tiles are cracked, the tenants may worry about walking on them barefoot, as they could injure themselves. Cracked tiles can also indicate an underlying issue with the level of the subfloor. If it is uneven this can sometimes indicate a leak, as water causes the wood to rot and move. This leak can simply be when someone steps out of the shower and water slips through the perishing grouting, compromising the subfloor. On occasion it can indicate something more sinister such as a pipe leak, so it may be an idea to get this checked. If you have sorted out any background issues and the subfloor is not damaged, it is sometimes possible to replace the individual cracked tiles and re-grout. This is only if you have some matching tiles and the cracked tiles can be removed without damaging the remaining floor area. You may decide it’s worth replacing the whole floor if more than one tile is cracked. Again, it is a good idea to stick to neutral colours and once the new tiles have been laid make sure to keep the grout in good condition to avoid having to replace the tiles too regularly.

Our established, dedicated Property Management team, based at our Barbican ffice, would be delighted to discuss any property management issues you might have.
Please do contact the team on 020 7600 7000, or email on city@frankharris.co.uk if you would like further information.

September 8, 2016

‘A Word From’ Ashley Whitbourn, Sales Manager

Ashley Whitbourn, Sales Manager

Ashley Whitbourn, Sales Manager

Ashley Whitbourn, Sales Manager, South Bank and Waterloo

What is great about living in the area?

To live here is to experience the culture and the many eclectic bars and restaurants that run the length of the South Bank. The area really took off as a place to live in the new millennium with the arrival of the London EyeTate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and the expansion of Borough Market.

Borough Market

Borough Market

What is coming up that will make it even more attractive?

One Blackfriars on the south-west side of Blackfriars Bridge will add a new dimension to the area. As well as the 50-storey tower, it will provide a boutique hotel, a landscaped public piazza as well as shops, restaurants and bars.

Tell us about one of your favourite hidden gems.

Go to the BFI Bar & Kitchen and look for the secret door behind a bookcase. It will take you into an intimate cocktail bar called the Drawing Room that was recently named as one of London’s top library bars.

September 7, 2016

‘A Word From’ Andrew Sorene, Group Director

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:35 pm
Andrew Sorene, Group Director

Andrew Sorene, Group Director

Andrew Sorene, Group Director, Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and King’s Cross

What is great about living in your area?

Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia are such established areas, full of beautiful buildings and interesting things to see but they are also so vibrant, with loads going on. Both are within walking distance of the West End, Soho and the City and also have excellent transport connections. King’s Cross has become one of the most exciting places to live in London, as well as being the gateway to Europe on the Eurostar.

Introductory Gallery © The Foundling Museum

Introductory Gallery © The Foundling Museum

What is coming up that will make it even more attractive?

The continuing development around King’s Cross means it will keep getting better and better. As well as new shops and restaurants opening seemingly by the day it now has a cinema, theatre, museums, galleries and a leisure centre.

Tell us about one of your favourite hidden gems.

The Foundling Museum in Brunswick Square tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, Britain’s first home for abandoned children, and the children who grew up there. The hospital was the UK’s first children’s charity as well as being its first public art gallery.

September 6, 2016

‘A Word From’ Lucy Oakley, Sales Manager

Lucy Oakley, Sales Manager

Lucy Oakley, Sales Manager

Lucy Oakley, Sales Manager, Holborn, Covent Garden and Soho

What is great about living in the area?

It is an area that is forever changing and one that you think you have fully explored only to discover somewhere new just around the corner. There’s also a sense of calmness here that you wouldn’t expect given how popular it is with tourists.

Tell us about something coming up that will make it even more attractive?

The launch of the Centre Point development next year will give the area huge impetus. As well as 82 flats, there will be a new public square and over 41,000 square feet of retail space. Throw in the opening of Crossrail a year later and you can see that the area around Tottenham Court Road station is going to be transformed.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Tell us about one of your favourite hidden gems.

The Phoenix Artist Club off Charing Cross Road is a quirky downstairs restaurant and bar with a great atmosphere. It is located under the Phoenix Theatre and was the original dressing and rehearsal room for the theatre.

How have prices moved over the last year?

Prices in the whole area have increased steadily over the past 12 months. The average price of a property in the City of Westminster has risen by 8.1% in that period and by 9.9% in Camden.

The average pound per square foot price achieved in Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury in Q2 of this year was £1,712 and the average sale price of a property in WC2 in 2016 is £1,500,000.

 

September 5, 2016

‘A Word From’ Tina Evans, Group Director

 

Tina Evans (2)

Tina Evans, Group Director

Tina Evans, Group Director, Barbican, City and Clerkenwell

What is great about living in the City of London?

It is exclusive and will remain that way as the planning rules mean there will only ever be a limited number of residential properties within the City. Crime numbers are low and transport links are excellent.

Tell us about something coming up that will make it even more attractive?

Crossrail opening in Farringdon in 2018 will improve transport links further and provide super-fast access across the whole of London. Also, the new Museum of London in the old market at Smithfield will give us a world-class museum on our doorstep. The aim is for the museum to be opened by 2022 and although that is some time away it should be spectacular once it is completed.

Tell us about some of your favourite hidden gems.

IMG_4010

The Barber Surgeons’ Garden

The City of London is dotted with beautiful green spaces. One of these is The Barber Surgeons’ Garden within the remains of London’s Roman Wall. It was opened in 1987 on what was once a derelict bombsite, although there have been gardens on the site since 1555.

The present garden was planted by the Worshipful Company of Barber Surgeons with the aim of showing how plants have been used since the earliest days of medicine. It contains around 45 species of plants and herbs that were once grown to treat wounds, burns and bruises.

Another is the Roman Amphitheatre in the Guildhall. It was built around 43AD and more than 7,000 people would sit and watch animal fights and the execution of criminals. The remains were only discovered in 1985 during the redevelopment of the Guildhall Art Gallery.

August 30, 2016

Digging for Digs

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 11:00 am
Neil Dawson Lettings Director

Neil Dawson
Lettings Director

Neil Dawson, Lettings Director from our Bloomsbury and West End Frank Harris office, offers some useful tips to students looking for accommodation to rent

For many students, the days of crowding round common room notice boards in search of a postcard advertising a room to rent within walking distance of the Student Union bar are long gone; no more borrowing a leaky Biro from a newly acquired best friend to scribble down the number of a Landlady on the back of a text book; no more searching for coins, trudging to a distant phone box in the rain to make an unanswered call. With the smartphone has come an altogether easier and time-efficient way to search for a place to rent. Check out these tips to help you find the perfect pad:

 

 

  1. First of all, determine your budget. That will help you work out the type of property you can afford and in which location.
  2. If you’re not familiar with specific estate agents in the area you want to live, begin your search online with a portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla. Websites like these let you search by area and you’re able to set your maximum rental level. When you do this you’ll also be able to see the agents in each area.
  3. If the area you choose is not within walking distance of your university, check your transport links and work out how much your commute will cost you. You may be better off paying more rent to live closer once this is taken into account.
  4. You get more for your money if you are sharing. A lot of landlords will rent out a one bedroom flat for two people and allow the lounge to be used as a second bedroom, especially if there is a separate lounge and kitchen.
  5. Some universities will help people find flat shares for first year students and put details on their website and, yes, those notice boards. Sometimes we get two or three students coming in together who have never met each other before.

Choosing an agent

You should check that the agent is ARLA licensed, part of the Ombudsman Scheme and a member of RICS. This will give you peace of mind that you’re dealing with a professional company and that any deposit money you hand over is protected.

What’s the best way to secure the property you want?

So, you’ve made your decision about where you’re going to rent; you’ve decided who you’re going to rent with (and remember, the fun new friend who is always last one standing at the bar might not necessarily make the best sharer); you’ve set your budget, looked online and seen some properties that match your requirements and you’re confident that the agents are reputable. The next stage is to compile a list of suitable properties, contact the agent and book some viewings.

Your first question should be ­– does the landlord take students? Even in popular student areas, some landlords won’t rent to students, so it’s as well to clear this up at the beginning of the conversation.

Some agents will ask you for a deposit before showing properties to students. You should not agree to this and this is a warning sign that the agent is not reputable.

A few things to check at this stage

  • Make sure you check what the agent’s fees are, what the deposit is and whether there are any additional hidden costs. The average security deposit in central London is six weeks’ rent.
  • Sometimes, the rent will include heating and hot water, which is a bonus and it’s worth asking if this is the case.
  • Ask what the minimum length of contract is. Some landlords will require a minimum period of a year, whereas students often only want a nine month contract in order to avoid paying rent through the summer months, when they generally return home.
  • Work out how you are going to pay the rent. The options are: agree to pay by blocks of six months or pay monthly. If you pay monthly, the landlord will want someone to guarantee the rent. This must be someone living in UK.

Can you haggle on the rent?
Yes, but usually the competition in the summer months is high and you risk losing out to someone else who is prepared to pay the asking rent.

How to impress a landlord
Preparation is key and you should be prepared to show the agent your:

  • University acceptance letters
  • Copies of passports and visas if required
  • Proof of address form where you have been living

Having these ready will ensure the process progresses smoothly. Be organised and decisive and if there is a lot of competition you should move as quickly as possible.

Have the money in your account ready to pay one week’s rent as a holding deposit so that you are ready to go. This will give you an advantage over anyone else who is interested.

Dealing with problems

Before you take the property, ask who will be managing it. If there are separate managing agents speak to them as soon as any problems arise. Don’t leave things until they get worse as the landlord may not want to pay for additional work that arises.

If there are no managing agents, speak to the agent or the landlord directly. Follow up your conversation in writing so that you have a record of the problem and the fact that you have reported it.

Student apartment to rent - Thanet Street

Central Bloomsbury, first floor, student apartment to rent – Thanet Street £395 per week (fees apply)

How to deal with neighbours

Don’t act like a student! Remember you are not in a hall of residence. In addition to the tenancy agreement, most blocks of flats will have restrictions over what you can do such as making noise between certain hours. You must adhere to these if you don’t want to upset the neighbours and, ultimately, your landlord.

For other advice about renting as a student, please do contact members of the Frank Harris & Company team across any of our offices, we would be very happy to help you.

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