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 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.


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.

August 19, 2016

The BFG Dream Jar Trail

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 1:32 pm

Geraldine’s Dream Jar

Have you noticed the magical Dream Jars located around London?  The Dream Jars are featured to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday and the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) movie released in July.

Our favourite one is Geraldine’s Dream Jar located in the Barbican close to our Long Lane Office.  This Dream Jar features one of her sketches coming to life, flying upwards before being immortalised in a beautiful painting, a symbol of the liberty enabled by her art.

There are fifty BFG Dream Jars located around the UK, mainly in London, but they can also be found in Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and Cheshire.  Which one is your favourite?

For more information about the ‘Dream Jar’ trail click here

July 28, 2016

Brutalist Barbican

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 9:01 am
The Gardens

The Gardens

As I am the newest member of the City office – and a Barbican novice – I took part in an Architectural Tour hosted by The Barbican Centre recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have a lot to learn in order to catch up with my peers as the level of knowledge circulating our office has been accumulated and passed down for the last 40 years. Spending most working days visiting various blocks in the Barbican you cannot help but be drawn in by the history and you discover more each time you visit. I think of it as a brutalist congregation of residential terraces and tower blocks, forming a unique community within The City of London’s Roman walls.

As a result of significant damage from WWII The Barbican was conceived as an idea to bring residents back to the

The Architecture

The Architecture

city and establish a permanent community. In 1951 The City of London launched a competition to find the best design for a housing development of this nature. Chamberlin, Powell and Bon each separately put their designs forward and agreed if any of them won the competition they would all work on the project together. Following the completion of The Golden Lane Estate they won the commission to design the Barbican development, and work began on the residential complex in 1963.

 The concept of the podium level was to create a quiet pedestrian space uninterrupted by road traffic (believed to be the first example of its kind). The podium gives you a sense of security and a resident-only key allows access to the buildings and gardens. In the original design it was intended for the Barbican to be covered in white marble tiles, which they later decided would be too costly.

Barbican 1

Frobisher Crescent

The three towers, triangular in shape, Shakespeare, Cromwell and Lauderdale, were the tallest residential towers in Europe at the time they were built. The towers are a dramatic contrast to the otherwise horizontal buildings, and have become an iconic part of The City of London skyline with the floor to ceiling windows allowing residents to enjoy changing perspectives. 


All three are identical, but positioned so they are seen from different angles.  The

The Lakes

The Lakes

engineered repetitive design with sharp jutting angles is classically brutalist.


Looks can be deceiving…the lakes are actually only half a metre deep and the water is coloured green to cover the pipework running through it. There really is no place like the Barbican.


Points of interest: It is full of quirks and eccentricities. For example, its deepest point is 73ft below street level and has the second largest conservatory in London. 

St. Giles

St. Giles

After the war, St Giles was the only building surrounded by huge areas of bombsite.  Although many of its treasures had been lost in the Blitz, they restored the church with furnishings from St Luke’s Church, Old Street; here, some of the old tombstones from St Giles’s churchyard have been set into the walls of one of the Barbican’s lakes.


Nicola Kermarrec, Sales Negotiator, Frank Harris & Co., Barbican 020 7600 7000




July 15, 2016

Three weeks on: how the London market has reacted to the EU Referendum vote

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , , — Frank Harris @ 8:11 pm

Ref graphic FHOur London Research Department assesses the reaction within the property market following the vote to leave the European Union, as at 15th July 2016.

The result of the Referendum was announced three weeks ago and although it is too early to gauge any marked trend in the property market, the immediate response evidenced by our offices appears relatively moderate.

Caution among buyers, sellers and EU tenants stemming from the uncertain economic and political position of withdrawing from the EU, which was very obvious in the months leading up to the vote, still resonates in the Press. However, looking at new demand for residential property from applicants registering their interest in buying or renting across our London offices, we have not detected any notable downturn in demand following 23 June.

The graph below shows the weekly average for the past three months of applicant registrations including the three week period following the Referendum.


main graph - FH






Among our London network of offices, there has been no significant fall in demand in the sales market which is relatively stable, just below its three month average. Demand for rental property started to gain momentum in the weeks leading up to the vote and has continued to increase since 23rd June.

The Sales Market

To help gauge pressure on house prices, we compare the proportion of those new entrants into the market registering interest to buy against those interested in selling. Our offices have seen a fairly steady ratio of three applicants to every seller over the past six months.

sales ratio - FH












However, despite relatively steady demand, transaction numbers have fallen and the market is likely to see a continuation of the lower number of sales across London in 2016 compared with last year. That has and will continue to be most pronounced at the high end, which has a greater degree of price sensitivity with the market still adjusting to the Stamp Duty reforms. In the prime central regions where overseas demand is more significant, the value of the Pound Sterling has made buying UK property cheaper. For example, for the Indian Rupee or the United States Dollar, the Pound is currently 13% lower than on the day of the Referendum. This ‘discount’ should attract investors and those looking to buy in London, especially those holding a medium to long term view. Despite the uncertainty over the future of Britain’s trading position, London is still likely to retain its ‘safe haven’ status. It is seen as one of the world’s leading Capital cities where its history, diverse architecture, quality of life and overall appeal to the international community is unique. Significantly, London’s resilience to previous major economic downturns has been proven.

In the lower value and peripheral areas of London where demand for housing is more heavily influenced by mortgage markets, the fact that the base interest rate has just been held at its record low of 0.5% and may be reduced in due course will support buyers’ ability to purchase. This bodes well for those re-mortgaging or new entrants to the housing market. Lenders may be rigid in passing on lower rates and still be strict on loan to value ratios but the historic low cost of borrowing will continue to underwrite demand and thus support prices.

However, what we are likely to see in London is greater price sensitivity and thus lower capital growth. In May, the Chancellor suggested that property values in the UK could be 10-18% under their expected trend by mid-2018 because of a short term economic shock following our withdrawal from EU membership. London is arguably most at risk due to being the least affordable region in the UK but the very constrained supply, low interest rates and our Capital’s institutional factors will help support prices. The Nationwide House Prices Index recorded London prices had grown 10% in the 12 months to July 2016. Therefore even with a fall in demand, it would need to be significant to stop annualised capital growth.

We have seen certain purchasers seeking to take advantage of the uncertainty by making offers well below asking prices and some vendors have agreed to discounts. However, we have also seen some record and full asking prices achieved which indicates that some purchasers are taking a longer term view over the value of properties they are purchasing.

The Lettings Market

Not unsurprisingly the lettings market has shown greater resilience than the sales market to the uncertainty leading up to the Referendum and continues to do so. On average, we have witnessed an increase in activity for those looking to rent a property. Comparing the ratio of prospective tenants to landlords, there has been some variation over the past six months but in the last three months there have been progressively more tenants seeking rented property across our London network. However this does mask some regional variations where those offices more reliant on European and corporate tenants have not seen such resilience.

lettings ratio - FH














Although both sales and rental demand appear to be stable following the vote to leave, Britain has not begun the negotiations of withdrawing from the EU and until the mechanics of re-establishing our trading positions have taken hold we will not know the extent of any adverse consequences. However we now have greater political stability with the rapid succession of our new Prime Minister and the swift appointment of a new Cabinet. The FTSE 350, which is more representative of British commerce, is at a higher level than before the Referendum as is the FTSE 100. The Bank of England is strategically ready to counter any downturn in economic activity through quantitative easing, relaxing commercial lending criteria and reducing the base interest rate. The Treasury may also implement fiscal measures such as reducing corporation tax to encourage more investment. The new Chancellor has already announced that he will aim to ‘scale back austerity’ and has pledged to ‘protect the City’. This improved political and economic position will encourage greater confidence and should help support prices.

Rob JSSS issue - CroppedRobert Butterworth
Head of London Research Department

Disclaimer: Any figures, commentary and opinion published in this report is for general information only and in no way intended as financial advice and should not be relied upon in any way. Frank Harris & Co., assumes no responsibility for any loss from the use of any material in this report.

June 1, 2016

Clerkenwell Design Week


Tina Evans, Group Director, arriving in style

Clerkenwell continues to attract more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet!

Celebrating its 7th year, Clerkenwell Design Week has established itself as the UK’s leading independent design festival, with over 300 exhibiting brands and 35,000 attendees in 2015, the sales team at Frank Harris & Co., went along last week – attached are some of our highlights:



Catellani & Smith Design

A leading Italian brand for decorative lighting, Catellani & Smith offer a unique blend of timeless design style and technical innovation. The company is recognised for its skill in producing bespoke solutions for small or large lighting projects. (this is for the ball of lights)





Graypants Cardboard Lights

Graypants cleverly design their unique lighting using custom-made pure white corrugated cardboard precision cut on advanced machinery.








Living Tower

Samantha and Nicola tried out the “Living Tower” at the Vitra showroom.

Verner Pantons Living Tower is a furniture sculpture that can be used on four different levels and is over two meters high, the upholstered seating tower has a stable understructure made of birch plywood.


Frank Harris & Co., based in Long Lane, EC1A 9ET, specialises in the sales and lettings of houses and flats throughout the Barbican, City, Clerkenwell areas of Central London. We are experts in handling property in some of the Capital’s most sought-after areas and have in-depth knowledge of local landmarks such as Smithfield, Exmouth Market, Farringdon and St Paul’s as well as the low-down on the best places to eat, drink and relax.  Please do call us on 020 7600 7000 for more information.







May 10, 2016

Clerkenwell duplex penthouse with outstanding views

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 3:11 pm

Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M

Sitting on the balcony of this duplex penthouse drinking a glass of wine, listening to the bells of St Paul’s or nearby St Bartholomew’s you can imagine the monks who lived in the monastery next door hearing the same sounds hundreds of years before. This 1853 sqft apartment overlooks The Charterhouse, a former monastery dating back to the 14th century, now a hidden oasis that remains one of London’s best-kept secrets. Visiting its beautiful gardens, it is hard to believe you are on the doorstep of one of the world’s financial centres and moments from Farringdon Station, whose new Elizabeth Line will give super-fast access across the capital.

Forming the top two floors of this redeveloped Georgian building and with its own direct lift access, the apartment combines period charm with lavish modern fittings. There are three double bedrooms (the


Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M

master has a walk in dressing room and access onto the terrace), two en-suite bathrooms, cloakroom, reception room (with exposed brickwork and views over Charterhouse Square and The Charterhouse), fitted kitchen, roof terrace (also accessible from the hall), and internal lift serving both floors.

You will also be able to enjoy Charterhouse Square’s private gardens for an evening stroll or lazy summer picnics on the grass.

May 9, 2016

£5 wine flights at London Wine Week

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 9:32 am

London Wine Week is fast becoming one of the highlights of the capital’s summer calendar and this year includes more than 100 bars and restaurants.

The hub of the festival is in beautiful Devonshire Square in the City and includes an array of pop-ups that will take you around the world, glass by glass.

The best way to enjoy the festival is to buy a £10 London Wine Week wristband and take advantage of £5 wine flights offered to wearers. This includes award-winning sparkling wine from the festival’s hosts, Nyetimber, whose vineyards span West Sussex and Hampshire.

If you haven’t been to Devonshire Square this is the perfect excuse as its five-acre campus a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station is a lovely mix of apartments, offices and shops.

As well as being home to the Nyetimber Hub, Devonshire Square’s large open terrace will feature 15 wines at the Wines of Portugal Discovery Bar and a dozen from Vins de Provence. Vins de Provence’s laid back beach-themed bar will be serving delicious rosé from the south of France – perfect if the weather is kind.


Image: DrinkUp.London

London Wine Week extends far beyond the City and includes bars and restaurants from Soho to Shoreditch, King’s Cross to Bankside. There are a number of wine-related events including blind tastings, wine-pairing dinners and our personal favourite, an evening celebrating the meeting of wine and label design (hosted by Clerkenwell’s London’s 155 Bar & Kitchen).


London Wine Week runs from 23 to 29 May. Full details about the festival and how to buy your £10 wristband can be found at

May 8, 2016

London’s Garden Squares open their gates

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 9:19 am
Nomura International PLC roof garden © Diana Jarvis

Nomura International PLC roof garden © Diana Jarvis

More than 200 London gardens will be opened to the public at this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend.

Highlights this year include:

  • Museum of the Order of St John, EC1V. The Cloister Garden was re-landscaped as part of redevelopment of the museum in 2010 and includes medicinal plants and herbs. There will be the chance to make a medieval soap ball using some of the herbs that would have been used by the Knights Hospitaller to treat their patients. The London Tea Party Company will be running a pop-up café and there will also be plants for sale and a children’s trail.
  • SOAS Japanese-Inspired Roof Garden. The School of Oriental and African Studies has a small, modern Japanese-style roof garden that features a karesansui (dry landscape) with rocks, a chequerboard planting of lemon thyme alternating with grey pebbles, an engraved water basin and a raised platform for performances. The theme of the garden is ‘forgiveness’ and it is a space for quiet contemplation and meditation.
  • Beech Gardens – The Barbican Estate, EC2Y. One of the City’s newest gardens, it was designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett, best known for his work at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It includes 22,000 herbaceous plants, selected to provide colour and interest throughout the flowering season and fourteen multi-stemmed trees, planted to provide structure, height and interest to the garden.

    © Canary Wharf Group PLC

    © Canary Wharf Group PLC

  • Red Cross Garden, Redcross Way, SE1 1HA. This delightful little garden was originally laid out in 1887 on the site of a derelict paper factory by Octavia Hill, the Victorian philanthropist and co-founder of the National Trust as ‘an open-air sitting-room’ for the people of Southwark. In its heyday it was the scene of the annual Southwark flower show as well as concerts and fêtes. It is now run as a community garden and has won numerous awards.

Several gardens will be holding special events, with 27 gardens hosting poets in residence composing new work. There are also free group cycle rides taking in gardens throughout London, including Bloomsbury and the City of London.

Open Garden Squares Weekend is on 18 and 19 June across London. More information can be found at

May 6, 2016

Visit London’s museums – at night

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 2:53 pm

More than 30 museums and galleries across London will be opening their doors late for Museums at Night, the UK’s after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage. As well as the chance to see some of the capital’s best venues in a new light, there will also be gigs, art happenings, twilight screenings and all-night sleepovers.

We’ve picked out some local highlights for you to enjoy:

  • Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane. EC2R 8AH (13 May)Bank of England_Gold bars (c) Bank of England Museum
  • As well as a chance to view the Bank’s latest exhibition, Capturing the City, banknote experts will be giving talks about note design and security, and discussing the new £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill launching this September. Members of the Bank’s bullion team will be on hand to answer questions about gold, and visitors can try their hand at lifting a genuine bar of gold – at 13 kilos it’s surprisingly heavy.
  • Graphic Novel Night at the Cartoon Museum, 35 Little Russell St, WC1A 2HH (12 May).
  • To celebrate its 10th birthday, the museum is having an evening opening of its new exhibition, The Great British Graphic Novel. This includes more than 100 original artworks going back 300 years in a groundbreaking retrospective of the evolution of the graphic novel in the UK.
  • Under the Skin Taxidermy: The Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London, 21 University St, WC1E 6DE (14 May)
  • At this late opening of the museum you can enjoy a pop bar of taxidermy-themed cocktails, a special playlist and live taxidermy by ethical taxidermist Jazmine Miles-Long. There will also be an exclusive viewing of the film short Walter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens.
  • The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, British Library, The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB (13 May)
  • BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist Akala Hip is hosting a special evening of poetry, music and modern day storytelling performed by The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company. Expect a medley of songs inspired by scenes and themes from Shakespeare plays and sonnets.

Museums at Night, 11 to 14 May. For full details of venues and events go to


April 11, 2016

My Patch

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:19 am

Tina Evans, Group Director

My Patch

Tina Evans, Group Director of Frank Harris & Company, Jackson-Stops & Staff’s associated offices in the City of London, tells us why she lives and breathes this unique part of London:


Where do you live and why?

I moved to the South Bank three years ago and love it here. I wanted an easy commute and most days I walk to my office in the City. My flat is off Lower Marsh, behind Waterloo station, which is a wonderfully quirky street with an excellent food market and a number of specialist shops you can’t find anywhere else in London.


What are the main changes you’ve seen in the time you’ve worked in the City?

The biggest change is that people now have their main home here whereas in the past it was largely a place people only stayed during the week. We’ve been selling flats in the Barbican for more than 30 years and it’s become a magnet for families, couples, empty nesters, even retirees, as have the rest of the City and surrounding areas. There’s so much more to do in the City now, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.


What are the latest trends in property design in the area?

People are far more design conscious nowadays. You see all sorts of flooring – wood, cork, rubber, for example, and a huge variety of kitchen worktops – concrete, granite, stainless steel, marble etc.


Where’s the best place to go for a Friday night cocktail?

Bird of Smithfield opposite Smithfield market has a lovely roof garden – great for a glass of Prosecco on a warm evening.


…and a perfect place for Sunday brunch?  

Capricci, round the corner from the Tate Modern, is a classic Italian that uses fresh ingredients.

The Vaults

The Vaults, SE1

Graffiti Tunnels

Graffiti Tunnels, SE1












And finally, tell us a little known fact about the area?

There’s a new development in Shoreditch that will include a 200-seat amphitheatre and heritage centre on the site of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre, which is where Romeo and Juliet and Henry V were first performed in 1577.

Email:   Tel: 020 7600 7000

March 2, 2016

Put a touch of spring in your property

Filed under: Latest News — Frank Harris @ 11:14 am

img_1949_0_40a07cd4684b02a8_0_004b02a84b02a8“Calm, neutral colours can instantly brighten and freshen a home,” says property stylist Michele Haynes. She recommends repainting with Dulux Neutrals as a great way to give your property an instant lift, whether you are gearing up for a sale or just fancy a Spring spruce.

Michele Haynes can be contacted at or on 07984 884408.

Top London property market trends for 2016

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 9:58 am
Nicholas Butterworth, CEO

Nicholas Butterworth, CEO

Predicting market movements is always more of an art than a science but there are aspects of the property market which provide good indicators for future trends. Our Chief Executive Officer, Nick Butterworth, explains his expectations on how the London property market will perform in 2016.

Last year the prime central London market was dampened by a series of events starting with the uncertainty surrounding the General Election, followed by tax changes introduced in the post-election budget. Commentators and agents now universally agree that the significant increases in Stamp Duty Land Tax and other tax changes affecting overseas owners and corporate ownership of property have had a marked affect on demand.

Latest figures from Land Registry show that prices increased by 3.6% in Kensington and Chelsea and by 6.1% in Westminster, significantly down on previous years. Notably, in the higher value market there was a 30% decrease in the number of properties sold above £5m in central London. We anticipate that those fiscal changes will continue to effect demand in prime central London where we forecast only marginal price increases of 1% to 2% this year. Looking at the wider market beyond the core, the imbalance in supply and demand will continue and we expect house prices to increase by approximately 5% across Greater London.

Since the start of 2016 we have seen an increase in registrations from both prospective purchasers and tenants in all our London offices and that continuing demand needs to be measured against supply. 2015 saw 47,000 units under construction in the capital, some 90% up on the last peak in 2007 according to EGi’s London Residential Research. With no sign of any significant concentration in supply, other than in certain locations such as the Vauxhall & Nine Elms Regeneration Area or further out in Croydon, demand is likely to exceed supply. Such demand is encouraged by the historically low interest rates and while there is constant talk of the inevitable increase in borrowing rates, the latest indications are that the Bank of England is not likely to raise rates before 2017.

Other factors we take in to account when forecasting market movements include the strength of sterling which has been losing strength against a number of currencies in the last few months and maxes UK property increasingly attractive to purchasers from overseas. To put this into context, transferring £1m to the UK today would cost a purchaser from the US $148,000 less than it would have in June 2015. Similar positive exchange benefits would apply to purchasers from Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East. Finally, employment and population growth are important factors to consider and data for both indicate decreasing unemployment and population growth across London this year.

With pricing and taxation reducing demand in prime central London last year, areas that have benefitted from an outward movement of purchasers included Richmond, Wimbledon and Weybridge. Those and other areas that showed a high level of activity and annual price growth in 2015 are likely to remain popular this year. These include the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Lewisham and Merton.

In terms of lettings, the average rent should remain pretty stable in 2016. We anticipate a continuing softening in demand for high-value rented property with reduced requirements from the corporate sector but an increase in rent of between 3% and 5% for mid-range properties, where demand is greatest. The most in-demand properties are one and two bedroom apartments in Pimlico, Wimbledon and Teddington. Demand will continue for apartments in the City of London and we anticipate increased interest in areas such as Bloomsbury and Covent Garden. Traditionally we would have seen students dominating the rental market in these areas but we are now seeing more professionals moving in to take advantage of these excellent central locations. In terms of supply, new developments in Kings Cross, due to be completed this year will serve to satisfy demand and thus limit price growth in the locality.

While the global picture is concerning with the continuing distress in the Arab world, economic slowdown in China and renewed fears about the economic recovery in the Eurozone that have contributed to significant fluctuations in world stock markets, we see property in London remaining the safe haven that it has been for many years and demand albeit moderated from overseas combined with continuing domestic demand will support activity and prices but at lower levels than we have seen in recent years.

February 25, 2016

Fascinating Somerset House exhibition of post-war public art

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , — Frank Harris @ 12:06 pm

CaptureA new exhibition at Somerset House tells the fascinating yet forgotten story of public art created in England in the forty years after the war.

The show features work by many of the country’s pioneering artists and includes bronze scale models of Elisabeth Frink’s Boar in Harlow and Barbara Hepworth’s Winged Figure on the side of John Lewis, Oxford Street. Out There follows the fates and fortunes of specific sculptures and reliefs by several celebrated artists including Ralph Brown, Geoffrey Clarke and Henry Moore.

The story of the art is told through scale models, photographs, drawings and letters. Some pieces have been lost and others damaged, moved or even destroyed. Many are enjoyed and loved throughout the country.

Art on show includes an ambitious fibre-glass architectural relief by Paul Mount that was saved from a skip by an enthusiast after its removal from a Falmouth supermarket. If it takes your fancy and you have the space, it is in need of a new home.

Also, on display is Trevor Tennant’s 1963 architectural relief that was designed for the entrance hall of Welwyn Garden City’s Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and rescued by a resident doctor.

This is Historic England’s first major exhibition and following their call for information on missing public art in December contains a wall of images of public art that has disappeared. It is hoped that visitors to the exhibition might know the whereabouts of some of the pieces shown.

Elisabeth Frink’s Boar in Harlow

Elisabeth Frink’s Boar in Harlow

Sarah Gaventa, who curated the exhibition, commented:

Out There is part cultural history and part detective story, a tale of the ambition to create a better world through art, and the fates and fortune of the work created for it.”

Out There: Our Post-War Public Art is on at Somerset House, East Wing Galleries, 3 February – 10 April  2016. Admission £6.50, concessions £5.00.

February 24, 2016

Come and visit our restyled South Bank and Waterloo office

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:31 am

FH Office receptionOur South Bank office has had a complete makeover that has transformed its whole look and feel.

From the outside you can’t fail to notice the state of the art window displays, brilliantly designed to showcase the properties we have for sale and rent.

Inside, the industrial chic interior blends in perfectly with our branding and makes it a lovely place to work, as well as meet clients and applicants.DSC01372

We had great feedback about the restyled office at our recent ‘relaunch’ party that was attended by a number of landlords, vendors, investors and relocation agents.

The office is in Stamford Street between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridge and if you are in the area please pop in, say hello and take a look around.

If you would like to discuss the sale or letting of your South Bank or Waterloo property, please email Tony George at

Frank Harris & Co.,
123 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NN, 020 7620 3400.

February 23, 2016

Landlords beware: new ‘right to rent’ rules now in place

Filed under: Latest News — Tags: , , , , — Frank Harris @ 10:57 am

passport-576913_1280Landlords must carry out a ‘right to rent’ check on tenants taking new tenancies starting on or after 1 February 2016 

New rules that came into force on 1 February state that a person may only become a private tenant if they have a ‘right to rent’. The rules are intended to stop illegal immigrants entering into tenancies.

Tenants have a right to rent if they are a:

  • British citizen
  • citizen of a country in the EU or European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • citizen of another country with no time limits on their permission to live in the UK (e.g. indefinite leave to remain)

Landlords (or their lettings agents) are required to check the right to rent status of tenants and anyone over the age of 18 who will be living in their property. No checks are necessary for children under 18 or guests.

Landlords will need to see a tenant’s passport or in the case of British or Irish citizens their birth certificate and another accepted proof of identity (such as a driving licence). In some circumstances where a tenant cannot supply the relevant documents, landlords can ask for a right to rent check from the Home Office.

Landlords are entitled to charge a fee for carrying out this check. It is a criminal offence for landlords not to make these checks and failure to do so carries a fine of up to £1,000 per illegal immigrant (and up to £3,000 for repeat offences).

For more information about the new rules, click here.

As letting agents, Frank Harris & Co. can carry out these checks on landlords’ behalf.

To find out how Frank Harris can take away the hassle of managing or renting out your property, please contact our management team on 020 7600 7000 or email

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