Our business is short letting other people’s flats and houses mainly to North Americans coming to London mainly on holiday. We’ve been in business since 2001 and since then have done over 4,500 lets. We have some 50 properties on our books and many happy owners. Our dedicated web site, receives over 50,000 visitors a month! We also operate in New York and Rome.
Read what was written about us in London’s TheResident magazine.
We provide a full management service – ideal for owners who are away from London. As well as photographing and writing up your property which we’ll display on our web site free of charge, we’ll deal with all enquiries – liaising with you as necessary, make the bookings, deal with the money, handle the check-in and check-out, do the cleaning and the laundry and look after any maintenance issues – a full management service. All you have to do is give us the keys and enjoy the money we pay directly to your account.
Properties in central London, postcodes: SW 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, W 1, 2, 6, 8, 11, 14 & SE 1. The further from the centre the larger the properties need to be – so we will take on a one bedroom flat in Chelsea but not in Chiswick. They must be in good decorative condition, clean and well furnished, with the emphasis on functionality rather than luxury, and no more than 10 minutes walk from a tube station.
Almost all our guests are coming to London for a holiday. They want to use the accommodation to sleep – not live – in, so wear and tear is minimal. They’re generally not interested in cooking – they are only here for a short time and almost always prefer to eat out or get take-aways. The kitchen is mainly used to prepare a light breakfast, so the minimum basic requirement is for a fridge, micro-wave and coffee making machine (filter or cafetière is fine).
The longer the period of availability and the more flexible you can be the better chance we have getting you good lets – however we only list properties with an ongoing minimum availability of 12 weeks per year. Our average lead time for bookings is 8-12 weeks so forward planning is important and we will always check that it is convenient for you before accepting a let for your property.
Our normal minimum let is for 5 nights. Most of our lets are for between 1 and 2 weeks.
We are not able to guarantee anything! If we have no one to pay us we can’t pay you. But……… there is a growing number of people looking for this type of accommodation for their stay in London. What you’ll receive will depend on the size of your property and what we can charge for it. We’ll be happy to discuss this with you. Unlike a conventional letting agent we charge no introduction fee, typically 11%, and no management fee, typically another 6%. Payment to you will normally be no more than 7 days after the end of each letting. And you can rest assured that you’ll get your money as all our guests pay the full rental cost and a security/damages deposit (amount agreed with you) before they are allowed through your front door.
Small valuable items should be locked away or removed from the property. You will need to provide storage space (wardrobe & drawers)for the guests – just imagine how much space you would like if you were coming to stay in the property. We’ll make a ‘photo inventory’ showing the condition of the property prior to guests coming in. Any damages will be charged against the deposit paid by guests before they arrive. You should also notify your insurance company, as well as your lender if you have a mortgage.
When occupied, your property will be seen at least every 7 days: when guests first arrive, when the linen is changed and when they leave. If they stay longer than a week we check the property every 7 days. Our guests are overwhelmingly professional people. They are in London, often for the first time, on holiday. They are interested in seeing London, not having wild parties! Read some of our testimonials to get a feel for the sort of people they are. They’re a far safer bet than a random punter answering an advert, or from an agency!
Since we started in 2001 we’ve done over 4,500 lets and have many happy owners. We’ve had no major problems, maybe two minor incidents of theft and, although damage does happen, it’s rare and (so far) the security deposit, the size of which we agree with you, has always covered the cost. However nothing is guaranteed in life and we advise owners who will lose sleep worried stiff when guests are in their property that maybe this is not for them.
One of our team checks the guests in and gives them a full briefing about the property and the local neighbourhood. After departure one of our team will check over your property and ensure that all is OK. Any damage, very rare in our experience, is charged to the guest.
You will need to ensure the property has all the necessary towels, bath mats, bed linen, tea towels etc. (normally two full sets). For cleaning and laundry, if they are time-wise sufficiently flexible, we can use your own cleaner (paid by us through you) to clean and change the linen once a week, alternatively this can be done by our housekeeping team. Our guests are responsible for leaving the property in the same state that they found it (with the exception of the bed linen and towels). They have a strong incentive to do so as any out-of-the-ordinary cleaning costs are charged against their deposit.
Inevitably there is the occasional breakage. It’s advisable not to leave the best china and glass out for guests’ use! Significant breakages are charged to the guests
You remain responsible for the cost of gas, electricity and water. For all gas appliances you will need to arrange inspection and certificate of safety issued by a qualified Gas Safe engineer, cost about £50, prior to guests staying, we can help you do this. You remain responsible for the telephone line rental, the cost of calls over £3 made by guests are charged against their deposit and reimbursed to you. We determine this using BT’s “Call My Bill” service or equivalent if you do not use BT.
We are available 24/7 at the end of a telephone to resolve any problems with equipment or utilities. In the unlikely event that repairs or replacements are necessary we will always contact and consult you first.
We sign an agreement whereby we rent your property for the periods it is available and you authorise us to sub-let it to our guests. Prior to occupancy, guests are required to have paid in full the sum due plus a security/damages deposit and also to sign a holiday let agreement and the photographic inventory.
Unless you wish otherwise, we have a No Smoking policy for all our properties.
Virtually nothing! You’ll need to prepare brief notes on your property, appliances, heating & hot water, security systems etc. and some information about the local area: restaurants, cafés, pubs, tube etc. You must leave the place clean and tidy. Just give us the keys and we’ll do the rest. We’ll hand your property back to you in the same good condition in which you left it. Remember, the average lead time for bookings is 6-8 weeks so forward planning is important.
Phone Harley on 020 8355-3192, complete the web form or e-mail us at: email@example.com.
Over the telephone we will discuss your property, its potential availability, its suitability for us and the suitability of our services to you. We will also be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate of the rent we will be able to pay you. You’re welcome to check references which we’ll be happy to give you.
If you decide to proceed we will arrange to meet you at your property, confirm its suitability and finalise agreement on the rent we will pay. We will also explain in detail how we operate and what you need to do to prepare your property for our guests.
We will then arrange for our writer/photographer to come to the property to take photographs and write up the description for our web site.
Then …… you tell us when the property will not be available – in which case we will not take any bookings, when it might be available – in which case we will always ask you first before making an offer, and when it is definitely available (without the need to refer to you) – in which case we will make offers and inform you whenever we have a booking.
Prior to your first booking we’ll visit again check that everything is in order, gather the all necessary information to include in the Welcome File that we’ll prepare – which will including your notes and collect the keys. If we will be doing the cleaning and laundry our Head of Housekeeping will come too.
After that, before a let it’s your responsibility to clean, tidy and prepare the property with fresh linen on the beds and towels put out ready for the guests, and it’s our responsibility to hand it back to you in the same state as you gave it to us; if you want us to prepare the property too – that’s fine we are happy to do this but the charge would be for your account.
Do please tell them about us, and we’ll thank you with a £250 finder’s fee – paid after the first successful let in the property you introduce.