Saturday, July 15, 2006

To whom do you let?

The Financial Times reviews the national character of London renters.
“US clients often ask landlords to replace all the carpets in a property with wooden floors and will reject properties without mixer taps because they think individual hot taps are dangerous,” says Virginia Skilbeck, lettings director of agency Douglas & Gordon. And “you can’t let a property to a US client without a power shower.”

. . . British king-size beds are also out “because American king-size beds are bigger”, says Jane Ingram, head of lettings at Savills. And “they want huge fridge-freezers with an ice-cube maker and filtered water on demand.” Mark Horak . . . had an American client who lived in furnished flats all over the world and always took her own oven with her. “Features that are ‘must haves’ to American tenants include a large kitchen for family entertaining, a large play area, often in the basement, and neutral décor with glossy wooden floors throughout,” says Dairin Garnier, head of lettings at Henry & James . . . .

. . . Crisp, contemporary interiors with wooden floors, designer fittings, double-glazing and lots of natural light appeal to Scandinavians. Australian and South African tenants are keen on having a private outdoor space that’s big enough for barbecue parties. The Swiss opt for uncluttered interiors with plenty of natural wood, while Japanese tenants are keen on minimal, almost clinically decorated properties that are easy to maintain. “Asians tend to go for hotel-style apartments in modern, purpose-built developments with sleek corridors, lifts and porters,” Horak says. And, since they tend to remove their shoes indoors, it’s essential to have good, clean floors.
And so on.

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