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How It Works

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We're exceptionally proud of the fact that 95% of the landlords who've had the chance to extend their contract with us have chosen to do so.

Why such high satisfaction? To begin with, we are not an estate agency, and we don't have their conflicts of interest or attitudes. We're property managers, really. The basic model is simple enough: we lease a 3+ bedroom property from a landlord on a 3-year agreement, and then we rent out the rooms to working professionals on 6-month contracts.

As the result of our regular maintenance regime (including weekly cleanings) as well as the upgrades we make to the property at the time we take over its management (e.g., the installation of flat screen televisions in each room and the replacement of worn furnishings), properties are usually in even better condition at the end of the 3-year agreement than at the outset.

When the history of London property gets written, we'd definitely like to be seen as the visionaries of shared accommodation, the first to really "get it right."

FAQ

Have we read your mind? Read on to find out.

Are you estate agents?

No. Absolutely not.

London Shared has only one line of business: we rent properties from landlords and provide accommodation to working professionals. Our service maximises your property’s value through effective, ongoing management, while giving you the freedom of NOT having to deal with tenants and estate agents..

So you’re property managers, then?

Yes, something like that.We sign a 3-year commercial contract with you to take charge of your property, effectively becoming your tenant.

During that time, we pay you a guaranteed rent, every month, regardless of the building’s occupancy. We do the maintenance on the property, and we take the midnight phone calls from shivering residents whose radiators have suddenly gone on the blink. Finding residents, keeping them happy in their homes, and collecting their rents, becomes London Shared’s responsibility. This is why, from the landlord’s perspective, we believe we’re your perfect tenant.

NB

There are other property management companies in London who focus on shared accommodation, but surprisingly few who do it with the professionalism we do.

Aren’t most of your tenants just irresponsible students?

No – but we get that question a lot.

Most of our residents are professionals in their mid-20s and 30s, and we also have some postgraduate and mature students. If you’re afraid we’ll turn your house into a dormitory, we can promise you that won’t happen (see the testimonials and case studies for further assurance). We limit the number of tenants living at a property – usually it is just single occupants in each bedroom though sometimes there may be one couple living in a property (as long as there are sufficient amenities).

How do you find and evaluate potential tenants?

Over a number of years we have built relationships with well- known companies, relocation agents and recruitment consultants who approach us to find accommodation for their staff.

We advertise via our website, online and in print and also receive many referrals via previous and current tenants. Though we consider references from previous landlords and employers very important, we feel that gut instinct is even more vital. Someone can have impeccable references however if we do not feel they are suitable we will not accept them.

What types of properties do you deal with?

Mostly 3, 4 and 5-bedroom flats/houses or blocks of studios.

If you own a property like that, and you prefer not to have the hassle of managing it on a day-to-day basis and finding tenants, our service is worth considering.

What are the charges associated with your service?

We charge nothing to our landlords for the service we provide

We make our money on the differential between the rent we pay you and rent we collect from residents. We charge our residents a slight premium for providing high-spec rooms that are inclusive of utility bills and have weekly cleaners.(Though some maintenance expenses are passed through; see below).

Why did you choose to focus on shared accommodation and not regular lettings?

In cities like London, shared accommodation is practically the norm among young professionals.

We saw a gap in the market and decided it was a part of the industry that needed professional attention. Thousands of people enter into shared accommodation on a daily basis however there are almost no companies focusing purely on this sector. So here we are, making shared accommodation easy for both landlords and residents.

So you pay the rent directly?

Yes. Contractually, we’re your tenant, so we pay the rent.

The money goes directly from our bank account to yours. We generally prefer to pay on the fifth of each month unless you specifically ask otherwise.

What if one of the residents doesn’t pay, or pays late?

That does not make any difference to the rent we pay you.

When a tenant pays rent late or fails to pay then that is our problem.

What kind of contract governs our relationship?

We provide a commercial agreement which has been tailor-made for our business model.

Effectively, this makes London Shared your sole tenant for a period of 3 years (on occasion we may sign for shorter tenancies depending on the circumstances), and gives us the authority to manage the property on your behalf. As for our residents, they typically sign 6-month tenancy agreements, and extend from there (our running average tenancy is 12 months, so the turnover is very reasonable). On rare occasions we may negotiate a shorter tenancy with a tenant if they are on a temporary work contract, but we prefer long-term tenants who will form a tight knit household.

What if someone moves out?

It is completely our responsibility to keep properties occupied.

Whether full or vacant we still pay the full rent on time every month.

How do you value properties, and how quickly do you make an offer?

We will make you an offer that we feel is fair based on market conditions in your area.

We do not try and offer below the market value however for unrealistic “dream valuations” please speak with your local estate agent! Since we don’t renegotiate halfway through the lease, and there are no break clauses, we are very careful to offer a figure that will be commercially viable for London Shared and you. Having said that, we also know exactly what we are looking for, so we will give you an answer within 24 hours of viewing a property. And whatever we offer at that time is what we will stick to for three years.

Once I’ve signed a contract with London Shared, do I have to wait for you to find tenants before you start paying me rent?

No. We’re your tenant so we pay you rent whether or not the property is occupied.

Of course we anticipate being able to find residents quickly, but you receive full rent from us month in and month out, regardless of the property’s occupancy.

And what if the property market falls? Will you try and renegotiate our rent?

No. Whatever we agree at the start of our tenancy we will honour for the duration of our contract.

From the landlord’s perspective, of course, that is one of the virtues of a long-term contract.

What if a resident locks himself out or loses her keys?

That will not be anything you will ever have to deal with while we manage your property.

Residents will call us if they are locked out or lose their keys and we will organise replacements. Again, this is a primary benefit of having London Shared as your sole tenant rather than having to manage the property yourself day to day.

How is property maintenance handled?

As the landlord, you will be responsible financially for the usual things a landlord is responsible for.

However, as the manager of the property, we’ll do most of the legwork. For basic wear and tear and upkeep, we have a full-time maintenance man, and if something needs doing he does it. We will always provide you with a quote prior to carrying out any work and we will arrange access so you do not have to get involved. Routine and anticipated things like gas safety certificates shall be organized by us; we’ll handle the logistics, and pass through the expense (currently £80 + VAT).

I have a plumber I love. Can you use him?

Certainly.

If you have a tradesman or builder that you know or trust, we are happy to use your contractors to carry out works on your property; all we ask is that they are legally certified and fully insured.

What if residents cause damage?

Remember, we’re your proxy tenant.

So if something happens at the property that is deemed to be the fault of our residents (e.g., a broken window) then we will cover the cost ourselves. If we believe the problem is beyond the scope of our responsibility (e.g., the boiler breaks down), we will call you and let you know the problem and propose options for solving it.

What about property inspections? How can I be sure that everything is always in order?

We conduct formal inspections every six months and send photos directly to your inbox.

However, our cleaners keep us informed of the state of the property on a weekly basis and if they voice any concerns we follow up immediately. And of course London Shared’s staff carry out informal inspections every time they visit a property, whether it is for a viewing or to check a gas meter. If you wish, we can arrange for you to periodically inspect the property yourself to make sure you are happy with the way we are managing things.

How much wear and tear can I expect?

Excellent question.

Significantly, after three years of being managed by us, a property tends to be in better condition than it would have been had it been let by an estate agent. This is due to our regular maintenance regime (including weekly cleanings) as well as the upgrades we make to the property at the time we take over its management (e.g., the installation of flat screen televisions in each room and the replacement of furnishings).

Do you pay a deposit?

No.

But naturally we take a deposit from every resident which is registered with the Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com).

What happens if London Shared goes under during the contract period?

We hope this is hypothetical, but it’s an extremely fair question.

The answer is: according to the contract we have with you, if we go out of business, the rent the residents in your property have been paying will revert to you directly, and their deposits will remain with the Deposit Protection Service in case there are any damages or unpaid rent.

Do you send me monthly statements?

Yes, we can send you monthly statements if you wish.

However you will have your own personalised account that you can log in to at any time to verify each rental payment that has been made to you along with details of any costs associated with your property (e.g. a gas safety certificate).

Commercial tenancy agreements usually allow tenants to stay longer than the agreed term. Is this true?

London Shared have opted out of certain sections of the 1954 Tenant Act which means we waive this so-called “security of tenure.”

Therefore, we cannot stay in occupation longer than our agreed term, unless of course you wish to renew with us.

Will there be an issue with my mortgage provider in signing a commercial agreement?

As we have no security of tenure, there should not be an issue here.

Still, we recommend that you seek authorisation from your lender before entering into any contract, just to be sure. We have specific documentation that you can give to your lender along with our contract that will appease any concerns they may have.

Is there a certain time of year when you won’t take on new properties?

We will generally take on properties on any day.

We have residents looking for accommodation at all times, and as far as we are concerned, just because it is December or some other famously quiet period doesn’t mean your property should sit empty.