Welcome to your July edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • London rents have fallen – but there’s no need to fear!
  • All the latest need-to-know news.
  • Top tool: The Great Suspender.

What to do about falling rents in London

You may have seen the news that new tenants are paying about £100 less per month compared to a year ago, thanks to falling demand for properties in the capital.

At Fishneedwater, we’ve noticed the same trend – but most strongly among properties that looked a bit “neglected” and in need of some TLC. When demand falls, it’s always the poorer quality stock that’s affected first and by the greatest amount.

So if you’re worried that your property isn’t up to scratch, what can you do? Here are some easy-to-implement tips:

1: Spruce up the kitchen

You don’t need to go all-out on granite work surfaces: just replacing the cupboard doors will be enough to give the whole room a lift.

2: Deep clean the floor

A grubby floor can look (and smell!) SO much better after a deep clean. If you have carpet, you can hire a carpet-cleaning machine cheaply for the day. Alternatively, leave it to someone else: there are a number of specialist cleaning companies throughout London that can do it for you.

3: Touch up the walls

A new lick of paint will work wonders. Some variety of white or light grey will do the job – and if you use the same colour everywhere, touching up marks will be easy and you won’t have to juggle multiple half-empty tins.

In kitchens and bathrooms, use water-resistant eggshell or acrylic paint: it will wipe clean if it gets splashed, and won’t be affected by excess moisture.

4: Think about safety

Parents in particular may notice and appreciate this one. While you’re busy snazzing the place up, it’s worth installing hard-wired smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. You could also put a heat detector in the kitchen (where you wouldn’t be able to fit a smoke detector because steam from cooking would set it off).

5: Lighten up a bit

Dark rooms make a place feel more dingy and dirty, whereas light rooms are inviting and look larger. If there’s a property down the road that feels airy and spacious, two guesses where your potential tenant is going to choose.

To achieve easy brightness, wash your windows and make sure the curtains are pulled back for viewings. You could also change the lightbulbs: go for some of the new LEDs on the market, which are less yellow/orange than the old-fashioned incandescent ones, and which really brighten up a room.

6: BUT remember: don’t go overboard on the refurbishment!

It’s important to know when to stop! Yes: you need to make your property clean, safe and durable. But unless you’re aiming for the extreme high end of the market, tenants won’t even notice – let alone pay a premium for – £100 bath taps or natural stone flooring. Shelling out for more than is strictly necessary will give you a poorer return on your investment.

Want any more tips? Give us a call on 020 3199 3492.

Property news

Oh yes… there’s been an election.

UK house prices: what the General Election results mean for the property market. Here’s what the experts have to say…

Ranked: the 10 London boroughs where property is most in demand. Step aside, Chelsea and Knightsbridge.

“Beautifully derelict” one-bed London property on the market for £2.5m. Taking property euphemisms (“cosy”, “rustic”) to a whole new level.

Duke of Westminster’s property group to build 1,500 rental homes in London. They plan to build 11 blocks on the site of a former biscuit factory in Bermondsey – and it’ll be aimed at lower and middle-income workers.

Our useful tool of the month

Do you have too many Rightmove tabs open at any one time? Is it slowing your computer down, big time?

Then you need The Great Suspender! It’s a Chrome add-on, and it automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources.

Try it out here.

The end! (Until next month.)

Speak to you soon!