Knight Frank is reporting that tenants in high-value London markets are agreeing deals that allow them to delay the start of lettings contracts because of the Coronavirus.
The agency says clauses are being written into super-prime lettings agreements that enable tenants to secure a property but only start paying rent once government restrictions are lifted.
Clauses relate to the lifting or tapering of restrictions, the re-opening of schools or a set date in the future.
David Mumby, head of central London lettings at Knight Frank, ays: “What that demonstrates to me is that peoples’ current mindset is a temporary one and they know life will go on.”
Before the pandemic, activity in the super-prime lettings market in London had been on a shallow decline as signs of strength returned to the sales market.
The agency adds that recent demand for prime rental properties has come from some of London’s hotels, where long-term residents have had to find alternative accommodation as hotels shut their doors.
Meanwhile, landlords and tenants are embracing new technology as a short-term solution in London’s high-value markets.
“We agreed a tenancy for a flat in Knightsbridge on the basis of a FaceTime call” says Tom Smith, the agency’s head of super-prime lettings.
He believes that the downwards trajectory of activity may reverse as the market emerges from the other side of the Coronavirus pandemic. “Lettings enables people to be agile and after an event like this, having that option could be quite attractive. Either way, once restrictions are lifted we’ll see a spike in activity” he forecasts.