We’re all back after the Christmas break. I’ve worked in West End property for 20 years — and every week is different.
My first appointment is to view a big two-bedroom luxury flat at the back of Oxford Street, finished to a super-sleek standard.
The walls are hung with what appears to be very expensive artwork and there is a large, fabulous roof terrace with a wonderful view. The owner can’t decide whether to let or sell.
First up for me today is a lettings valuation at a flat owned by a Church charity in Gordon Square, in the heart of Bloomsbury’s academic quarter.
It’s a simple, well-presented one-bedroom place with lovely views of a church tower from all windows. This flat is special, as so much of this part of central Bloomsbury is taken up by academic buildings owned by UCL, with residential properties few and far between.
I spend the afternoon at the office on the phone to several of our landlords. The day ends with a good offer on a nice two-bedroom flat we have in Fitzrovia, and I’m pleased to tell the landlord.
Our property manager fills me in on the inspection she carried out yesterday afternoon. She arrived at the flat to find nearly all the light bulbs had blown and the tenant was using tens of candles to light the rooms.
She quickly informed the tenant about the danger of candles and gave her a crash course in changing light bulbs. Crisis averted.
Tonight I attend a charity dinner supporting ex-servicemen and their families. Hudsons has a table and it is great to spend an evening with the team raising money for such a good cause.
My hair-raising task this morning is to ascend the 34 floors of the iconic Centre Point tower in a builders’ hoist to see the stunning show flat.
It’s a clear, sunny day and the panoramic views across London are spectacular. The tower has been re-invented as a prime central London address, with the forthcoming Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road in mind.
Safely back on terra firma, I am off to meet a potential new landlord for lunch at dim t restaurant in Charlotte Street.
He was recommended to Hudsons by a landlord client with whom we have worked for years. My lunch companion tells me he is currently having a lot of trouble with his flat on a well-known subletting website.
This is unfortunately an increasing problem for some landlords throughout the West End. We have a good chat and I discover he has several properties throughout Fitzrovia and Soho — hopefully some new instructions are on the horizon.
Rounding off the week with a valuation on a flat in Marylebone, I am welcomed — well, knocked over, actually — at the front door by a very enthusiastic English bulldog named Daisy.
She proceeds to follow me around the flat, constantly nudging me with her favourite toy. It takes all my multi-tasking skills to deliver a thorough appraisal while stroking Daisy and throwing the toy for her to fetch.
The flat is great, as is the location. We’re finding an increasing number of professionals are drawn to the wonderful Marylebone area, with its boutiques and restaurants.
Back at the office, I find I have received an email confirming our instruction of the two-bedroom flat near Oxford Street, so we can start marketing it before the weekend.
Then it’s time to take the team for a very well-earned drink at the newly re-opened Fitzroy Tavern to celebrate a successful week. So far, at least, 2017 is looking good.
- Robert Burwood is lettings director at Hudsons in Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia (020 7323 2277).