Diary of an estate agent: tennis stars party in Wimbledon and a landlord benefits from a good wash

Our agent in Wimbledon reports on tennis stars partying and a landlord who benefits from a good wash
Tennis player cartoon
© weef


Our area is always popular in June and July because of Wimbledon but this year there has been no let-up thanks to all the Olympics excitement. We have to keep on top of tenants’ partying ways!

A neighbour phones early this morning to complain about the tenants in an apartment we manage who are enthusiastic sports fans. Apparently, the late finish of the Olympics opening ceremony kept their party going into the small hours. I try to tactfully point out that this summer has seen an exceptional line-up of events that won’t be repeated next year.

I couldn’t say that a few weeks ago when we had a similar complaint about a seeded player at Wimbledon who had rented a flat close to the Lawn Tennis Club. His partying meant his unfortunate neighbours got very little sleep.


Earlsfield used to be the poor relation to Battersea, but today it is one of south London’s fastest-growing hotspots. There are great new cafés, such as Mel’s and Belle Amie, lifestyle stores such as Bunka Boutique, and the station is undergoing complete renovation. We even have a Carluccio’s. Because of this property often comes on to the market and off again in the same day.

This is my first week back from a relaxing family holiday and after trawling through hundreds of emails yesterday, I am keen to hit the ground running this morning. I have lined up five new rental valuations — but this is still the holiday season, so I have to help out with viewings, too.

My first valuation is at a two-bedroom flat in Balvernie Grove on the sought-after Southfields grid. It’s such a great location, if we get the instruction we have at least three couples waiting who would love to rent a flat like this.


At the end of our morning meeting, my senior negotiator mentions that she’s had a great start to the day. She went for an early jog around nearby Wandsworth Common and bumped into Daybreak’s Dan Lobb and she duly tweeted him - he replied and said that he’ll pop in to see us...

Homes don’t usually stay waiting for tenants for long around here but today I have to tackle a rental property that has had more than 70 viewings. The feedback makes it clear the place is just too untidy - yet despite our best efforts to explain this, the landlord has always appeared unconcerned. Until now.

His flat is in a great spot on Summerley Street, right in the middle of Earlsfield, where the young professional tenants want to be. I have five viewings lined up for him on Friday but I have made it clear that he really does need to clean up.


After viewings all day yesterday, the Balvernie Grove flat generates four offers. One couple put themselves well ahead of the competition by offering £100 more in rent, and by agreeing to a two-year contract. It is often surprising how far tenants will go to secure their first-choice property. We had one bloke recently so keen to secure the flat he wanted that he invited the landlord to visit his present home, just to prove how tidy he is.

Just as we are about to close for the day, Dan Lobb pops in for a chat and a photo.


The untidy landlord took our advice and his previously shabby flat in Summerley Street has been spruced up. After five viewings today, we agree a let at £1,500, over the £1,450 asking price.

* Caroline Basma is lettings manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Earlsfield branch (020 8875 2980)

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