Now I have to go through the tedious process of finding a new tenant, but first I have to work out how much to charge. The current tenant has been paying pretty much the same rent since 2008, rents have gone up since then, but I'm not sure by how much — so I start the search for price ranges for a one-bedroom property in SW9.
After spending half an hour scouring ads on property portals, I'm none the wiser. Asking prices range from £220 to £360 a week for very similar-looking flats, so either some landlords are asking too little or some are asking far too much.
Garden flats seem to command a premium of about 10 per cent, which is a shame as my property doesn't have a garden. But as it hasn't stopped raining for more than five minutes this summer, I'm hoping to persuade viewers that a lack of outside space is actually a good thing. No maintenance, see?
One property I spotted made a big deal of its ginormous roof terrace with "stunning" views of central London. Yeah, right, if you can see it through the drizzle and thick grey cloud. Better to have my flat close enough to a Tube station not to get drenched on your way to work. My flat is practically on top of Stockwell station.
Places with designer interiors, usually referred to as "apartments", not "flats", are apparently more desirable than more spacious properties in better locations. One-beds with the highest asking prices are poky new-builds with laminated floors, fresh kitchens and bathrooms and scatter cushions, or they're right on the A3 with the number 50 bus thundering past the window, and they've got arty photos on the wall.
My flat isn't new, obviously, but it does have lovely period features and the rooms are huge. It doesn't have a garden but it does overlook the neighbour's lawn, and it is on a main road but not so close that you can see what all the passengers are reading on the bus.
It's not in a swanky block with a porter and a lift but on the plus side, tenants don't have to put up with my taste in soft furnishings because I haven't provided any. So what's my flat worth? I still haven't a clue.
I decide to ask the local letting agent for a free valuation. Not that it will be remotely accurate — agents know that landlords are greedy so they always pretend the property is worth more than they'll get — but at least they should know what demand is like, what type of properties tenants are looking for and, crucially, how mine compares to other flats currently on the market.
This will give me a better idea of where to pitch my price. Rent prices these days are not an exact science, and as every tenant knows, there is always room for a little negotiating.