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Henry & James let Belgravia apartment in four hours

We all like hitting personal bests and at Henry & James we are no exception. Nothing in our 68-year history had prepared us for the record-smashing feat which we achieved in July, when it took us just four hours to let a luxury apartment on Chesham Place, close to Belgrave Square. That’s right. Not four days or four weeks, but four hours.

Shortly after 1pm on 12th July, the property owner walked into our Motcomb Street office and asked us to value the property. By 2pm we had agreed terms and set about marketing the property for a new tenant. By 5pm we had agreed a new tenancy with a very happy long standing Henry & James tenant. The landlord was delighted and it was our fastest turnaround ever.

Steve Cook, Head of Lettings & Management at Henry & James says “This illustrates how much the summer lettings market in Belgravia is hotting up and the importance of building good contacts over many years.”

If sales are traditionally quiet at this time of year, it is often a different story in the lettings sector. Busy professional couples use the quieter summer months to find their next home. Prospective students at LSE or King’s College like to view properties before the annual surge of interest in September. High-earning workers in the financial sector move from Kensington to Knightsbridge or from Chelsea to Belgravia, dipping their toes in another part of the capital.

This summer, until our record-breaking afternoon in July, we have noticed that prospective tenants have been viewing more properties than usual – around twelve, on average. They have a good selection to choose from and with the long hot summer, properties have been looking their best. It is a competitive market, and savvy landlords are using the summer months to redecorate their homes and upgrades bathrooms and kitchens.

For tenants, three things matter above all else: location, finish and timing. Nothing much can be done to alter the location of a property but, if landlords want to attract long-term tenants, they need to offer well designed properties with quality fixtures and furniture. Timing can sometimes be a matter of luck, but can also be influenced by shrewd forward thinking. Smart tenants will give notice before starting their search for their new home: that way, they can move at lightning speed when they find the right property.

With prices stable and plenty of lettings and viewings, the current central London lettings market is in very good shape indeed, thriving on healthy competition; and we are confident that the mood will remain buoyant as we approach September, when the market traditionally peaks.

On average, it is taking people looking to rent in central London just two weeks to find their perfect property. In Chesham Place, it can be done a good deal faster.

  • Henry & James is Belgravia and Knightsbridge’s premier estate agent for residential sales and lettings (
  • Contact Henry & James for a free property valuation or to let your home on Tel 020 7235 8861or email