Haruka brings with her solid experience of the international property market where she started outin 2011 working as an Administrator in a Japanese asset management company. Moving on to the investment division of a leading realtor in 2015, she became involved in the acquisition and management of high-value properties, concentrating on increasing their value before resale. Haruka also worked as a brokerage project manager before joining Benham and Reeves where she joins the Japan Desk team. A keen cook who loves the outdoor life, Haruka keeps fit by playing tennis.
The London rental market is seeing unprecedented demand and Japanese professionals are continuing to relocate here in large numbers, with significant pent-up demand after 18 months of severely restricted travel. September is one of the busiest times of the year for us and second only to the peak season of April. After this April peak, we have continued to see consistently high numbers of enquiries from Japanese applicants, mainly professionals from banking and finance, manufacturing and trading (Sogo Shosha) sectors.
So the pandemic seems to have had little long-term effect on companies relocating their staff to London.
However, a key issue for us is the continuing shortages of stock across London, affecting all applicants. This is caused by unprecedented demand from professionals returning to their London lives, post-pandemic, from UK and overseas professionals to international students. So competition is intense for all types of rental property and Japanese applicants must act quickly to secure their chosen apartment.
As a result, we have found that our role has become even more important to Japanese applicants who are new to the capital. They value the insight we can bring to their choice of location as well as our ability to advise on the properties available.
In particular, developments such as Dickens Yard in Ealing and nearby Filmworks (if applicants don’t need a parking space), remain extremely popular. White City Living and Fulham Reach are also sought-after locations. 250 City Road in Shoreditch is a real favourite amongst the Japanese but it is one of the developments currently experiencing severe shortages of stock so rental properties are difficult to secure here. Canary Wharf is a real hotspot for Japanese corporates and two new developments, One Park Drive and 10 Park Drive, are becoming very popular now.
With the rental market in London so competitive, we would suggest that Japanese professionals considering a move to London in the next few months contact us in advance so that we can discuss their priorities and suggest developments and locations that will suit them. We can then advise on new apartments as soon as they become available.
Unlike many other companies, our Japan desk has many unique advantages:
We provide a dedicated account manager throughout the whole process to act as the main contact, handling any issues or questions that arise.
Before the employee arrives, we will discuss both the company and the employee’s needs to establish priorities in terms of
so that you can be confident your new rental home meets all your requirements.
We will research all suitable properties within the specified budget, offering advice on areas which we believe will meet your needs and be conveniently located for your job, with good transport links. Once you have approved the properties you wish to view, we will take you take you around to view all the properties including pointing out where the local amenities, such as shops, gyms and of course where the local transport is.
Once a property has been selected we will negotiate the best terms complying with any specific requirements made by the company.
And once the offer is agreed, we will draw up the tenancy agreement (using the company’s agreement where one has been previously approved), register the deposit with an approved scheme (where tenancy is in employee’s name) and complete other essential documentation to ensure that both company and employee are fully protected under UK law.
When you move into your new home, we provide assistance from attending the inventory check-in (if required) to supplying relevant information about the property such as instructions for appliances and support setting up accounts with council tax, gas, electricity and other service providers.
Most companies insist employees rent a professionally managed property as this means repairs or maintenance issues are handled quickly. Over 65% of the properties we let are managed by us so employee and company can rest assured that the property will be well-maintained and hassle-free.
Your dedicated account manager will be on hand during the tenancy to assist with any issues or questions that arise.
Many of our corporate tenants are so happy in their rental home that they choose to renew their tenancy at the end of their tenancy agreement. If so, we will handle any negotiation with the landlord and the completion of a new tenancy agreement on the company’s or employee’s behalf. If a new property is required, then we will research suitable properties in the chosen location and ensure that they meet the employee’s criteria to avoid time wasting or the need for additional searches.
At the end of the tenancy, we will assist both employee and company with the end of tenancy procedure, including recommending reliable and reasonably priced cleaners and attending the inventory check-out (if required).
Once the tenancy has ended and the inventory check-out has been completed, we will liase with the landlord to ensure deductions are reasonable and push for a speedy return of the deposit.
We offer a number of additional services for HR departments including
And of course we are always available to offer professional advice and assistance - we view our relationships with companies as long term and as such are always available to help where required.
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