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Japanese tenants are top choice for London landlords

Japanese Tenants

London’s rental market is a true melting pot of nationalities from around the world but there’s one nationality that has become the preferred choice for the Capital’s landlords.

London letting and sales agent, Benham and Reeves, has seen demand soar for Japanese tenants by over 200% since the opening of their dedicated Japan desk in 2017 due to a combination of both the financial stability Japanese companies offer and the personal way they conduct themselves when renting a property.

As Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, explains:

“We’ve seen the way the Japanese conduct themselves at major sporting events, staying well after the full-time whistle to clear their area of rubbish. This certainly isn’t a ploy for the cameras and this level of respect is something we see on a daily basis with our Japanese tenants.

Small cultural differences such as always removing their shoes at the door and the respect they have for a Landlord’s property in how they maintain the cleanliness of a rental property put them above and beyond any other nationality when it comes to renting.”

Renting to a Japanese tenant also brings other benefits to landlords in London.

The vast majority of Japanese tenants renting through Benham and Reeves come via company lets, with the Japanese Company as the tenant and the employee as the occupier, thereby giving extra security as they will always meet their obligations and not simply leave without paying.

The average tenancy length for a Japanese tenancy is 3 years (way above the UK average) as that’s generally the term of the employee’s contract in London, meaning reduced void periods and ensuring a long-term rental income for landlords. In addition, Benham and Reeves are finding that as the employee comes to the end of their stint in London and prepares to return to Japan, they are recommending their existing property to their successor which means a landlord often ends up with a 6-year tenancy or even longer.

They are also incredibly reliable from a financial standpoint too. Since Benham and Reeves opened its Japan desk in 2017, not a single Japanese tenant has ever defaulted on a rental payment, nor have they ever seen a Japanese tenant pay their rent late by even a single day.

Since the start of the pandemic, the London rental market has been hit hard by unemployment and tenants unable to pay their way, however, not one Japanese tenant renting via Benham and Reeves has utilised this as an excuse to avoid paying rent. More so, no Japanese tenant has asked for a discounted rate of rent during this time.

With a dedicated team of Japanese nationals, bridging the gap between Japanese companies, their employees and international landlords, Benham and Reeves have to date rented residential properties to the value of over half a billion pounds to Japanese Companies.

Marc von Grundherr continues:

“While many tenants have found themselves in an unavoidable position due to the pandemic and have been unable to pay their rent through no fault of their own. However, with the ban on tenant evictions, some have used the pandemic as an excuse to avoid paying full rent which has had a detrimental effect on London’s landlords, many whom have mortgages to pay.

We’ve seen many tenants from across the board request a discounted rate of rent, however, our Japanese tenants have continued to pay their way regardless of their personal or professional circumstances.”


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.