Posted 09 Jun 2024

How To Get Into Property Investment In London: My Guide

buy / property investment / property management

London property investment can be lucrative, but there are risks to watch out for too. Here's my London property investment guide.

With sound judgement and careful planning, London property investment can be very lucrative, but there are several risks to watch out for too.

If you’re not sure how to get started, I’ll share some tips with you in this guide. First, let’s review some terminology.

Returns from London property investments come in two forms – capital appreciation and rental income.

Capital appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. As property prices rise, so does the equity you hold in the investment.

When you eventually sell, this translates to capital gains. While occasional dips occur during economic downturns, property values in London tend to rise over time, as these house price statistics from Land Registry data confirm.

Rental income is the monthly rent you receive from tenants who live in your property, providing a reliable source of passive income over time. How much you can charge depends on a range of factors – the size of the property, its location, market trends and so on.

Buy-to-let tends to mean purchasing residential properties to rent out. Another option is commercial buy-to-let – buying offices, retail spaces, or warehouses for businesses to rent.

The buy-to-let strategy is a good fit for investors seeking a combination of regular income and the potential for a long-term return on investment.

Now we’re all up to speed, here are my eight steps to investing in the London property market:

#1 Learn about the market

As per numerous independent sources, including the renowned Cities of Choice report from BCG, London is one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in.

There are many reasons why and I’ve previously written about 18 of them in my guide on living in London – things to know before you move.

Yet at the same time, there’s high demand for properties and low supply. There’s a housing shortage in not just London but throughout the UK, with reports suggesting a backlog of up to 4.3m extra homes needed.

It means that there will be no shortage of tenants interested in renting your property. Also, just as property prices tend to rise over time, the average monthly rent increases to – between 2022 and 2023, the increase in London was 15.2%, reports the BBC.

If you’re looking to invest from overseas, you’re not alone, with approximately 11% of homes in London owned by non-resident landlords, according to Property Reporter. I’ve recently covered how the non-resident landlord scheme works.

#2 Choose the right location

Think about the type of tenant you’re looking for and find out where in London they want to live. For example:

  • Properties near underground stations, especially in central London (zones 1 and 2), are in high demand for working professionals. Areas popular with professionals working in finance or technology are prime investment targets.
  • However, houses in more relaxing parts of London a little further out are also very popular, particularly for tenants who don’t need to commute daily. Family-friendly areas with good schools are also highly sought after.

Everyday essentials such as shops, restaurants, gyms and parks within walking distance makes a property more attractive to tenants.

Some of the best investment opportunities in London are those in areas that tenants see as up-and-coming neighbourhoods, often undergoing gentrification. Spot these areas early and there’s a good chance the property will noticeably rise in value over time.

#3 Budget for your investment

The main options to finance your property investment are:

  • Cash: This is the most straightforward option, as you avoid interest charges and own the property outright. Naturally, it requires a significant upfront investment.
  • Mortgage: A mortgage lets you use a bank loan to finance a large portion of the purchase price. You will still need a cash deposit – at least 5% but the UK average is currently 19%.
  • Remortgage: I’ll cover this shortly.

Beyond the purchase price of the property, there are also several tax requirements to factor into your budget.

#4 Understand your tax requirements

These include:

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): This tax applies to many London property purchases as they will exceed government-set thresholds. Rates increase with the property value and depend on whether you are a first-time buyer.
  • Income Tax: The government taxes earnings from your London property at your income tax rate. You can deduct certain expenses such as mortgage interest, repairs, and management fees to lower your taxable income.
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT): If you sell a property, it is subject to CGT assuming there has been some capital appreciation.

CGT rates for residential property are 18% for your entire capital gain on overall annual incomes below £50,270 – but 24% if it is above this threshold, as TaxScouts confirms.

Also bear in mind that you pay council tax on an empty property.

#5 Assess the available properties

Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to explore the market for your first property investment.

Take your time when choosing between properties – these are 16 questions to ask when viewing a house. If you’re buying an apartment, important questions include:

  • How many years are left on the lease?
  • How much is the service charge?

Want to start assessing your options now? Take a look at the current Fine Living portfolio and also a selection of specially selected investment opportunities.

#6 Complete the purchase

The property purchase process normally takes several months. For an overview of the steps, take a look at my first time buyer checklist.

Once the seller accepts your offer some of the remaining steps include appointing a conveyancer or solicitor, property searches, the legal transfer and exchange of contracts.

In the past I’ve also covered what property searches are and how long they take.

Once the property is yours, to begin earning rental income you need to start finding tenants to move in.

The exception is if there’s a sitting tenant or a tenant in situ. This is someone who continues renting after the previous owner sells the property.

#7 Manage your property

At this stage in your property investment journey, you’ve achieved a lot already and you’re close to earning some passive monthly income through the rental payments.

There are still a few steps to take. London councils have landlord licensing schemes in place, so you’ll need to apply for a certificate.

Landlords also have several legal responsibilities such as ordering an energy performance certificate (EPC) before tenants move in – here’s how to improve the EPC rating.

You’ll also need a tenancy agreement, a marketing plan for the property, the means to screen tenants and a secure Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Here’s my guide to renting out your house or flat and an explanation on how right to rent and other tenant checks work.

Once you’ve chosen a tenant, host a check-in and then after they move in, be on standby for regular inspections, plus some ad hoc property maintenance requests.

If that all sounds like a lot of hard work – it is! That’s why many property investors choose experienced estate agents to oversee the tenancy.

Here’s how to choose an estate agent in the UK with my best practices.

#8 Grow your portfolio

Once you have that first property investment secured, it’s time to start thinking about whether to grow your portfolio.

A second property means another opportunity to see long-term returns through capital appreciation and receive extra rental income in the short-term.

The time it takes to grow your portfolio depends on your financing options. Always be careful not to overstretch your resources – remember that property prices and market conditions will fluctuate.

If you already own a property, you could consider remortgaging in order to reinvest equity in additional properties – but of course, this adds another layer of debt.

Final thoughts – Property investment: London

Investing in properties can be time consuming. But get it right and you could see returns in two forms, through the short-term monthly rental income and long-term capital appreciation.

To start seeing what’s out there, browse through the current Fine Living portfolio and there are also some pre-selected investment opportunities.

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and informative. For other articles, take a look at our blog.

In recent articles I explain how buying property through a limited company works and how to find out what restrictive covenants are on your property, if any.

Here at Fine Living, we have property experience throughout London and stay updated with the very latest market data. We study market trends, migration patterns, local borough updates and new property development news.

It means we can share the information that property investors need to grow their portfolio with confidence. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


We've been working with Simon for a number of years now and he has always been efficient and pragmatic on each letting, doing his best for both the landlord and tenant. He has also overseen works for us and is thorough in his inspections. Overall, he has been an absolute pleasure to work with.



Simon was a great agent. Understood what we were looking for, excellent communication and a very nice guy to work. Would highly recommend.

Luke Russo


Excellent service, would highly recommend.

Kirk Pereira


We noticed a significant difference when our landlord change from our previous management company to Fine Living. We received information and response to our inquiries very quickly and when needed, we were able to communicate more effectively with the landlord. We felt that Simon cared not only about the landlord but also us, the tenants.

Alejandra Cordero


Excellent service from Fine Living the second time around. Always kept updated & the process was thorough & seamless. Would highly recommend!

Jennifer Nursiah


I would highly recommend Simon and Fine Living to anyone looking for a professional, attentive and transparent real estate agent to work with. Simon went above and beyond what I expected in order to successfully complete the sale and always did so with a helpful and respectful manner.

Alan Casey


This is truly a unicorn of an organization! Simon is approachable, thoughtful, and extremely knowledgeable about his property. He made the entire process completely painless from the viewing through to signing the lease. He’s incredibly communicative and ensured that our rental was finished to the highest standard of cleanliness and repairs. We are now the proud tenants of the most wonderful home and are so grateful that we found Simon. 10/10 service, no notes!

Michaela Zamloot


I had a very smooth collaboration with Simon who was reactive, a good adviser and kind. Thank you for the great service!

margot chollet


I recently purchased a flat through Fine Living and I couldn't be happier with the service I received. From the very beginning, the communication was outstanding. They kept me informed every step of the way, promptly answered all my questions, and were always available to address any concerns I had. The entire process was smooth and stress-free. Simon and Steve were professional, efficient, and made buying a flat a positive experience. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to buy or sell a property.



Simon is great to work with, super friendly and responsive. I would highly recommend house hunting with him!

Kelly Lenihan


Positive experience working with Simon & team, from the start with the viewing, they were very responsive and timely in getting all the my questions answered and documents sent during the letting process. Would 100% recommend their services!

Joseph Chung


Simon was fantastic as both a lettings and sales agent. Very communicative and flexible in his approach.

Chloe Nankivell


Simon is professional, pragmatic and efficient. He gives us great confidence that our properties are being managed well.



Simon was very accomodating and helpful throughout the rental application process

Brett Felsenthal


Simon has been a great guide and support throughout our tenancy. He was always available, helpful and he managed the communication with our landlord perfectly.

Paul Biard


Simon manages a rental flat for us and we very much enjoy working with him. His service is exceptional. He takes care of everything for us and we feel totally reassured that our property is in great hands. Any little issues our tenants might have, such as small repairs etc are dealt with right away in an efficient and professional manner. We recently had a change of tenants and Simon did a fantastic job of marketing the property and finding us excellent new tenants. He is proactive, communication is excellent and he is a lovely guy to work with too! Highly recommend.

Sarah Faulds


Easy, quick and smooth experience overall.

Ana Maa


Simon’s service was top notch. Professional, quick to respond and a great mediator between me and the landlord. Definitely a good experience overall. 🙌

Isauro López


I had a very smooth collaboration with Simon who was reactive, a good adviser and kind. Thank you for the great service!

margot ch


I've known Simon for quite a while now and his expertise and effort to attend to clients/tenants queries and problems are second to none. Simon is efficient, which comes from his years of experience and therefore things get sorted quickly. In a time where things are so fast paced, it's nice to know there is someone competent in charge dealing with the situation.



The service received from Simon was excellent. From ensuring all maintenance jobs were attended to, all legal requirements were adhered to and actually finding the tenant. A very seamless process. Would highly recommend.

Jennifer Nursiah


Simon has been an excellent professional. He was very helpful and trustworthy since the first time I visited the flat. He went out of his way to make sure my needs and the landlord's were met and the lease signed as quickly as possible. In the uncertain environment of the London property market, having Simon's help was invaluable.

Nicola Speranza


Seriously knowledgeable, very reassuring and the friendliest chap you could hope to meet. Goes well beyond "just" an estate agent. More like a high end property consultant that can talk about investment decisions, interior design and everything in between. Highly recommended!

Dipta Malik


Renting our first London apartment through Simon was an incredible experience! Handling everything from abroad was made effortless by Simon's exceptional assistance. He accommodated our requests promptly, addressing all queries without delay. Our experience was flawless, and we're immensely grateful to Simon. We highly recommend his services to anyone seeking to rent in London, especially from overseas.

Zvika Weksler


I was really impressed by the service I received here, in particular from Jack. He was 'on it' from the start and took his time in understanding what kind of property we were after and our other requirements. He was knowledgeable, professional and gave us an all-round easy experience and personal service. To be honest, I'm still pinching myself that he managed to find us such a great place to rent. Would highly recommend.

India Semper-Hughes


The whole process was a breeze, and everything happened in a blur. I moved from a foreign country and Fine Living was able to get everything done within a week, from answering my first message to handing over the keys. I absolutely recommend!

Merwane Drai


Simon has been great throughout all the process. He is extremely professional and reliable, I would definitely recommend him.

Luca Baldini


An absolute pleasure to interact with Simon. A true professional with a mastery of the London property market. Very knowledgeable on all his properties, with high quality virtual viewings tailored to the current climate. Highly recommended.

Alfie Ashton


Simon is one of the best estate agents I have ever worked with. He really cares about looking after his clients and properties and makes the whole process easy and stress free. Would highly recommend

Manal Shaker


Simon was extremely professional and a pleasure to work with in securing a flat in London. Would certainly recommend to all

Tommy Griffin


5 stars at least! Moving abroad with a property in London and a busy life I wanted someone to deal with my property. Simon has been amazing as he is personally taking care of everything. He is quick, he explains what I do not know and he is very professional. He takes on the responsibility and take actions. 100% recommended

Erika Felici


Simon is truly a special estate agent. He's knowledgable and cares about the relationship with customers going the extra miles to inform properly and not to rush in his viewing. He makes you feel extremely taken care of and guided alongside the process.

Davide Cavagnino


Very professional and offers excellent service. You will be well looked after. Impressed with the technology and quality of virtual viewings. Thank you Simon!

Arta Alfere


It's been a great experience renting a flat through Simon, he is always very kind and helpful

Tijana Markovic


Simon is the most reliable trustworthy letting agent you can find! Paying attention to all details and doing fantastic job!I know him for 5 years, did few flats with him and all went smoothly. Try yourself and see.

Yael Epstein


I engaged Simon and Fine Living for the legal work on letting my home, his knowledge of the lettings market and the legal aspects made me feel very comfortable using him. We’ve got a great tenant and Simon is available should I need him for any assistance.

Kirk Smith


Simon is absolutely fantastic to work with. He is authentic, honest and trustworthy. As first time renters in London, Simon explained everything to us and remained accessible throughout the entire process. Definitely the best agent experience we have had.

Jackson Smith


Really smooth move in process, Probably the best I’ve experienced so far living in the city! It’s been really nice having Simon/fine living as our estate agent - you can really tell they look after the tenants which can be quite unheard of nowadays.



Simon is fully hands on and on top of everything. Has made my life so easy while being an overseas landlord.

Roxanne Cohen


Jack and Simon done an incredible job working around the current restrictions with the pandemic and managed to secure a sale on our property within months. They took on all the strain and pressure of securing a sale within a tight timeframe and made us feel at ease. They took every precaution to ensure we were safe during viewings and ensured everyone followed strict rules to ensure our safety and the safety of others. Both were great at communicating and offered constructive advice throughout that helped secure our sale. Thank you both for everything

Amal Jaber


Can’t thank Simon enough for helping us secure our first flat here in London. He was super helpful during the whole process and was always available for any questions. We are really happy!

Abby Wilson


I recently had the pleasure of working with Simon, and I must say, he exceeded all expectations. Simon's professionalism was evident from the get-go, and his friendly demeanor made the leasing process an absolute breeze. What truly impressed me was his lightning-fast response time to all of my inquiries. No question was too small, and he always made me feel like a top priority. If you're in need of leasing assistance, look no further than Simon. He's the epitome of excellent customer service and professionalism.

Laura Giersdorf


see all Google reviews

🍪 Cookie consent

We value your privacy! Please take a moment to customise your cookie preferences. By clicking 'Submit,' you agree to the use of cookies as described below:

Collects data on user interactions to improve website performance.
Ad Personalisation
Customises ads based on user interests.
× How can we help you?