Tiny London flat to let at £780 a month

London studio flat

A studio flat in Kentish Town was originally just one room in a terraced house. It's now on the market as a home to rent - measuring just 8 feet by 9 feet, plus a bathroom big enough for a toilet and a sink. To squeeze a bed in, the owners have built a mezzanine platform, so in order to go to bed the resident would have to climb on a fridge and then scale a ladder. Once up there they would have just two feet of head-space.

This tiny room is up for rent for £780 a month, and there has been no shortage of interest. The agents told the Observer newspaper that it was the smallest they had ever let, but that they had already had more than 50 enquiries about it.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Rents in London rose 10% last year alone, so people have the choice of either moving out, spending their entire income on rent, or seeing the size of what they can afford shrink rapidly.

However, the size and price of rental properties like this has raised concerns as to whether the price of rental property in the capital has reached a level where people are compromising too much in order to live centrally.

We reported in January that there's a new breed of flats which are too small to qualify as studios - and are being let as 'semi-studios'. These are often no bigger than a single bedroom and have crammed beds, sinks and microwaves into a tiny space in order to charge around £500 or £600 a month for them.

There are bound to be some residents in these properties who are miserable and desperate and cannot see any other workable solutions.

Article continues below

The World's Most Expensive House

The plus side

However, while there are laws relating to property rental which state they must be safe and clean, there's no minimum space requirement. And in the world of small homes, there is another side to the story.

There are plenty of people happy to pay the price of space in order to have convenience that they can afford. It explains why a 10ft 4in by 8ft 4in studio near Harrods, which was divided into a single bedroom and a wet room, was sold for £90,000 in 2012. It also explains the former cleaner's cupboard in Chelsea, which measured 11ft 3in by 7ft 3in, which was on the market in 2007 for £170,000. And it explains the attractions of the £100,000 studio in Notting Hill which is even smaller than any of the others: 7ft 6in by 3ft 4in. Half of the room is taken up by a single bedroom on a raised platform - with a tiny bathroom and cupboard underneath.

There are also those who are happy to live somewhere small, and unremarkable, for the sake of keeping their costs low. So, for example, at the moment London's cheapest studio flat is in Streatham Hill and priced at £70 a week (£303 a month). The bathroom is separate and shared. It's hardly anyone's idea of desirable living, but with the average London rent now £1,132 a month, it offers food for thought for anyone wanting to make the most of what they take home.

But what do you think? Could you live in such a small space, and would you want to? Share your thought in the comments section below

The ten most valuable home improvements
See Gallery
Tiny London flat to let at £780 a month

If you have the cash (and the planning permission) by far the best way to add value is to increase the floor space, by either converting the attic or extending into the garden. Work that adds an extra bedroom will typically add 12% to the value of the property, so a £20,000 outlay will easily add at least this much value. 
If this is beyond your budget, you should focus on increasing the space through clever storage solutions. In a bedroom, for example, by investing in clever under-bed storage, adding high shelves, and investing in taller wardrobes, you can turn a cramped single room into a spacious one - or convert a single into a double.

This is a surprisingly cost-effective way to boost the value. Admittedly you'll have an outlay of anywhere between £5,000 and £30,000, but if you choose a style that complements the architecture of your home, match the flooring to the rest of the downstairs, and make sure the conservatory feels like part of the rest of the house, you can add 7% to the value of the property.
If you live in an area where parking is in high demand, then by turning the front garden into a drive you can add as much as £40,000 to the value of the property. You may need planning permission, and you will have to apply to the council to have the curb lowered, but the time and money will be repaid several times over. Rather than chucking down tarmac, it's worth looking at a garden that incorporates greenery, which will mean you're not contributing to the flood risks in the area.
If you are selling in the near future, this is important, because you need to entice people in. At the very least paint the front door and touch up painting on the windows. You should also fix any guttering and give it all a good clean. Your home should stand out for the right reasons.
This is where most people will spend a good chunk of their time at home, so not only will you add value, you'll also benefit from any changes most. If you can stretch to a new kitchen you could add 5% to the value of your property. However, if you don't have the thousands of pounds required for that kind of change, just by replacing the doors for something more modern, putting down stylish flooring, and investing in fashionable appliances, you can add significant value.
You don't need to spend much. If you already have serviceable white suite, you can add a chrome heated towel rail, glass screen instead of a shower curtain, new mirror, or even a power shower, and you can add value to the property without the disruption and expense of a new bathroom.
This isn't cheap, but if the house is short of bathrooms, building one can add 10% to the value of the home. Increasingly buyers will come to expect them, so you'll dramatically add to the number of potential buyers by being able to tick that box.
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that if you upgrade from an old gas heavyweight boiler to a new condenser boiler, someone living in the average three bed-room semi could save around £500 a year. The costs involved mean that it could take just over three years before you start seeing a financial return, but from then on you're in the money.
In a poorly insulated attic, around 30% of all the heat in your house is going straight upstairs to escape out of the roof. This simple DIY job will save you £200 a year or more on your heating bills - so will pay you back almost immediately.
Artex ceiling or wall
Read Full Story