Prime rents in the Home Counties rose for the second consecutive quarter in 2014, according to the latest figures from Knight Frank.

The report shows that Home Counties residential rents increased by 2.6% between April and June, with 'tenancies agreed' up by 50% when compared to this time last year.

The rise in this region is being driven by a strong demand from corporate tenants. In the first half of 2014, nearly 40% of all tenancies agreed were with international tenants.

Meanwhile, the latest UK Student Housing Market View from CBRE reports that prime student accommodation in the regions is continuing to outperform other property asset classes, with yields reaching 6.15%.

The findings also highlight a growing interest in this sector from institutional investors.

"Recent reports confirm demand for rented accommodation is strong, which currently makes the private rental market a particularly attractive investment opportunity." commented Alan Stewart, director and head of residential lettings and management at Caxtons.

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Life is tough, very tough. Most of us have had some first hand experience of the economic squeeze during the past four years

– and belt tightening has become an art form as well as a way of life. But what if you run out of cunning plans to keep the wolf from the front door? What if you can no longer meet your monthly financial commitments? What if you can't pay the mortgage?

Alan Stewart BSc FRICS MCIArb, Director & head of Residential Lettings & Management at Caxtons says think carefully before selling up. It may be better to consider letting your home – undoubtedly a very valuable asset – while you rent a smaller property for considerably less. This way you will retain your home and ease the pressure on what is probably a desperate situation.

If you think that becoming a 'reluctant landlord' is for you to allow time for the property market to recover and economic-hard times to abate, then there are a number of issues to explore.

If you have a mortgage, it is sometimes possible to let your property without the complication of changing your mortgage and becoming a Buy-to-Let landlord. As long as you obtain permission from your lender by way of a 'Consent to Let', then you will not breach your mortgage agreement. What is more, you will usually remain on your existing mortgage arrangement and pay your current interest rate. Every lender is different though and some may impose additional charges so be sure you understand exactly what you are signing up to.

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Caxtons is pleased to announce it has recently agreed a three year sponsorship with The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Caxtons already supports The Marlowe through its corporate membership and has now partnered with the award winning theatre by sponsoring its Discovery Scheme, which provides reduced price tickets for 16-26 year olds.

David Gurton, Marketing and Business Development director at Caxtons said "We are delighted to join forces with The Marlowe Theatre in this very worthwhile scheme. Our Canterbury office has a specialist student lettings division, dedicated to providing accommodation for those attending the University of Kent, Canterbury Christchurch University and UCA so this collaboration is a perfect fit with our core market."

Mark Everett, Theatre Director at The Marlowe added "We are delighted to welcome Caxtons as the sponsor of our Discovery Tickets scheme. Discovery Tickets help young people between the ages of 16 and 26 see a wide range of performances for just £10. Together with Caxtons, we can help more young people develop a love of theatre and live performance."

The Marlowe Discovery Scheme provides heavily discounted tickets for top-ticket shows. The scheme emulates an initiative that was successfully introduced by the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company some years ago.

Whether a novice or already a devotee, the scheme is designed to attract and enthral a younger audience and to inspire a fresh generation to become regular followers of the wonderful world of theatre.

Discovery Tickets can be purchased for seats in price band A, and with shows spanning theatre, comedy and music, there is always something to please every taste.

Caxtons is keen to support the scheme whenever and wherever it can and has recently commissioned a single decker bus back to promote the benefits of Discovery Tickets. The bus (21a) runs from Hales Place in Canterbury to The University of Kent, a route that is well used by students living in and around the city.

Three of the student lettings team from Caxtons recently joined Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe, to cement the relationship and launch the scheme.

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(l to r) Kevin Tubb, Brittany Holland, Daniel Eley all from Caxtons' Student Lettings division with Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe