Business magnate Elon Musk is thought to have paid a record £1 million a year rent on a 11,080 square foot London mega-mansion.
The billionaire, who is chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, is “test running” the mansion with an option to buy the palatial property after 12 months.
A reliable industry insider told DealMakerz that the buyer “is an American billionaire, has five children and business interests in high-tech and manufacturing”.
The source added: “His ex-wife is English, so they need a London base.”
Musk has five children with his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson. He later married English actress Talulah Riley in 2010, but divorced in late 2016.
The property deal is the capital’s biggest ever “try-before-you-buy deal”, costing £84,000 per month.
It is also the largest rental deal ever achieved in Westminster, St James’s and the West End.
Estate agent Rokstone, which brokered the deal, said the billionaire and his family are from overseas and decided that they wanted to rent the property initially, prior to making a decision whether to purchase it outright.
If purchased, the mega-mansion has an asking price in excess of £35 million.
The £1 million per year deal is still less than the £2.9 million stamp duty that the family would need to pay if they decide to purchase the mega-mansion.
Located off Barton Street in Westminster, the Grade II listed mega-mansion rivals Clarence House in size and luxury.
It was originally built in 1904-1905 in grand Edwardian Baroque style, and in 2012 underwent a lavish three year renovation project.
The five storey mega-mansion has five reception rooms, seven VIP bedroom suites, eight main bathrooms lined with Italian book-matched marble and an eight-person passenger lift.
There is an elegant entrance hall, grand inner hall with main staircase, family kitchen/breakfast room, study and wine room, plus a 13 metre indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gymnasium and private health spa.
The master bedroom suite alone is the size of a conventional two bedroom apartment and has his and hers marble bathrooms and large walk-in dressing room.
The mega-mansion is complete with 1,315 sq ft of outside space including a private terraced garden, roof terrace, balconies and patios.
The property is fully dressed and interior designed, and comes with all furnishings, including a bronze sculpture by Rodin.
Becky Fatemi, managing director of Rokstone, said the ultra-prime lettings deal shows that the world’s super-rich still want and choose to live in Central London.
“In the last five years there has been a steady rise in ‘try-before-you-buy’ rental deals for the super-rich. If you look at rental-deals for values over £60,000 per month, prior to five years ago they were virtually unheard of. Yet in the last five years there have been 14 of these mega-rentals, and they are rising in frequency.”
DealMakerz thinks the “try-before-you-buy” deal is a great way for the world’s super-rich to purchase property in London.
The new tenants have time to get to know the property while still providing the vendor with substantial rental income.
It proves London is still a hotspot for the world’s rich and famous.