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Should you rent your House During the Olympics?

Monday, 2nd April 2012

Categories: Lettings

Author: Peter Barry

With the media talking about obscene amounts of money being thrown on the table for homeowners willing to hand over their keys for the duration of the Olympics, it’s tempting to up sticks, get out of town and watch your bank balance multiply. But is the short-term gain worth the upheaval?

Now that the tickets have been sold and people know if they’re definitely heading to London this summer, all thoughts are turning to accommodation. Hotels, B&Bs, hostels and rental apartments are pretty much guaranteed to be fully booked at inflated prices for the duration of the Games. However, canny homeowners also have their eyes on the prize and many are registering their houses with rental agents for short-term tenancies.

Hyped up prices
The media has been busy fuelling the fire, with stories about strategically placed properties being up for grabs for tens of thousands of pounds a week. Many people who hadn’t previously considered renting out their homes have been tempted by the figures and are jumping on the bandwagon. However, whilst it’s certainly true that centrally-located designer homes with more bathrooms than bedrooms, and more mod cons than a James Bond set, have been snapped up for silly money, the average Victorian semi in a less salubrious part of town is taking longer to tempt ticket holders. 

Think it through
It’s certainly true that your home could well earn you a small fortune during the games (some agents are quoting three times the usual rental, as a rough guide) but you need to think about it carefully before you sign on the dotted line. To get the best rental income for your house, you need to be very flexible and that doesn’t just mean packing up a few clothes and dragging a cleaning cloth around the kitchen on the day of the opening ceremony. If you want people to pay top dollar for your property, you need to move out in advance, clear out the clutter and make sure it’s spotless. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you move out for the months before and after the games?
  • Are you happy to move all your personal possessions out of your home?
  • Have you informed your insurance company that your home is going to be rented out?
  • Are you aware that you have to pay tax on rental income over £4,250 per annum?
  • If you live in a communal block, or leasehold property, does your lease allow you to let out the property?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, you’re probably well prepared for what lies ahead and the Olympics could indeed be a nice little earner. 

On the other hand, agents most local to the Olympic Park that we have close relationships with have reported that some landlords have priced themselves out of what may be an achievable and realistic ‘short-term’ rental.  Hotels, B & B’s are reported to be fully booked but does that mean that someone will pay thousands of pounds to come to London to watch a day or two of the Olympics? I believe that only time will tell closer to the Olympic ‘D-Day’ how much people may pay for such a rental.

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