LONDON OLYMPIC DISAPPOINTMENT
25 April 2012
The majority of Londoners keen to cash in on the Olympics this summer are likely to be disappointed, according to Edmund Cude, London's oldest lettings specialist.
With 350,000 visitors per day expected in London during the Games (Sydney = 97,000, Beijing = 235,000), many homeowners are considering a last minute escape with the chance to cash-in on this huge influx of tourists by letting out their homes.
So, is it easy pickings or more hassle than it's worth?
The Sydney Games offer an interesting comparison to London. Down Under, unrealistic rental expectations resulted in the majority of city centre homeowners missing the boat, particularly as demand came very late in the day. Many spectators only stayed for a few days, not for the duration and those who did take short lets focused on suburban properties close to the Olympic venues.
If London's Olympic tourists are going to pay top dollar, they will be expecting services to match. Hotel standard accommodation with hotel level hospitality (maid service, 24/7 helpline, airport pick-up, five star linen and toiletries) means that many short-let properties won't come up to scratch. And, if Sydney is anything to go by, spectators will want to be close to the action at the Olympic Park.
For those homeowners still tempted to get involved and who are close enough and can offer the spectator the services they want, the list of considerations goes on and on.
Robert Nichols, Director,, said, "Olympic short lets are a potentially lucrative option, but homeowners must be prepared for the additional challenges and costs that come with an Olympic let which could include a 24 hour helpline, maid service and airport pickup.
"When you take into account insurance, gas and electrical safety checks, permission from a mortgage provider, 24 hour contact and, in some London boroughs, planning permission - a short let becomes complicated and expensive. The returns would have to be significant."
The reality of this year's Olympics is that a relatively small number of homeowners and landlords will benefit from the predicted top dollar, short let rental boom. Flats and houses near to the Olympic Park, ideally with no personal belongings in place with owners willing to make provision for the demands of tourists effectively paying for hotel accommodation might well be able to cash in. But for many, the rental cash cow will be out of reach.
"We would advise existing landlords to avoid holding out for potentially high earning Olympic lets in favour of longer term, secure tenancy agreements. There is no point risking a void period if your property is not in the right location or matches the exacting demands of Olympic tourists."
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