In the London property market everyone seems to be expecting a boost for rental properties this summer thanks to the Olympic Games. But trying to make some extra income from the expected boom is not perhaps as straightforward as property owners might think.
There is certainly demand for accommodation for the London Olympics. Recent figures show that. For example, many owners on popular holiday rental website HomeAway say that they are fully booked with rents between 70 and 200% higher than normal.
Overall the website reckons that booking enquiries for London properties in July and August have increased by 695% compared to the same
Demand is high because renting a property for the Games is cheaper than staying in a hotel where prices have been inflated for the duration and most are already full. ‘Even with these higher rates, rentals still provide unrivalled value for money when compared to local hotels. It is little wonder London homeowners are experiencing record demand,’ said Andy Cockburn, regional director for HomeAway UK.
UK property search website Zoopla has a special section on its website displaying houses and flats available to rent in London as short term lets during the summer specifically geared to Olympic Games visitors.
But for more ordinary property owners the Olympics might not bring in such big bucks as short term rental premiums are not as high as some anticipated, according to research by flat and house chare website Easyroommate. It says that in contrast to some overblown claims, tenant demand for short term lets in Olympic boroughs pushes average weekly rents up just 14%.
It found that the number of properties and bedrooms being offered as short term lets in London’s Olympic boroughs rose 16% higher than the wider London average over the first quarter of the year. The growth was greater in Olympic boroughs than those with no Olympic connection.
Average weekly rents across Olympic boroughs increased in the first three months of 2012 while average rents in non Olympic boroughs fell. Average weekly rents in Olympic boroughs as of the end of March were £143, some 14% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2011. Conversely, average weekly rents in non Olympic boroughs fell 4% over the same period suggesting there is not enough demand to prevent the increase in supply of short term lets having a negative impact on rental prices.
but Properties also have to comply with fire regulations which mean that fire risk assessment needs to be carried out. Owners also need permission from their lender if they have a mortgage.
They will also need to speak to their local planning department, as London boroughs have different rules regarding letting for 90 days or less. In Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden and Tower Hamlets, owners must submit a planning application at a cost of £335 but others, such as Southwark, which usually demand permission for short lets have announced that they will turn a blind eye during the Olympics.