Online assistance to rent for Olympics - The Games Accommodation
David Laycock
Homeowners across Richmond could strike gold at the Olympics by renting out homes and bedrooms to visiting tourists, according to one Mortlake entrepreneur.

As thousands of spectators from across the world flock to the capital to see the games, Richmond is expected to be awash with visitors coming to view local events like the cycling road race or looking for accommodation with easy access to central London.

David Laycock, managing director of web agency Red Snapper, believes residents could earn up to £650-a-week per room and £7,000-a-week for a five-bedroom house during the three weeks of the games. And he has just launched a website to help people advertise homes for Olympic lets.

He said: “With the 2012 Games less than six months away, prices for hotel accommodation are soaring and there is a huge demand for rooms, flats and houses of all sizes.

“The amount of extra cash that can be earned depends on location, décor, facilities etc, but residents should expect at least double the normal rates during such a busy period.”

Mr Laycock’s website,, links homeowners and visitors including spectators, competitors and journalists, who are looking for accommodation for the Olympic period of July 27 to August 12 and the Paralympic period of August 29 to September 9.

One of a new breed of websites established to help Londoners cash in during the Olympics, it aids homeowners wanting to rent out a room, flat or house for the games, as well as other big events across the country, to advertise their property for a one-off fee of £59 with no commission for bookings.
My Laycock said: “The Olympics are unlikely to be in London again during our lifetime so it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to make a bit of extra money as well as becoming part of the Games experience.”Events across the borough during the 2012 games include cycling at Hampton Court Palace, Richmond Park and Bushy Park, tennis at nearby Wimbledon and volleyball at easily-accessible Earls Court.Those who rent out homes must declare extra income to the taxman.Homeowners renting out rooms have to pay tax on earnings over £4,250 a year and should speak to their mortgage lenders to check for restrictions first. People in rented properties should check what their lease allows them to do before advertising their rooms

Source: Local Guardian

In the middle of a rush for tourists and athletes to secure a place to stay in London after the high prices and low availability, a company makes available numerous houses and rooms for rent during the forthcoming Olympic Games in London.

London – Feb 19, 2012 – The competition has already started because finding a place to stay during the 2012 Olympic Games has become a marathonic activity for thousands of athletes and tourists coming to London. With soaring prices and plunging availability, future visitors from all over the world are participating in a race to secure a good place at a good price.

Even though the city recently put back on sale thousands of hotel rooms that were reserved for officials and media, it hasn’t been easy for many visitors to find a place to stay.  Moreover, many Londoners are leaving their homes to make them available for rent and get that extra cash that would be very helpful in this time of economic crisis. However, property owners are not finding it easy to rent out their homes and flats due to difficulties to connect these owners with potential tenants.

The good news is that a London-based accommodation company has just put available numerous houses and flats throughout London to help visitors find a room to stay. The company has released a website called The Games Accommodation (, where users are able to see all the properties including their photos, locations, and prices. Users can go online, search for availability and immediately book a room.

All the properties are fully furnished and ready for people to move in. All of them are located in easy access areas of the city, with public transportation within walking distances to make commuting to venues and tourist attractions hassle-free.

This new website comes in a moment in which the Olympic Games are just around the corner and thousands of people are still looking for a place to stay. The company has also said that new properties are constantly being added so they are able to meet the huge demand, as the city’s expectations to receive large amounts of visitors are quite high.

About The Games Accommodation
The Games Accommodation ( is an online platform that allows users to easily search and immediately book properties and rooms. They are committed to provide high-quality and safe accommodation in London, helping visitors to get the most out of their journey through the UK.

As millions of people from across the globe are expected to descend on the capital for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, many tourists will be looking for the perfect accommodation for their stay.

The event, which will take place in the summer, is expected to draw huge crowds – all of which must find accommodation.

Ticket holders hoping to stay in London during the international event can enjoy a number of ‘pop-up’ caravan sites close to the stadiums, offering them convenient access to key attractions.

Being so close to the Olympic village could allow visitors to enjoy the atmosphere and the buzz of this year’s event, whilst the cost-effective form of accommodation is expected to appeal to those wanting to save money.

Some temporary locations for various caravan sites will be found near tube stations, all of which are ideal spots for tourists looking to stay in the capital.

One particular site is situated near to Chigwell tube station, which can be accessed via the central line.

Being located on the central line allows visitors to reach the heart of the UK’s capital city with ease, making it a highly convenient place to stay.

As many Olympic events are set to take place in numerous locations dotted around the city, good transport links are a priority for those considering these accommodation sites.

The sheer volume of visitors expected to enter the city this summer means easy-access, transport links are expected to increase in demand and sites situated in close proximity to these will be a prime location for tourists.

The benefits of temporary sites

One of the many benefits of a temporary caravan site in that it can enable the busy capital city to meet the growing needs and demands of its visitors. Tourists like to travel fluidly through the capital and these sites could enable them to do so.

The convenience of these sites is also well pronounced, with one particular site just 15 minutes away from the main Olympic locations at Stratford. One campground is even said to be able to accommodate 133 outfits, supporting a large number of visitors.

Opening from 25 July to 11 September, this site is expected to be hugely popular with visitors preparing to attend the major sporting event.

One of the soon to be popular caravan sites is even located on the site of the childhood home of the Olympic champion Sally Gunnell, demonstrating how these sites are perfectly poised to cater to sporting enthusiasts.

The caravan sites therefore have historical and cultural relevance to the 2012 Olympic Games, making them the perfect place to stay over the summer.

Preparing for the Olympics

Whilst athletes have been undergoing training for years to prepare themselves for these events, visitors do not need such lengthy preparations.

For those preparing to camp at one of the temporary sites, investing in touring caravan insurance is highly recommended as it can offer the protection you need to ensure your caravan is kept safe at all times.

Source: County Times
Lena Corner renting house during Olympics - The Games Accommmodation
Lena Corner to rent her house
It's now less than six months to go until the Olympics and the burning question on many Londoner's lips is: have you rented your property out yet? And if not, why not? According to some over-enthusiastic reports some of us in the capital are heading for a property "gold rush".

Rents on London homes, it is claimed, could be four- or five-times higher than normal. And the millions of visitors due this summer apparently come bearing fistfuls of cash clamouring to rent your house in Stratford, flat in Bow or one-bed apartment in Blackheath.

After all my attempts to get hold of tickets to the Games failed, I decide to have a go at cashing in on this gold rush.

I've got a slightly down-at-heel three-bed house in Stoke Newington, Hackney, an "Olympic borough", just four stops from the stadium. It's got ugly PVC front windows, no downstairs loo and a front door you have to kick to get open but, still, I thought it's worth a shot. When the man from Foxtons estate agents breezed in he took a quick look around and declared I could rent it for £3,250 a week. As I stood there greedily planning how I'd blow this windfall, he started filling me in on a few costs. Firstly they would take a massive 26 per cent of this amount in fees. They would also charge an additional £1,000 administration fee which I'd have to pay up front (this covers cleaning before and after and I'm not sure what else). I'd also have to get an Energy Performance Certificate which Foxtons could supply for £75. And on top of all that, I'd have to pay tax on the rental income too. All this before I'd even begun to think about the paperwork, the legal forms, the tidying away of my personal belongings and the shifting of my family to my mum's house. I began to wonder if it was going to be worth the effort.

Still he managed to coax me to sign on the dotted line and I thought if nothing else it would allow me gauge if the price was as pie in the sky as it sounded. The following week they sent around a photographer. "Did you forget I was coming?" she said, taking one look round the sitting room.

Then I heard about Accommodate London, the people who set up Tennis London, which successfully cornered the market in letting out people's homes in the Wimbledon area during the tennis fortnight. Joanna Doniger, who started it back in 1993 is an old pro and currently has 300 Olympic properties on her books and is charging a much more palatable 15 per cent in fees.

Doniger is much more downbeat about my prospects. She reckons I could possibly get £300 per night (£2,100 a week) for my house. "I think people are being pretty unrealistic about pricing," she says. "Half of London didn't get any Olympic tickets so they want to get out of town and rent their houses out. Plus we are in the middle of a recession – corporate companies aren't spending money on this sort of thing. Ultimately it could be a way of making a bit of money to go on holiday, but it's not going to buy you a car or change your life." The areas where properties are shifting, she tells me, are Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs, Stratford and Victoria Park. "And there seems to be a market for bigger houses with say five to six bedrooms," she says. Doniger wouldn't even take my house on, she says, because of bad transport links (the nearest station, Dalston, is a 10 minute walk away). When I tell her there's also a bus which will get you to the stadium in 25 minutes she laughs. I try Knight Frank, which was quoted in the media as saying it was a "unique, exciting, buzzy time" for short Olympic lets. They have Sol Campbell's Chelsea townhouse on their books for £75,000 a week. Jemma Scott, head of residential corporate services, tells me she usually deals with people of a "high net worth", and from them she is receiving an overwhelming amount of enquiries. "The kind of properties we are dealing with are in Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge," she says.

"And for those the clients expect to turn up with a suitcase and receive the standards of a seven-star hotel." Not a shabby family home in Stokey then.

So I turn to the web. Rent for the Games ( is a Canadian company that was set up in 2006 prior to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. "All the hotels have been booked up by the IOC and lack of accommodation was a real issue," says founder and CEO Martin Schoenberg. "We came along at the right time offering the right service."

Schoenberg and his team are now hoping to take their specialist Olympic knowledge and apply it to London and other Games following that. Schoenberg says a good ball-park rental figure is £1,000-£1,500 per bedroom, per week. Currently he has 100 properties available on the site and has already rented out more than 40, including a mansion in Wimbledon and a four-bed in Cambridge Heath for £3,500 a week. Time is on my side, he tells me. If their experience at Vancouver is anything to go by, things only really start hotting up four to five months before the Games actually start, so there's still time to get signed up.

It now seems there is quite a collection of people, in Hackney at least, who didn't get tickets and are now also looking to rent out their properties.

Kelly Stainton asked Next Move to come and give her a valuation on her four-bed house in Clapton.

"They told me that the demand is not yet proven and so are giving much more conservative estimates than have bandied around in the press," she says. "I'm not sure it's going to be worth the effort."

Another had interest from a prospective tenant who was coming from abroad and offered them her four-bed house for £4,000 per week, despite being quoted at £5,500 (Foxtons again). After a brief silence he came back with an email saying they had managed to find a hotel close to the Games site.

Perhaps London's dearth of hotel rooms has been exaggerated. It's estimated there are around 135,000 rooms within 50km of the Olympic Park. But that certainly doesn't account for where all those extra millions of visitors are planning to stay.

Right now one thing's for sure – it's not at my house. I've now put it on Gumtree, Craiglist and Crashpadder and heard not a peep out of any. It's been "heavily marketed" with Foxtons since November and the only contact I've had is a courtesy call to say I've had no offers. Perhaps we are being optimistic about prices.

Perhaps I should have tidied up for the photographer. Or perhaps I've just been a little bit too greedy.

Source: The Independent

An aerial view of the London 2012 Olympic Games Olympic Stadium - The Games Accommodation
A seven-bedroom house in London's upmarket Mayfair district will likely set a British record rent of £433,000 (NZ$815,000) per month as landlords cash in on demand for space during this summer's Olympic Games.

The house has a floor space equivalent to three and a half tennis courts spread over three floors and includes a swimming pool, cinema and seven bathrooms. It can be also rented for 100,000 pounds a week.

In addition to a six-bedroom flat near the Harrods store in Knightsbridge that is for rent at the same weekly sum, it is the most expensive home on the website, which displays houses being marketed by major estate agents.

"The figure is unprecedented for an open-market rental," said Jemma Scott, head of residential corporate services at real estate agency Knight Frank.

"It is purely due to the Olympics which, as a rule of thumb, will see monthly rents become weekly rents before reverting to normal after the Games."

The house would likely attract interest from overseas individuals in the Far East, Middle East and Russia, she said.

London homeowners are increasing rents by up to six times to meet demand from an estimated 11 million sports fans, media and corporate clients who will come to the city for the world's biggest sporting event this summer.

The total Olympics rental market for flats, apartments or houses could be worth 314 million pounds, based on one in three homeowners considering letting out some or all of their properties, according to a survey by last year.

The luxury end of London's housing market has been buoyed by demand from overseas investors looking to shield their wealth from the euro zone crisis and Arab spring uprisings. Prices for the best homes rose 39.5 per cent between March 2009 and last November, Knight Frank said.

Renting homes was popular among certain wealthy individuals as it provided a greater level of privacy than a hotel, Scott said.


Usain Bolt won’t be the only person going for gold when the Olympics roadshow rolls in.

People are offering up their Sussex homes to Olympic holidaymakers, for a price that’s almost golden.

Homeowners are cashing in on the prospective flood of tourists during this summer’s Olympic Games by offering their homes, buses, tents and gardens to sports fans. Properties listed as “Olympic rentals” in Sussex are being offered for up to almost £4,000 a week.

People in Brighton, Shoreham, Crawley, Eastbourne, Horsham, and Billingshurst are hoping to line their pockets on the back of the Olympic gold rush.

Properties being offered for short-term rents range from seafront semis and mansions set in vast grounds to log cabins and yurts.

The owner of one of the most expensive Sussex pads on the website is a four-bedroom house on Shoreham beach going for £3,800 a week.

But the owner told The Argus that he had changed his mind and would no longer be offering it for rent.

A 20-bed house off Dyke Road Avenue, in Brighton, is being offered for £3,000 a week during the Olympics and £2,800 a week during the Paralympic games.

But budget travellers may prefer to stay on a bus parked in a bluebell field in the Weald downland, near Billingshurst, for a mere £220.

A five-bedroom house in Crawley promises to be the “best place to be in the country and yet within easy reach of central London”.

Other Olympic accommodation listings include a completely empty field near Battle, which is suggested would make a suitable campsite during the games.

Cottages as far afield as Camber Sands are also being promoted for the Olympic lettings.

Source: The Argus
Flats after the Olympics - The Games Accommodation
Forget Poundbury. A tramp round the monumental Olympic village on Monday in chill sunshine allowed time to reflect that here, covering 67 acres, stands a 3.2-million-square-foot laboratory the size of St James's Park. A place where 6000 humans will fill 2800 homes by late 2014, to begin the biggest experiment in mixed-community living ever conducted in Britain.

Today Mayor Boris Johnson revealed which councils get to fill the nearly 700 flats reserved for the poorest families. More than half will come from Newham. In 12 months an equal number of subsidised flats for those on household incomes up to £60,000 will come to market. As will the 1400 private flats for those who can afford £1000 per month or more in rent.

Six months later, in mid-2013, the experiment begins with the staged handover of the homes from the Olympic Delivery Authority. This comes after a nine-month post-Games race to make the flats fit for the less athletic to inhabit. Those conducting the experiment say they are sure that, by mid-2014, the 11 eight-storey blocks in East Village, as it is to be called, will be filled.

Inhabitants will have a ready-made school for 1800 children and a ready-made town centre in the shape of Westfield Stratford. But this is not a sales pitch, for little of the village will be for sale.

The 1400 private flats (and land for 2000 more) were bought for £557 million by Jamie Ritblat's Delancey, with backing from Qatar. These will be rented. Join the queue on the East Village website.

The 700 flats left, after the councils take their 700, are reserved for those who cannot afford to buy - a whole flat at least. Some will be for rent, some for part-sale. Elliot Lipton's First Base, plus East Thames and Southern housing associations set up a joint venture called Triathlon Homes. That paid £268 million for these "affordable" homes, with a £110 million government grant and a £158 million bank loan.

Trouble is, you won't be able to get near the place until January 2013. That's when a "tenure blind" joint marketing suite will be set up on site by Delancey and Triathlon. Take it from me; you will need good eyesight to spot which flats are private, and which are subsidised. "We think the Village will have wide-ranging appeal'" says Barry Jessup of First Base: "from high flyers to local families."

Property sector interest is different. Could the East Village become a mixed-use template to build mixed communities where the property owner rents rather than sells, just as is normal with office blocks? Sceptics say not. The £825 million the taxpayer has received for 2800 homes and land is at least £200 million less than it cost to build the village and all its infrastructure.

But how about this? On Wednesday, Canary Wharf Group announced it had paid £90 million for full control of the 16.8-acre Wood Wharf site, to the east of its own fully infrastructured estate, which has planning for 1600 homes. The Qatari investors in East Village also own a quarter of the company that controls Canary Wharf. Only connect?

Centre would prefer hubbie to hub
In property, "hub" is code for "what the hell else can we do with this dammed White Elephant". On Wednesday, the Olympic Park Legacy Company announced a shortlist of three smallish and untested firms to take possession of the one-million-square-foot Media and Broadcast centre after the games. One group wants to turn it into a fashion hub, another into a sport and retail hub and the third into an IT… well, you've guessed. This white elephant might die sometime before 2020.

Change is in the Eyre… but finished product is still a mystery
At 10am precisely on Monday February 6, mounted soldiers of the King's Troop will clip-clop out of St John's Wood Barracks behind a military band, jingling their way to a new home in Woolwich.

A few days later, Malaysian billionaire, T Ananda Krishnan, will wire the bulk of the £250 million he agreed to pay the Eyre Estate last October for the five-acre barracks, owned by the Eyres since 1732.

Representatives of the 50-odd beneficiaries of the Eyre Estate, led by Jim Eyre, of architects Wilkinson Eyre, were reportedly a little teary when contracts were exchanged on October 21 at the Barbican offices of lawyers, Linklaters. Dry those eyes. Your agent, Cluttons, got you top price.
A price that means "Tak", as Krishnan is known, will need to sell the private units for £2500 per square foot.

Not that Tak needs to worry that much. The Malaysian of Sri Lankan extraction and who began his career as an oil trader after graduating from Harvard, is worth $9.6 billion (£6.2 billion), according to Forbes. He has interests around the world: a tiny slice of that is a 20% holding in Johnston Press, owners of the Yorkshire Post. So, a very busy man.

But those who know the highly active 73-year old, say the last thing he will do is simply get on and build the 133 homes designed for the Eyre Estate by architect John McAslan. For a start, the man who made his pile in energy and telecoms will need to appoint a big name to run Visionary Properties, the Jersey-registered company set up to build the 76 private and 57 affordable homes.

Then a development adviser who actually knows how to build high-priced homes will be required. That's because it is unlikely to be London Square - the developer staffed by former Barratt executives, which helped Tak formulate his bid.

A new team will probably suggest trying to find a cheaper spot to build the affordable units. Why? Two reasons. Getting £2500 square foot for the 357,400 square feet of sellable space adds up to nearly £900 million. The trouble is the 50,000 square feet of affordable homes are worth a 10th of that which clips more than £100 million from the end price. Finding another site makes financial sense, if the planners agree.

Tak might also be persuaded to build fewer, larger, units; something very à la mode at the moment. "When you are paying millions, you don't want to have your neighbours peering through the window," says one involved. So it could be that the burghers of St John's Wood will see something dramatically different emerge in a year or so.

Source: Evening Standard

London Olympic Park - The Games Accommodation
As the organising committee for the London Olympics hands back 120,000 hotel reservations, one tourism industry boss tells Channel 4 News high hotel prices are putting people off coming to London. 

The organising committee for the London 2012 Olympics has confirmed 120,000 hotel places it had reserved for workers, sponsors and the media are no longer needed.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) said around 20 per cent of spaces will be put back on the market. The rooms, at more than 200 hotels, range from five-star to budget accommodation.

Locog Chief Executive Paul Deighton said: "The hotel industry in London got behind the bid to stage the Games in the most extraordinary way and that support helped us across the line.

"We always promised that we would not hold onto hotel rooms we didn't need but return them to the individual hotels at the beginning of 2012. We are now doing this and I hope that this enables the hotels to continue with their planning for this summer as we all work together to stage a spectacular Games."

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sandie Dawe said: "The fact that such a wide spread of rooms in London will now be made available to the public is great news for overseas visitors wishing to come to the UK to experience the Olympics and all the other wonderful festivities that are taking place over the summer."

'Scared off'

Tourism industry bosses agree that hotel prices in London have been driven up over the period the Olympics is being staged. Channel 4 News tried to book a Premier Inn room at the Angel Islington hotel for Friday 27 July 2012 - the night of the Olympics Opening Ceremony - and it was priced at £199. The same room seven days earlier costs just £90, so an increase of around 120 per cent.

Miles Quest from the British Hospitality Association told Channel 4 News now that Locog has released more hotel rooms, tourists could see prices fall.

"One thinks that with a flood of rooms coming onto the market, people might be able to get a bargain. But if there's a sudden wave of demand for those rooms, prices will go up. It's simple economics," he said.

But in a time of economic hardship, will people both in the UK and abroad be put off from by high prices?

Tom Jenkins from the European Tour Operators Association thinks rising costs may have a negative effect on visitor numbers.

He told Channel 4 News: "It's fair to say many people have been put off coming to London this summer. They have been scared off because of the high hotel prices. There is probably going to be economic decline because of this, but we don't know by how much."

However, the British Hospitality Association says rising hotel prices during such a key sporting event are nothing new.

"The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world, so it is inevitable prices will rise. When demand is high, prices will rise accordingly. It is exactly the same story when Wimbledon is on in London. There is absolutely no evidence I can see that people have been put off coming to London", said Quest.

VisitBritain projects that this year, the UK should attract 30.7 million visitors, spending a total of £17.6 billion. Spokesman Mark Di-Toro told Channel 4 News: "While these figures are in line with expected numbers in 2011, maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate."

Referring to rising hotel prices, he said: "There remains good value for those people looking to book accommodation.

"Our advice to visitors is to shop around and keep in mind that if there is nothing that suits your needs in central London, there are many additional hotels within easy commuting distance of the capital, in places like Birmingham, Brighton and Oxford."

Source: Channel 4 News

TEMPORARY accommodation will be built on Portland for around 220 police officers for the security effort of the London 2012 Games.

Dorset Police has agreed a further contract for accommodation at Southwell Business Park during 'the 22 busiest days' of the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events.

Chief Superintendent David Griffith, who is leading the Dorset Police Olympic and Paralympic Security Team, said: "It's going to be temporary buildings of stackable containers.

"We'll use the facilities of The Venue hotel - the catering hall and briefing rooms and some of the other rooms.

"The temporary buildings will be popped on land at the back of the building for 22 days."

It follows an announcement in December that more than 300 police officers and staff will be housed in mobile-home-style accommodation at Seaview Holiday Park in Preston, Weymouth during the Games.

The costs of the security operation, including accommodation, are met by the Home Office.

Source: Dorset Echo
Many London residents will become so-called 'homepreneurs' during the Olympic games, renting out their homes to visitors who can't find hotel rooms and making thousands of pounds in the process. Find out which areas will be in demand.

There's five months to go before the Olympics but canny homeowners in London are off the starting blocks and already thinking of ways to make money during the epic sporting contest.

New research shows that residents in several London districts could make £23 million from renting out their homes to visitors, and a typical property will yield £2,500 a week during this busy time.

There'll be huge demand for areas near the official Olympics venues in the east of London, such as Highbury & Islington and Shoreditch, but many visitors coming to the capital also want to "explore and experience real London neighbourhoods", according to Greg Marsh, founder of the upmarket accommodation service One Fine Stay.

He adds: "Areas like Kensington and Chelsea, Notting Hill and Central London are proving as popular as the parts of East London closest to the main stadium."

Marsh has coined the term "homepreneur" to describe canny residents who are cashing in as hotels are getting quickly booked and hiking up their prices, some by over 300%.

And it's not just London residents who can turn their home into rental gold. Weymouth and Portland will host the sailing event and the mountain bike contest will take place in Hadleigh Farm in Kent.

Moreover, football events will take place at Old Trafford in Manchester, St James Park in Newcastle, Hampden Park in Glasgow and the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.

You can also rent out a single room in your house if you don't want to give up your whole home - consult the government's Rent A Home Scheme for guidelines on what to provide and the amount to charge.