LONDON — Natasha Corne is offering Olympic fans who attend this summer's London Games a piece of her back yard for around $24 a night, including a full English breakfast.
Corne, 36, a health-care worker, has bought a blue tent to house her guests and plans to set up a barbecue on the 1,750 square-foot (163 square-meter) plot of land in Eltham, southeast London.
"I've jumped on the Olympic bandwagon," said Corne, whose two-bedroom home is 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the equestrian-event sites in Greenwich. "I haven't got a massive garden, but there's enough space to sleep eight."
The Olympic ritual of renting out space to visitors is under way in London after government cuts triggered the biggest drop in disposable incomes in more than two decades. Homeowners are trying to take advantage of a hotel shortage that's allowed some operators to charge as much as double the usual rate during the Games.
About 320,000 visitors will converge on the British capital in July, many of them competing with invitees of Britain and the International Olympic Committee for more than 140,000 hotel rooms, according to estimates by the British government's VisitBritain office.
"There are simply not enough rooms available across all price classes," said Konstanze Auernheimer, London-based director of marketing and analysis at hospitality research company STR Global. "That's why many Londoners see this as an opportunity to offer accommodation with a local flavor for less money."
Corne is one of several hundred people advertising alternative accommodation during the Games on Campinmygarden.com. Londoners are offering houses and apartments to rent on websites such as Londonrentmyhouse.com, Gumtree.com and Craigslist's London site.
A six-bedroom property in Hammersmith, about a mile from the Earls Court sports hall where the Olympic volleyball competition will take place, is listed for 2,500 pounds ($4,000) a week. A 10-bedroom Hackney Wick home, north of the Olympic Park, will cost 7,500 pounds a week.
A typical London hotel room during the Olympic Games will cost 210 pounds a night, according to Hotels.com, a website advertising more than 145,000 hotels around the world. That compares with an average rate of about 103 pounds at the same time last year.
By renting a furnished room, homeowners can make about 4,000 pounds tax-free, according to Claire Evans, a director at accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. It costs 20 pounds to place an advertisement on Londonrentmyhouse, while Campinmygarden is free.
The swell of visitors is prompting some residential property brokers in London's East End, where the 246 hectares (608 acres) of wasteland and disused railroads made way for the Olympic Park, to contact tenants before their leases are up and ask whether the space will be free during the Games.
Alan Harvey Property Services mailed renters of the properties it manages four months before the opening ceremony. It's offering two-bedroom apartments near Newham, London's poorest neighborhood, for 2,500 pounds a week during the Games.
Those prices are as much as five times higher than typical rates, according to Jane Ingram, head of the rental unit at brokerage Savills. The landlords are risking a void in rental income during and after the Games by seeking temporary tenants, she said.
"We don't know if they're ever going to get that, as it's so inflated," Ingram said. "There's a lot that people need to think about that they haven't necessarily considered because they've got excited about the pound signs."
The returns for those turning their gardens into campsites won't be huge, according to Susan Goode, who's renting her garden about 10 miles east of the Olympic Park in Romford, Essex for 8 pounds a person per night. She hopes to earn a few hundred pounds to pay for repairs to her garage roof.
"It's a bit of fun," Goode said. "If people want to stay, I can earn a little bit of money. I'm not going to make mega-bucks."
The competition from private individuals doesn't appear to have hurt hotel companies. The Lanesborough, a luxury hotel near Buckingham Palace operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is fully booked for the Games, according to the Stamford, Conn.-based company. That includes a suite for 14,000 pounds a night, the most expensive in London.
Intercontinental Hotels Group, the world's largest hotelier and the official hotel provider for the Games, has about 86 percent of its rooms in London booked. More than 90 percent of Starwood's city center hotel rooms have been sold, said Michael Wale, senior vice president for northwest Europe.
Travelodge, London's biggest hotelier, opened its 500th British property in Stratford, home of the Olympic Stadium, last month and plans to open another six in the city before the event begins.
Room rates are unlikely to rise further as hotels lower or remove the minimum number of nights required for a booking, according to Seamus MacCormaic, director of market management for hotels.com.
"Demand isn't as strong as hotels may have expected," he said. "They're testing the water but still holding on to rates."
The Olympics run from July 27 to Aug. 12 and the Paralympics last 12 days starting Aug. 29. About 8.8 million tickets to events will be sold and will attract more visitors than other Summer Games in Europe, according to a study by Oxford Economics. About 250,000 people traveled to Barcelona for the 1992 Games, while Athens had around 150,000 tourists in 2004, the researcher said.
The first of Natasha Corne's guests, a family of four, are due to arrive on the busiest day, when Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle unveils his William Shakespeare-inspired "Isles of Wonder" Olympic curtain-raiser. Corne already has her mind on the day after.
"I'm not looking forward to cooking eight breakfasts in the morning," she said. "But I'll do it with a smile."
_ With assistance from Matthew Boyle in London and Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles.
Source: Deseret News
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, staynearby.co.uk, 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 (http://www.thegamesaccommodation.com), 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 (http://www.thegamesaccommodation.com
) 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.
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 (rentforthegames.com) 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
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 findaproperty.com 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 findaproperty.com 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 rentduringthegames.com 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
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.
(Reuters) - Harriet Howse is one of many Londoners looking to make a profit out of their property during this summer's Olympics
, leaving the city and their homes to strangers to avoid the anticipated mayhem of an overcrowded capital.
One property website's survey says an estimated one-in-three Londoners are considering packing their bags and moving in with family and friends or heading abroad when 11 million sports fans, media and corporate clients descend on the capital for the world's biggest sporting extravaganza.
You don't have to hate sport either to be thinking about moving out.
Behind her blue door in northeast London, Howse, a fan of tennis who keeps herself fit, is planning to move out of her four-bedroomed terraced house and stay with her family. A housemate will be travelling to Japan
"The cost of the tickets was so high that we couldn't afford to put a bid in for any of them ... and I think the mayhem and chaos caused by the Olympics would be a good reason to get out of London," Howse told Reuters.
"I'm pro-Olympics but I think the crowds are going to be crazy."
Her minimalist house, with its neutral colours alleviated by orange sofas and large paintings, is expected to fetch up to 2,000 pounds ($3,200) per week, four times the rent the 26-year-old university international officer could normally expect.
Other London homeowners are looking to ask for six times the usual rate.
A survey by property website FindaProperty.com last year estimated 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.
Estate agents say the number of short-let clients on their books has risen sharply.
Even high-end service specialists such as onefinestay.com, which handles properties typically worth 1.5 million pounds, is receiving between 100-150 calls a week from people looking to rent out their property during the Games.
"We're expecting it to be by far the busiest time we'll ever have had," said Greg Marsh, co-founder of the site.
"People are going to be taking off for the period of the Games in order that they can earn a bit of extra income while they are away."WEST IS BEST FOR AMERICANS
Renting can prove attractive for visitors because it offers more flexibility while prices are likely to be cheaper than London's notoriously expensive hotels.
"You could have a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast and you don't have all the associated costs of living in a hotel," said Sarah Tonkinson, lettings director at estate agents Foxtons.
Block booking has reduced the number of available hotel rooms, with the danger that it will push up prices, though London Olympic organisers (LOCOG) recently released more than 120,000 unwanted hotel room nights for resale.
Some hotels are reportedly holding customers on long waiting lists before releasing prices, but some tour operators have said the industry's expected visitor numbers are hugely inflated.
The trick for both hoteliers and homeowners is getting the timing right when looking to charge a premium.
"It's better to take something at the lower price earlier and know you have definitely got something secure rather than run the risk and try to achieve a higher price later on," said Darren Rebeiro, head of Olympic services at Keatons estate agents.
Prices advertised before the Sydney 2000 Olympics were seven times the market rate.
"I think it is unlikely anyone achieved that," he said.
Renting is proving popular with foreign media, security firms, embassies and athletics federations, some of whom will look to book 200 rooms at a time. Others who are renting are corporates, especially from the U.S, Asia and Russia
Demand has focused on historic Greenwich, with its maritime history and open spaces as well as its proximity to the equestrian events and other Olympic riverside venues.
One seven-bedroom property is on the market for 24,000 pounds per week.
Other popular areas, especially among Americans, include west London, with its upmarket shops, museums and luxury properties.
Wills Thomson, 48, is renting out a room in his two-bedroom flat in Chelsea to a father and son who booked last year on Crashpadder.com.
The archivist said it was an opportunity to meet "charming people from all walks of life from around the world" as well as earn a little pocket money.
"It's like staying with a friend of a friend, though they are paying for that privilege," he said.
Stephen Rapoport, founder of Crashpadder, said he expected to double the site's 2,100 hosts by Games time, while bookings were up by 245 percent compared with the same period last year.BUY-TO-LET BONANZA
People living in Stratford, gateway to the Olympic Park, are also looking to cash in.
But estate agents in the formerly run-down part of east London, once home to noxious industries and slaughterhouses, are warning locals they may not be sitting on gold mines.
They urged caution against the expectation among some that "Mr and Mrs American" would be prepared to pay bloated rents for their properties.
Residents are likely to lose out to developers and buy-to-let property tycoons who moved in after London was chosen to host the Olympics, investing in new modern luxury apartments, which are proving more desirable.
"It's going to be the investors that earn the money," said Daniel Barbanel, sales and marketing director at local independent residential property agents Outlook.
"Because ultimately, the local people -- with respect to them -- their houses and flats aren't particularly well decorated."
One Fine Stay
LONDON — A full third of all residences in central London are now second homes, properties primarily owned as investments or holiday homes for Anglophile expatriates, according to 2011 research from the upmarket real estate agency Savills.
And increasingly, owners are deriving significant income from these properties — about 48,000 residences, according to council tax records, in the areas of Chelsea, Kensington and the City of Westminster — meeting the demand for tourist accommodations in the British capital by offering their homes as short-term rentals.
The financial benefits are clear. For example, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Chelsea that achieves 80 percent occupancy can generate an annual rental income of £21,000 to £30,000, or $32,643 to $46,624, based on fees that are roughly 4 percent of the £750,000 value. More expensive properties could expect considerably more, though most homes actually are available for rental only about a quarter of the year.
Nick Aslin and his wife, Carol, bought a luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment just off Sloane Square in Chelsea in August 2011. They visit London two or three times a year, so when they are not using the apartment they rent it out through an Internet service, One Fine Stay.
“It was put on the Web site and we had our first booking two hours later. It was incredible,” said Mr. Aslin, who lives in Zambia.
Though technically a short rental is any stay of less than six months, most landlords — or, as many call themselves, “hosts” — generally rent their properties for one or two weeks at a time.
Such rentals command a premium of as much as 100 percent more than long-term rentals, with the prices usually kept in proportion to hotel charges. “It has to be more economic to stay in a private apartment or house than a hotel. And of course, it is much nicer,” said Joanna Doniger, chief executive of Accommodate London, another Internet service. Depending on location and size of the property, most agencies charge £100 to £1,000 per night.
But this year, even though London is estimated to have more than 100,000 hotel rooms, demand is increasing because of the Queen’s Jubilee in early June and the Summer Olympics in late July. About 450,000 overnight visitors are expected to visit London during the Games, according to a report by Oxford Economics (a separate report by London & Partners estimates 5.5 million day visitors). So agencies are, not unexpectedly, increasing the price of short-term rentals.
“Demand is very good, particularly for larger seven- and eight-bedroom houses, which are quite hard to find,” Ms. Doniger said. Depending on the property and the location, “we are marking up our houses 20 percent more than the normal premium rent.”
How much of the rental fees end up in owners’ pockets varies. Some agencies, like Accommodate London, take a flat 15 percent of each payment. Others, like One Fine Stay, have a more complicated arrangement, giving owners an annual net amount based on long-term rental yields, usually totaling 3.5 percent to 5 percent of the property’s value.
The Aslins’ apartment, which cost £1 million, so far has achieved 80 percent occupancy and earned them an above-average gross of slightly more than £60,000 per year, or 6.5 percent of the value.
The couple, who bought the apartment as a rental investment as well as a second home, knew from the start that they wanted to rent it out during their absences, so they painted it in safe, neutral colors. “My wife’s an artist and we enjoy creating space,” Mr. Aslin said.
In addition to the usual linens and kitchenware left for renters, a storeroom was turned into a study and a desktop computer and printer were installed. The apartment also has Wi-Fi.
The couple’s personal items are stored in a lockable cupboard during rentals.
While a detailed inventory is maintained, “people do not take things. The tenants are well-heeled people living in similar homes themselves,” said Greg Marsh, chief executive of One Fine Stay. The agency takes care of maintenance, as the owners arrange for the service, and the company has insurance coverage underwritten by Lloyds.
Depending on their circumstances, landlords are entitled to some tax relief, and some maintenance costs also can be written off against taxes.
As for the legality of turning a residence into a kind of part-time hotel room, “zoning and permission status vary by building and by council, so there isn’t a simple answer in all cases,” Mr. Marsh said. “In practice, we work through this question with owners on a case-by-case basis.”
Agencies also ensure that properties comply with other rental regulations, like having current gas safety certificates.
Occasionally, however, owners have their own restrictions on leasing. “Apartments in landmark buildings such as One Hyde Park and 199 Knightsbridge are held on leases which prevent their owners renting them out for periods of less than six months,” said Mark Tunstall, director of super prime lettings with Savills, which specializes in long-term rentals.
However, he added, the rule does help to maintain their exclusivity.
Source: The New York Times
Olympic volunteers are appealing to Londoners to open their homes to them amid a shortage of cheap accommodation.
Games Makers, some of whom are coming from as far away as India and the US to work unpaid, are struggling to find affordable places to stay as youth hostels, campsites and halls of residence fill up.
Even if they do find accommodation many will be unable to book because they have not yet been told the dates they will be needed.
Trainee nursery nurse Amie Saunston, 18, from Worcestershire, who will work as an events team member at Horse Guards Parade, said she was "really excited" but worried about accommodation.
"Hopefully my mum knows of someone who knows someone I can stay with. I've got a training day at Wembley on Sunday so I'm hoping they'll talk about accommodation options then because otherwise I'll have to look at hotels which will be really expensive."
About 70,000 Games Makers will spend a minimum of 10 days working unpaid during the Olympic and Paralympic Games to ensure the events run smoothly, checking tickets, providing information and assisting in the field of play.
Some have created a website, appealing to residents who live close to Olympic venues to help out by registering their spare rooms and renting them out for up to £25 a night. Hundreds have already posted on the forum, gm2012accommodation.org.uk.
Games Makers are attending their first training event this weekend at Wembley stadium.
Booking agents accused officials of "overlooking" the accommodation needs of Games Makers coming from outside London.
Rihan Evans, managing director of online booking agency Camping Ninja, which operates Camping at The Games, a service that hires out pitches on temporary campsites during the Olympics, said about half their bookings have been from Games Makers.
She said: "One of the things that a lot of them are finding difficult is that they don't know their shift times yet. Some of them haven't even had all their interviews yet. Because of that we've put together a flexi package so that if they're a Games Maker they can change their booking without charges."
A London 2012 spokesman said: "We will provide several additional ways for our Games Makers to share information on accommodation, including at their training sessions, on the Gamesmaker Facebook pages and on the soon to be launched online networking site."
Source: Evening Standard