If you think I'd pay £200 to see some handball, you got another thing coming
June 20, 2011 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Can I really make a killing renting out my flat during London 2012? Since I didn't get tickets, I'm thinking about my Plan B, which is getting the hell outta dodge for the summer.

I have a nice flat in a nice part of Walthamstow. You can practically see the Olympic stadium from the backyard. If you were standing on a ladder, and that tree wasn't there. But still.

Despite the proximity, it's not that quick to get to the Olympic park, 30 - 45 minutes by public transport, or about 20 minutes on a bike. It's about 25 minutes to the city or the west end. But it is Walthamstow, even if it is nice in my little bit. I know there's several sites online where people are advertising private accommodation, but I just don't know what the demand is. Will there really be people willing to pay for the privilege of staying in Walthamstow for 3 weeks?
posted by Helga-woo to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have been thinking along similar lines. Renting is one possibility, but how about house/flat swapping? Find some sport loving Europeans that plan to be here for the Olympics and go live their life in [insert wonderful city here] for a couple of weeks.

I am sure there are websites out there that help accommodate both these possibilities
posted by 0bvious at 4:32 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

There was an article about this in last week's Evening Standard. I'd say it's worth it if you would consider letting your flat out in the future anyway (to justify the costs of making it legally "rentable"). Otherwise Obvious' suggestion of informal house/flat swapping would be an easier route to go down
posted by fray at 5:29 AM on June 20, 2011

Here in Utah during the 2002 Olympics there were people who did the same thing. Most of the people who rented out their houses rented them to corporate groups who had lots of people that needed space and kitchen access. All the people I spoke to lived in the ritzy ski resort town of Park City and had three or more bedrooms. They made quite a bit of money. One lady I spoke to put all of her valuables and some of her furniture in storage and rented stuff to replace it. The amount of money she was being paid covered her expenses, paid for their vacation during the Olympics, and she still thought she'd have some left over. I spoke to her before the renters came so I don't know how it all worked out in the end.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:04 AM on June 20, 2011

Friends of ours are members of Home Exchange, and have successfully swapped. It might be worth checking out.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:26 AM on June 20, 2011

I met a guy in Sydney who rented out his house in 2000 to an NBC camera crew at a rate that basically paid for his year's mortgage. So yes, it can be done.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:52 AM on June 20, 2011

Can't say about the level of demand (other than a gut expectation of 'high') but there was an article somewhere very recently that I'm now struggling to find that covers this very issue; the gist of it was more of a cautionary tale about how the HMRC will be monitoring things closely to ensure that the rental income is declared and therefore taxed correctly - along with a few salutary messages about landlord insurance, etc.

This isn't the article I was thinking about, but it's eerily similar - albeit from the back-end of last year. Perhaps it popped up in one of those 'Most viewed recently' lists that occasionally spit out a random fossilised article?

I'm very surprised that London council (? Local government? Whatever they're called over there!) haven't organised something better around all this. There is an official 'Homestay' programme here for the IOM TT every year, where people with enough room (and a willingness) to board visitors register with the scheme, and then the guests are divvied out. It's well organised, offers a good source of income, and is greatly appreciated by the visiting bikers (many of whom keep in touch with the family they stayed with, and come back year after year). Perhaps a bit of a big undertaking for a one-off event like the olympics, but it's the olympics - such a huge event it needs organisation like this, otherwise it'll be chaos and rip-off city.
posted by Chunder at 1:59 PM on June 20, 2011

chaos and rip-off city

Urm.... this is London?

There is some sort of homestay programme, I think, a friend's parents are hosting the family of an athlete from somewhere through something. But my guests have to sleep on a sofa bed, so I'm not going to be making money that way.

I will have to work those weeks, so doing a house swap wouldn't work, as lovely as it sounds. Also it wouldn't earn me cold hard cash.

So, there might be demand, but maybe not for a one-bed flat, and I'd need to make sure I get all the legal and tax things sorted. This is not that impossible then.
posted by Helga-woo at 3:02 PM on June 20, 2011

I live in Canada and know a number of people who were awarded tickets and are heading over to the games. We have been chatting and those who don't have family in London are expecting to have to stay through some sort of spare room or couchsurf type situation (and that includes myself) although that depends how mobbed the hostels will be. So at least for this tiny sample size, yes, people are looking to these opportunities. Have you checked out airbnb? A quick search shows plenty of people renting out rooms and such during the Games, although I think most of them are rolling ads and they rent rooms out year round anyway.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:01 PM on June 24, 2011

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