Rent out your home for the Olympics
How much can I make?
This depends on how close you are to the Olympic events as well as the size and quality of your property. Matthew Parker, founder of londonrentmyhouse.com, says properties on his website are being rented for an average of £2,300 per week, with homeowners in East London charging the most.
Outside of London, there is still a chance to make some extra money. For example, on holidaylettings.co.uk a four-bedroom house in Cardiff within 10 minutes of the Millennium Stadium is going for £5,000 a week, while a two-bedroom flat in Newcastle near to St James’ Park could make you £110 a night. Both cities are hosting Olympic football matches.
Am I allowed to rent?
Check with your local council if you’re allowed to rent your property on a short-term basis. Every council has a different stance on this with some, for example Westminster Council, stipulating that you must have a licence for lets of 90 days or less. If you rent out a room you won’t need to pay tax on up to £4,250 of rent earned. But this doesn’t apply if you rent out your whole property.
You also have to inform your mortgage provider if you intend to let out your property. It will probably consent but it could charge you a fee for doing so. In reality, most people won’t go to these lengths but if your provider finds out you've let the property without informing it you could face a fine or, in extreme cases, it could recall your loan.
Where should I advertise?
There are many websites where you can list your home for rent, such as mondaytofriday.com, which has a special Olympic section and charges you £49.95 for a three-month advert, and londonrentmyhouse.com, which charges a one-off fee of £20 for listings.
Do I need a contract?
It’s not a legal requirement to create a booking contract but you should use one for peace of mind. It should outline everything relating to the booking, from arrival and departure dates to damage deposits - typically 25% of the total rent, which you will need to take before anyone moves in - house rules and the cancellation policy. It will need to be signed by both parties in advance of the stay. Sample contracts can be found online.
What's covered by my insurance?
Also check your home insurance policy to make sure your property and belongings are covered. Some insurers may allow you to add extra insurance for holiday lets to your policy for an additional premium. You can also take out standalone holiday home insurance from companies such as Intasure (intasure.com), whose policy covers malicious damage.