Fringe Box



Could Guildford Landlords Cash In on the Olympics?

Published on: 23 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 18 Jul, 2012

by Gill Perkins

Landlords in Guildford could make money by renting properties during the Olympics, according to a local lettings agency. Seymours Lettings & Management Services says that local property owners could be in the money because of the number of international athletes training in and around the area.

Guildford is official training venue

The Surrey Sports Park is an official preparation camp training venue for both sets of games, and will be hosting athletes from around the world, making Guildford one of the Olympic hotspots outside the major arenas. Teams from the UK, USA, China, Spain, Argentina, Nigeria and many more – around 18 countries in total will be making Guildford their home throughout July and August for the Olympic Games and September for the Paralympics.

In addition, cyclists from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA will be based in Surrey, preparing for the road race, which will include the outskirts of Guildford and a punishing climb at Box Hill.

Athletes could stay in private homes

Whilst many of these athletes and their support teams will be housed in University accommodation, Patricia Woodbridge, director at Seymours, believes that many would prefer to stay in private homes – a real opportunity for Guildford’s landlords. Around the Olympic site itself, properties are being offered at tempting prices – a two-bedroom flat in Greenwich, for example, is valued at £2,000 per week.

There’s a warning, however, that renting your home out for the Games isn’t as easy as it might appear. Short term tenants have rights, and you will be expected to ensure that your home meets all the relevant requirements to be let out. These include:

  • Informing your insurance company and getting written consent from your building society or bank for the change of use of the property, if you have a mortgage.
  • Checking the requirements for a short-term let with the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
  • Drawing up a proper contract and receiving up-front payment of rent.
  • Servicing central heating and electrical equipment, including obtaining a Safety Certificate from a Gas Safe registered engineer and having a electrical inspection by a qualified contractor that results in a certificate that says your electrical system is safe.
  • Arranging an inventory by a qualified inventory clerk from the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks.
  • Getting extra sets of keys cut and ensuring they work.
  • Informing your utilities companies if you are asking your tenants to pay for electricity, gas and water.

In addition, you will need to declare any income from short-term rental to HMRC.

“It is very important to follow these steps carefully before handing over any keys,” advises Patricia Woodbridge. “It might sound a lot of work, but you need to cover yourself for all eventualities and the time will be well spent to ensure peace of mind.”

Are you thinking of letting your home during the Olympics? Let us know how you get on!

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