It's easy to make money from your home during the Olympics 2012... just use these websites!
Athletes aren’t the only people hoping to strike gold at the Olympics next year. Homeowners in London are too, with the owners of some properties near the Olympic Park in Stratford reportedly asking for as much as £5,000 a week in rent during the Games. That’s right - £5,000 for seven nights’ accommodation in a once-dodgy part of East London!
Of course, not everyone in Britain is lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Olympic site during the Games. But wherever you live, you may find there is dosh to made out of renting your home to holidaymakers for a few weeks during peak holiday periods – perhaps even enough to pay for you to go on holiday yourself when you vacate the property!
What’s more, there is a plethora of websites out there nowadays which promise to take the hassle out of the process, catering for holidaymakers on different budgets. Obviously, the more attractive your home is to holidaymakers, the more you can charge for it. Ka-ching!
Unfortunately, any income you receive will be taxed at your highest rate of income tax, but any costs associated with the rental can be offset. For example, one cost you are likely to have to bear is separate holiday rental insurance to cover your home contents: always check with your home insurer beforehand.
The other big cost is the fees the websites charge. Some sites charge a commission of up to 15% of the rent (plus VAT), while others merely charge you a fee for listing a property (anything from £25 to £150) or for annual membership (up to £220 a year). Try to be objective about how attractive your property will be to the target audience of each website, and pick your site carefully.
Here’s a round-up of the best websites you can use to make the most of your home!
I live near the Olympic sites
First things first – if you do happen to be lucky enough to live near the Olympic sites – then there's a good range of Olympic-specific websites at your disposal, such as rentduringthegames.com, londonrentmyhouse.com and 2012homerentals.com. None of these sites charge a commission, just a listing fee. But, with these sites, you are responsible for agreeing the rent and liaising with your tenant, so it’s advisable to ask for some sort of deposit.
Alternatively, you could opt for accommodatelondon.com (which has been renting homes to Wimbledon tennis players for years). It charges 15% of the gross rent and it is currently “looking for top quality private homes” which have wi-fi, flatscreen TVs and are within walking distance or have with good transport links to the Olympics. At the moment, there’s only one property available in Stratford itself– this very ordinary-looking two bed terraced house, that comes complete with a cat. Yet the owners want nearly £1,000 a week for it during the Games! Hmmm....
Fancy a slice of that cash-filled Olympic pie? Personally I think some of the properties on these sites may be over-priced, but demand is likely to be higher closer to the start date of the Games, so I may be wrong.
I live near a major tourist attraction
Not lucky enough to live in a once stinky armpit of East London? You can still be quids in if you live in a place that, even just for a short period due to a major sporting event or festival, gets over-run with visitors.
In this situation, why not avoid the crowds by swanning off and renting your home out for heaps of cash? On eventfulstays.com, which specialises in offering “perfect accommodation” for event-goers, this one-bedroom flat is up for rental during the Edinburgh fringe festival for a whopping £885 per week. Or take this self catering cottage – well-located for the Epsom derby. It’s going for a massive £950 per week in high season!
I live in a very posh pad
Even if you don’t live near a tourist attraction, if you live in a very luxurious property (think Grand Designs), you’re also likely to be able to generate a huge wad of cash by offering your home up for rent for a week or two.
You might think the people who live in these type of homes would never want to leave them, but clearly all that cash is just too tempting.
Just take a look at some of the properties on offer at onefinestay.com (which at the moment is London-only). Could your home contend with this Grade II listed house in Hampstead (going for a song at just under £10,000 a week) or how about this one-bed flat in Notting Hill (up for rent for £1,253 a week).
Outside London, if you happen to live in, say, a castle, a water mill, a “beachside haven” or perhaps a “stunning manor house”, housetrip.com or uniquehomestays.com might be more up your street. Then again, if your home is anything like this one, would you ever want to leave it?
I have a spare room in a bog-standard property
Have no fear. There is still money to be had if you want to rent our your spare room as a short-term holiday let – in fact, you may even be able to rent out your sofa-bed! Try advertising on sites like myfriendshotel.com, roomorama.com, airbnb.com and Crashpadder.com. The icing on the cake? Since you’re living in the property while renting it out, you’ll be able to earn £4,250 a year tax-free.
Let us know how you get on
If you do decide to use any of these sites – either to rent out your home or to stay in one – do come back and let us know how you get on in the comments box below!
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