The Olympic Rental Boom Which Never Actually Happened

By BethPH Last edited 68 months ago
The Olympic Rental Boom Which Never Actually Happened

A much-hyped boom in demand for short-term residential lettings by Olympic visitors turned out to be a bit of a let-down, according to a BBC report.

The news that London was expecting a few million extra visitors for the duration of the Olympics prompted property owners across the capital to offer rooms, flats or whole houses to try and capitalise on the anticipated demand for accommodation. Some landlords went one step further and attempted to evict tenants in the hope of hiking the rent for the Olympic period.

Peter Savage from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) puts the failure of the Olympic letting boom down to over-supply of properties, in turn caused by letting agents giving homeowners grossly inflated estimates of rents they could achieve. In addition, hotels who had put up rates for the Olympic period then had to slash them after tourists were advised to avoid London for the duration so the squeeze on short-term accommodation wasn't as high as expected.

In July, housing minister Grant Shapps warned owners of social housing that subletting their property is illegal, while last year homeowners were told they could face fines over short-term lets. Six London borough authorities (Tower Hamlets, Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Islington) actually ban short-term lets without planning permission.

Photo by richwat2011 in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 30 August 2012


Wow, there's justice un this world. All landlords and hotel owners that hiked prices and evicted people in greed over olympic cash totally deserve it. I hope they lost some money and learned a lesson.

Neil Evans

Oh, my heart bleeds... evicting tenants to hike the rent on the promise of a goldrush is so low it's almost beyond belief - well at least until you remember we're talking about London landlords - then it's entirely unsurprising.


As someone who frequently books places to stay through sites such as Air Bnb, I was pretty surprised at a) the crazy prices some landlords wanted b) the really shoddy standard of accommodation offered, generally, and c) the number of shysters trying to rent out "central London rooms" in Zone 5. Actually I wish I was surprised, but it all seems horribly inevitable.


"Some landlords went one step further and evicted tenants in the hope of hiking the rent for the Olympic period." Erm, that article does not cite *any* instance of anyone being evicted. It says some had been served notice asking them to leave by the end of June. Assured shorthold tenants, which those mentioned in the Guardian article are examples of, cannot be removed from their flat without a court order and that takes several months to obtain by which time the Olympics would be history.

IPIN Global

Not a huge surprise - even industry analysts like Savills and Knight Frank couldn't agree if a boom was occurring or not - either for property sales or rentals. See

Dave H

I rent out a flat in east London. A couple of years ago, letting agents were writing to me with unsolicited detailed instructions on legal approaches for kicking my tenants out for the duration of the games in order to get supposedly higher-paying visitors in instead.

Needless to say, I ignored the letters. But I can certainly confirm that letting agents were definitely encouraging landlords to take advantage of this imaginary rental boom.

Still, any landlords that got burned by this probably got no less than they deserve, in my opinion. Sure, landlords are running a business, the same as any other business owner, but one of the first rules of business is to treat your paying customers (in this case, tenants) with respect. Those who attempt to unceremoniously dump their paying customers in favour of a transient goldrush have only themselves to blame when it all goes tits up.