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.