Clear out while the Olympics are on, say landlords

Mounting expectation about the bonanza landlords will enjoy by letting their properties out to Olympic tourists next summer spells bad news for London’s army of renters
Olympic Village
New flats have been built at the Olympic Village but will be used by competitors first before being refurbished and sold post-Games
Greedy landlords are starting to insist on break clauses in their tenants’ rental agreements so they can get them out during the Olympic Games - when short-term rents could rise 600 per cent.

Jemma Scott, who deals with top-end rentals for business clients at Knight Frank, says numerous deals have collapsed recently in rows over the Games, with tenants reluctant to accept their landlord’s renewal terms.

While most professional landlords would prefer a good long-term corporate let over a hiked four-week short let, she says, some still want tenants to agree to move out for next summer’s extravaganza so they can cash in on record visitor levels.

In some cases renters are attempting to negotiate compensation in return for moving out for the duration of the games - they can then use the money to go on holiday.

Lucy Morton, senior partner and head of lettings at WA Ellis, is also seeing landlords keen to rid themselves of their regular tenants while the games are on. “Some of our landlords are already adapting their tenancy agreements to include break clauses so they can benefit from the Olympics - it is looking like some properties will achieve up to six times the usual weekly rental rate during the three weeks of the event,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Hamptons International said staff were advising opportunistic landlords not to be greedy. “They need to weigh up whether the short-term benefits are worth the risk,” she said.

Gary Hall, a partner at Knight Frank and is based in Wapping, said that any short term pain for London’s renters might be rewarded with some long term gain: “Rentals levels are expected to be extremely high during Olympics, and a large number of landlords will ensure their properties are vacant to cash in,” he said.

However Hall suspects that after the games a huge slew of new properties will become available, breaking the stranglehold that owners currently have on the fiercely competitive rental market.

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