Gutted, that’s what I am. I’m missing a great opportunity to make some decent rental cash from my home. I could have let my house during Wimbledon fortnight but I’ve been so busy over the past few months that I didn’t clock the dates until a mum having a manicure next to me in the beauty salon said that she’d met tennis champ Roger Federer’s twin sons in our local playground. All I could think was, damn it, I should have rented out our house.
Lots of local families time their holidays to coincide with Wimbledon fortnight so they can let their houses to media types, corporate sponsors and spectators. I should point out that I don’t live in Wimbledon Village, where mansions rent to players for squillions — I’m at the bottom of the hill where your average four-bedroom, two-bathroom terrace will let for about £2,000 a week.
One or two of my friends have rented out their homes during the tournament and made enough to cover the cost of a good holiday. Those who also let their homes for the Aegon Championships in June, just ahead of Wimbledon, can make enough to buy a new car.
NICE LITTLE EARNER
There are numerous costs involved in letting a house for Wimbledon. If you use an agency — which we all recommend — they take a meaty commission. You also have cleaning costs and admin fees. Plus, you have to declare the income to the taxman and might be taxed on the profit.
Nevertheless, it’s a nice little earner for those who happen to own a property within a 20-minute walk of the All-England Club, or any other major sporting venue that holds similarly prestigious events, and have the option to move out for a few weeks.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take advantage in the past, partly because I had children in school — and we all know what teachers think about taking their pupils away during term time — but also because my house simply wasn’t smart enough.
However, my children have just finished their GCSEs and A-levels and we have also recently completed a three-year renovation of the house, so this would have been the perfect year to let it and make some extra cash. I dashed home from the salon to my husband to suggest that it might not be too late to get a last-minute booking for the second week of Wimbledon.
He surveyed the piles of magazines, old newspapers, teenagers’ discarded socks and other miscellaneous items covering every flat surface in the kitchen and living room, and decided that actually, it was indeed far too late.
“No, no,” I insisted, gathering up pots of herbs that I buy in the optimistic expectation that I will remember to water them, but which always, inevitably, die. “It’s fine, we just need to tidy up.”
For the next couple of hours I tidied: stuffing books back into cupboards, piling clothes back into drawers, chucking out a large flashing reindeer (no idea where that came from), dusting into long-neglected corners and chipping bran flakes off the kitchen table. But my husband was right. The task was too big to do quickly for one week’s rental income. Next year, it is going in the forward planning diary.
- Victoria Whitlock lets four properties in south London. To contact Victoria with your ideas and views, tweet @vicwhitlock