Letting out your house during the Games
Like moths to a flame, the Games this summer will see thousands upon thousands of spectators, sports fans and supporters from across the world flocking to the capital to get a glimpse of their nation’s representatives in action.
The sudden influx of people means that accommodation is a hot commodity right now, and some places are charging quadruple what they would normally.
With that in mind, those living relatively near to the venues used by the athletes find themselves in a potentially lucrative position. Why not let out your house during the Games? Here’s what you need to keep in mind to keep yourself and your prospective tenants covered.
Inside and out
Even if you’re letting out your home for the first time to take advantage of the increase in tourists and visitors, doing so essentially makes you a landlord for the duration of their stay. As such, you need to make sure that your tenants as well as your own home are protected should anything happen. Get in touch with your home insurance provider and let them know that you wish to let your home out during the Games and see if doing so is still covered under your policy. You’ll need at least an adequate level of buildings insurance to cover the building itself from fire or structural damage, and it would be wise to take out an ‘all-risks’ contents cover to protect all of your furniture and belongings from accidental damage, fire and theft.
Although not compulsory, it might be worth looking at special cover designed specifically for landlords, even for short term letting. For those who have little or no experience at being a landlord, renting out a property can be a potential minefield of legal risks. The exact contents of these specialist policies will vary, but what you usually get is some degree of public liability cover that will cover any legal fees should your tenants injure themselves on your property and decide to take action against you. Some policies will also cover you for loss of rent if for whatever reason your tenants are unable to pay you.
Safe as houses
One way to avoid any potential mishaps with your furniture is to put them into storage for the duration of the Games. Before you start mentally counting the money you’ll get as rent, think about the potential costs involved in hauling larger and more expensive belongings into a storage facility. Storage space is charged per square foot or square metre, so it can be difficult to figure out exactly how much space you need. Many storage companies offer online calculators that work this out for you based on how many vanloads or how many boxes of items you have. Also, make sure you offset the cost of removal and storage to your rent income before you decide to let out your property, and check whether your home contents insurance policy covers items in storage.
This guest post was written by Jamie Gibbs, the resident blogger for contents insurance comparison site Confused.com.