Rent out your home during the Olympics? Could you do it?

During the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, hundreds of homeowners cashed in on the property trend of the moment by renting out all or part of their homes to the millions of visitors who poured into the city. It’s hardly surprising this same idea is now sweeping the English capital as it prepares for the 2012 Olympics – in fact FindaProperty.com released some research into this very question just a few months ago. Ellen Willis investigates…

Could you make these guys feel at home during the Olympics?

Estate agents Hamptons International also decided to look at this trend and in recognition of the demand has started a specialised dedicated Olympic short-let service for anyone who wants to rent out their home during the Olympics.

So, could you do it? Do you have the right kind of property?

Hamptons International found the most desired homes for Olympic visitors are ones that have two bedrooms and two bathrooms and are fully furnished. To give you an idea about what you could potentially charge, Hamptons found  the average budget of the Olympic visitor is £1,225 per week – not a bad earner – and they are looking to rent your home for one week to several months.

However, it’s worth noting that mortgage lenders will need to be aware of your plans to let. Insurance is also an issue and you should take advice about whether your current policy is sufficient. There most likely will be other costs too – including how to pay for your own accommodation during this time.

Of course the big question is – do you want to rent out your home and miss out on what’s likely to be the greatest show on earth?

September 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM 2 comments

Renting blog: What home improvements mean for tenants

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Most tenants get quite excited when their landlord decides to do some improvements to the property, as we were when we were notified that our windows were going to be replaced. Aside from the worry that our rent would go up, we were happy to say goodbye to rattling panes, a drafty toilet and an ad hoc latching system.

Week one, we hear that the contractors are going to arrive on Tuesday. They pitch up on Friday, remove all the frames and windows and replace them with double glazed ones and we spend the weekend with no curtains.

Week two, the contractors now have to plaster the gaping holes, which they do rather well until we notice that plaster not only has gone on the walls but on the carpet, patio and stairs. We spend another weekend living a in a fishbowl.

Week three, no sign of the contractors, nor of our downstairs toilet seat, which has mysteriously disappeared. I have given up on rearranging my room to be builder-friendly and hope the neighbours have enjoyed my strip shows. In between my housemate has to use the plunger to unblock a drain clogged with old paint and plaster.

We get our letting agent on the case who assures us he’ll get it sorted by the end of the week. And so now with two days to go, we’re waiting with bated breath for the reappearance of the vanishing contractors (and our toilet seat), hoping that all this ‘improvement’ will be worth it in the end. I’ll let you know when they turn up…

September 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM Leave a comment

We’re back on TV with our biggest campaign to date

From tomorrow, we’ll be back on your TV with two updated adverts (see below).

Our latest campaign, will include both TV and print advertising, will follow the theme of previous campaigns and highlight our market-leading property mobile apps. The campaign will be the biggest to date by Zoopla.co.uk in terms of both marketing spend and exposure.

Zoopla.co.uk TV advert: “Smarter” September 2011

Zoopla.co.uk TV advert: “Kerching” September 2011

Full press release can be found here and if you’re wondering who is in the advert read this

August 31, 2011 at 10:19 AM 1 comment

Safe DIY during Winter months

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

With the bank holiday fast-approaching the thought of that daring DIY project (which you’ve been putting off the entire year, no doubt) has probably crossed your mind. But before you get stuck in at home with the hammer and ladder, you’d be best advised to take a moment to think through the planning, products and precautions of your DIY project.

Do as I say, not as I do and stay safe this bank holiday if you spend it up a ladder

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (it’s a real charity, we checked) estimates that more than 200,000 people a year end up in hospital as a result of DIY and gardening injuries, so it goes without saying that you don’t want to be one of them. The secret, according to workplace product supplier Singsby, is to take home health and safety as seriously as work health and safety.

Tips to keep you safe this bank holiday:

• Plan ahead – this is one of the most important points in DIY; check you have the necessary tools and equipment and – obvious as it may seem, you’ll know what you’re doing before you start.

• Buying products – generally a more expensive product will nearly always last longer than a cheaper one. You’ll get what you pay for.

• Read instructions and warnings – there’s a reason why they come with the tools and equipment so make sure you thoroughly understand what they’re saying especially if you’re using them for the first time.

• Time it – things usually take longer than you expect so make sure you have enough time to finish the job. Bear in mind that only doing half a job will look worse than not doing it at all.

• Ladders – these are a major cause for accidents so replace old rickety ones. Also make sure the feet of the ladder are on a secure and level surface, rest the top on something solid and position the foot of the ladder one measure out for every four measures in height. Finally move the ladder rather than over-reach.

• Drilling holes – double-check there are no pipes or cables nearby.

• Tidy up – put tools away as you go along this will give you a safe area to work in and you’ll be able to find things easier – plus less cleaning to do at the end.

• Nails – those which are sticking out of wood are common dangers so always remove them straight away.

August 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM Leave a comment

Best beach huts: We follow the search for a winner

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

If, like us, you love the idea of a Victorian bathing machine with no wheels then we’ve found something that will have us both splashing around with joy.

These wooden gabled sheds are now firmly in the British icon realm with  sale prices on the rise for the past decade. Beach hut hotspots include Mudeford Sandbank in Dorset, Southwold in Suffolk and Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk. And it’s not just us who’ve gone beach hut mad, celebs have also been splashing out on them including, crime writer PD James at Southwold, chef Aldo Zilli at Hove, Madness singer Suggs at Whitstable and Rolling Stone Keith Richards at West Wittering

Good news then that the folks behind the coveted Beach Hut of the Year award have just extended their competition by another two weeks. The final day for entries will now be Thursday September 1.

This year the competition is fiercer than ever and entries span the full gamut –  from small £6,000 huts to larger ‘industrial’ ones costing over £100,000. These will be nominated in different categories including Best Presented Hut, Best Beach Hut Association, Best Beach Hut Story and Best Beach Hut Neighbour. They’re also including a Best Beach Hut Photograph for those who don’t own a hut but are keen photographers.

Built in their thousands by bathing Brits in 1950s, the exact number of beach huts on Britain’s coast isn’t known, but seaside historian, author and now one of the judges of the competition Dr Kathryn Ferry estimates it to be a whopping 20,000, so there’s plenty to choose from.

Functional, pretty and by the sea. What’s not to love about the humble beach hut?

August 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM 1 comment

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