If you are thinking about making the most of your spare room during the London 2012 Olympics, you may like to think again. The BBC has discovered that some Londoners, considering renting out their homes during the games, risk breaking the law and being fined.
However, the warning is not universal, and according to BBC London, councils' positions on the practice and its potential penalties differ widely. Some London boroughs have warned they will crack down on people renting out properties, while others have said it's not a problem.
Juzar Jeevanjee, who lives in Harringay, where the council has said it will not crack down on people letting out their homes, expressed his happiness, claiming the chance to rent rooms to tourists is a “huge opportunity for earning extra money.”
"From what agents have told me, I could double or triple what I could get at the moment, so it could be happy times. It's so expensive to live here - and it would be nice to make some extra cash.”
On the other side of the coin, Juliet Rowe, who lives in Westminster and was also interviewed by the BBC, would not be legally allowed to offer her spare rooms.
Westminster council has effectively banned short-term lets of 90 days or under unless planning permission is obtained. To make matters worse, planning permission in this instance is rarely given.
If Ms Rowe were to rent out her home during the 2012 Games, she could be fined £20,000 and even receive a criminal record and as confusion continues to spread, the National Association of Estate Agents has urged the government to review the law on short-term lettings.
"It seems everything you try to do in this city you get told off,” she told the broadcaster. "It's beyond frustrating."
If you’re unsure about whether or not you could rent your property during next summer’s games, contact our property experts today to see where you stand.