Let It Be

I was intrigued by an article on the BBC local news last night about the scramble for accommodation for the Olympic games. It seemed an odd piece to run on that particular programme because the majority of its viewership presumably won’t be having to resort to tents on a caravan site in Essex or bunk up onboard a German cruise ship. I’d give you the link but as usual BBC TV and its own website  don’t seem to have bothered talking to each other and there are different stories on the telly than online again.

But it got me thinking about those people who are going to be getting the hell out during the games and taking the cash instead. There’s already a bit of a scramble for your house – at least if the agents who have contacted me are anything to go by.

And it is a potential moneyspinner, though it’s by no means certain you’ll be guaranteed millions. There was someone on the box last night who reckons that by the time the circus comes to town there will be far more hotel rooms than there will be folk looking to put their heads down, so a fast buck is in no way assured.

It also makes me wonder what will happen to these rooms after the games – it seems unlikely they’ll be suitable for turning into proper living space, so I have a horrid feeling that dodgy, low-cost, exploitative accommodation beckons, instead of real housing options.

So what is there out there? Certainly all the hospitality places in town are touting for business. INC have everything up for grabs including a certain person’s own gaff (someone did send me the link but I have, cough, 454 un-dealt with emails just now and I just can’t find it) and I’m sure absolutely any church hall, pub upstairs room and restaurant will be happy to hear from potential party organisers.

If you want to join them, I don’t think that Greenwich Council is going to repeat their course on how to turn your place into a B&B like they did for the millennium, but there’s a positive rash of online companies have sprung up to help cater for your every need and they all seem to have dropped through the Phantom mailbox. Accommodation For The Games”, London Rent My House, Crashpadder, Rent During the Games – the list goes on. And on.

I don’t have an axe to grind about any of them and I’m not particularly interested personally as I have every intention of staying around. If there’s going to be a spare inch chez Phantom I’ll be mightily surprised as sundry friends and family suddenly express a long-held desire to come and visit, just coincidentally during those few weeks.

I guess that the one that does intrigue me a little if I was looking to rent out is Staywimi (a name I wouldn’t have chosen) that operates a bit like ebay – you advertise your room with them and only pay if someone actually stays with you.

For me, though, renting out and leaving seems just plain wrong. However much I may fret about the state of the park – and I do still worry, (though I feel generally better thanks to the efforts of a few, who probably think they ‘lost’ because their aim was to stop the equestrian events entirely, when really I’d say they’ve won – a major event is still coming but they’re forcing its organisers to be responsible – I see that as a major win) there is one undeniable thing.

London is going to be THE place to be next year. It’s going to be absolutely buzzing and it’s going to be on our doorsteps. Who would want to miss that?

11 Comments to “Let It Be”

  1. Ruby says:

    The temptation to make some cash by renting out your home for the Olympics is huge but I agree I’d rather be around next summer when the Olympics are on. There is going to be a great atmosphere in London even if getting around is going to be abit of a nightmare.

  2. Neil says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure that the hotel rooms will be short of custom after the Olympics – my experience of trying to find hotel rooms in the area suggests that there is a shortage of supply at the moment.

  3. Kate says:

    You fail to mention the prediciment of potentially a LOT of tenants in the London area who will find themselves booted out by their Landlords who are looking to cash in on a lucrative few weeks. Where will they go?
    I know a few people working for various sectors of the Olympics and what you state about room availability in hotels is absolutely true. A lot of hotels will appear to be fully booked NOW if you try and book for the olympics but this is in fact just block over-booking by the Olympics and its associates to allow for the highest maximum numbers of people they will be sending over. Closer to the time these rooms will be released and there should be plenty to go around.

  4. EnglishRose says:

    London will be *the* place to be if you have tickets for the Olympics or any of the associated events. If you don’t, and you’re planning to carry on with everyday life (going to work, going to the supermarket, dashing out to the shops to purchase milk at 11pm …) I have a horrible feeling that you will be in for a very bumpy ride. The government is totally committed to making the Games a success and I’m sure that the transport arrangements etc will work swimmingly for those involved in the Games. It’ll be everyday life that goes pear-shaped: just think of the bottle-necks that build up at the moment due to normal traffic when the Blackwall Tunnel is shut, or the endless delays on the Jubilee line. Quite how we’re going to manage those issues on top of the Olympics beats me……

  5. Robert Number 16 says:

    Dear Phantom.
    If you, or any of your friends are full to the brim during during the Olympics and need an extra spare room with style.( and want to beat the high hotel rates)May I suggest this http://www.vintagecaravan.co.uk

  6. Kate says:

    And in terms of the practicalities of renting properties during the olympics.. i hate to be a pessimist and I dont deny that a few will make a pretty penny BUT a lot of people do not understand the actual amount of upheval that is required not to mention the legalities.
    What happens if you get your lovely renters from abroad who, when the olympics are over and done with, decide actually they dont mind living in Greenwich and dont want to move out of your family home? Have people thought about the correct tenancy agreements required to sign before their visitors move in? What about all your personal belongings within the home? Will the insurance cover damage or risk by tenants or will it need to be changed for that month? Where will posessions/valuables get stored? Is the home built and presented to the correct safety standard to ensure that you wont get sued by some disgruntled visitor?

    Its great for the few than can rent their home for the £9000 a week some places are charging (and some companies do actually cover the removal of all your posessions and legal paperwork etc) but for many it could be a costly mistake unless they are absolutely prepared and kitted out for it.

  7. Paolo says:

    I think the nightmare scenario of trying to live a normal working life and commuting to central London from Greenwich during the Olympics will outweigh any joy I might possibly feel over the Games. I just can’t imagine how the transport will hold up, be it bus, tube or train

    I’m out of the country for those weeks. the only things I really want to see, I’ll have to watch on tv anyway

    Re hotel rooms – there will be yet another hotel at Deptford Bridge by the time the Games come around. Who’ll be staying there afterwards, god only knows

  8. Dazza says:

    Talking of Hotel rooms…..what about the ‘New’ Travelodge (I think) proposed for the Woolwich Road opposite Victoria Way in Charlton? Or, indeed, the much fanfared Cruise Ship terminal Hotel? By the way, anyone know if that will actually be done for July next year? I know our beloved Cable Car is now going to miss the boat…….so to speak.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t worry – the annual 2012 Icelandic ash cloud will prevent any tourists arriving anyway!

  10. H.G. says:


    what on earth do you mean by “London is going to be THE place to be next year”?

    London is THE place to be, full stop. You lot don’t know how lucky you are.

  11. Steve says:

    “I just can’t imagine how the transport will hold up…”

    Just like it does with the twice-daily rush hour.