Post-Olympic blues – where is all the empty property?

October 31, 2012

Landlords Insurance

Already the Olympics are fading into memory and the stuff of legend.

Many media outlets are running numerous reminiscence type stories* and one can imagine this continuing for at least the next year or so.

There may be absolutely nothing wrong with that but some landlords are asking, in a puzzled voice, where is all the empty property? Where are the insurance providers saying they’ve seen a collapse in demand for insurance for landlords cover?

If those questions don’t ring an immediate bell, you may perhaps have forgotten many of the headline evil-landlord related news stories earlier in 2012.   These appeared by the dozen and roughly ran along the lines of suggesting that vast numbers of tenants were being turfed out of their properties in order to make room for high spending but short-term renters that wished to be within reachable distance of the Olympics in August.

At the time, some landlords in the South East questioned just how widespread this problem was.  There was no serious doubt that the occasional rogue landlord was behaving inappropriately but many were questioning whether it would make sense to try and evict long-term reliable tenants in order to try and make a quick buck out of perhaps only three or four weeks rental during the Olympics period.

While the arguments raged from spring into early summer, a widespread perception built up of an almost Biblical-sized exodus of evicted tenants from much of London and the surrounding countries, trudging off en-masse into the sunset, to make way for the vast hordes of arriving rich tenants looking for Olympic accommodation.

Strangely, or perhaps not, this story vanished off the radar for the period immediately before and during the actual Olympics themselves.

What is more surprising, given the earlier reporting, is why the news is not full of stories showing vast areas of unoccupied rental properties left vacant following the return of all the short-term rich tenants back to wherever they came from?

Where are the stories complaining about the sudden surplus of empty rental properties in and around London?

The absence of a follow-up might just suggest that the original stories were, yet again, another attempt to demonise all landlords based upon little real statistical evidence of the true size and significance of the problem.




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