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Essex homeowners too 'greedy' over Olympics rent prices

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: June 14, 2012

  • TUDOR TIMES: Lesley Moss, Bob and children Millicent and Brady are willing to dress up for the occasion CMCR20120610B-061_C.JPG

  • Hopes: Sarah Broughton, with daughters Ava, 7, and Mia, 8, is waiting for rental offers

  • Hospitable: Gilda Sebastian wants to rent her comfortable house

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SAVVY homeowners are willing to pack up and move house to earn thousands of pounds during the Olympics, but many are failing to secure deals by charging extortionate prices.

With the games kicking off next month, the number of people renting their houses in Essex is soaring.

Property websites have been set up solely for the Olympics, with rentduringthegames.com advertising 120 properties in the county and some residents are asking for up to £10,000 a week.

Lesley Moss is desperate for someone to move into her 600-year-old thatched roof house, where Ann Boleyn supposedly once stayed.

She decided to put Dragon House, in Braintree, on the market for £2,700 per week, but is disappointed no one has yet taken her up on her offer.

Businesswoman, Lesley, 47, whose family run a medieval banquet hire firm and were prepared to dress up for their guests, said: "I have not heard a single thing yet, but it is worth a try.

"I was hoping for a nice trip to the Caribbean if someone would have taken up my offer.

"Me and the family were just going to go on a long camping trip for the time period of the Olympics, but maybe close by so we can clean the house and keep an eye on things.

"The house can fit ten people and we are right next to the station which is only an hour to Stratford, I think it will be much quicker than people trying to get there from London."

Gilda Sebastian, would like to rent out her house at Chippingdell, in Witham, for £350 a week, with breakfast for the family.

Retired music promoter and widower, Gilda, 65, said: "I really would not mind earning the extra money, but I love to look after people too.

"It is not too far from London and actually it would be quicker than going across London, changing on the underground, walking in and out of subways.

"I live near the station, and I believe it is a comfortable way to enjoy the Olympics.

"I have been really reasonable with my price because some are going for rip-off prices.

"I will provide a five-star treatment, my house is very nice with good facilities and I am very hospitable."

Some properties are up for rent for £10,000 per week, such as Haddon House, in Vicarage Lane, Finchingfield.

Owner Dean Lethaby told the Chronicle: "It was just an idea that we had when we first bought the property, but now we are thinking of taking it off the website."

One home near Ingatestone with a swimming pool on 2.5 acres of land is advertised for £6,000 a week.

On the Paragon Property website, homeowners, of Taylor Way, in Great Baddow, have chosen to rent their property for £4,000 per week.

Paragon Property agent, Steve Lipinsky added: "We were actually hoping to sell the property for the owners, but decided to put the property up for rent for the Olympics to see if anyone was silly enough to pay that price.

"Unfortunately there has not been much luck - for a start it is in Chelmsford and not Stratford."

One Shenfield family hoping to cash in on the Games are the Broughtons who are advertising their Glanthams Road home for a more modest £1,350 a week through Martin & Co.

Mother-of-two Sarah Broughton, 37, said: "I think people are being a bit greedy and may have overestimated what they will get for what they are offering."

As for their own home, it has only been advertised for around a week and although they are yet to receive any firm offers, Mrs Broughton insists the need to snap up on an offer is not essentially a "deal-breaker" for their summer plans.

She added: "We were probably away for two weeks of it anyway and we have parents locally so have got somewhere to stay."

Director of Martin & Co, Stephen Frost, had a few enquiries from people wanting to rent their houses for the Olympics.

He said: "I actually think that Olympic rentals is a bit of a red herring. After a bit of research I realised this is not really something we should do.

"I think the key word here is greed, people just looking to see how much they can earn rather than thinking about it realistically."

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