HOUSEHOLDERS are cashing in on the Commonwealth Games by charging hundreds of pounds a night to rent out a single room in their Glasgow flats to sports fans.
With the need for accommodation in the city for the July event at a premium, Airbnb, which rents out private homes and rooms around the world, says it has seen a flurry of newly registered “landlords” offering accommodation in July.
The number of listings in Glasgow has increased by 67 per cent in three months and by fivefold since last summer.
One landlord is offering sports fans a deal of as much as £250 for a “private room” in a house in Cambuslang, while another single room – a luxury “suite” with a king-size bed in a private home in the Park area of Glasgow, is on offer for £225 a night.
Sports fans will have to fork out £1,000 a night if they want a three-bedroom duplex flat in Park Circus.
With a minimum three nights’ stay while the Games are on, the owner – an American businessman who only joined Airbnb this month – claims that his property is “like a boutique-style hotel with a city vibe but a countryside silence”.
All charge a 6 to 12 per cent Airbnb “service fee” plus a variable “cleaning fee” for most properties on top of the nightly rental.
The Cambuslang accommodation, which comprises a small double bedroom and a twin room in a private home on a modern housing estate in the suburb, which is a 20-minute drive from the city, would cost £3,224 for a 12-night stay during the Games.
Renting entire homes can cost hundreds of pounds a night, with one five-bedroom property on the market to Games fans for £609 a night, with a minimum of a week’s stay, costing £4,617. The catch? It is in the village of Dullatur near Cumbernauld – a train ride away from central Glasgow.
Even people living 50 miles away in Edinburgh are cashing in on the demand for accommodation during the Games – one room in a flat in Leith is on offer during the Games period for £227 a night, despite tenants having to take an hour-long train trip to reach the host city.
“The Games has made Glasgow our top trending destination in the UK this summer, with a surge in bookings in recent weeks,” said Even Heggernes, Airbnb country manager for UK and Ireland.
Estate agent Countrywide has predicted that those making properties available to visitors for the Games could expect to get between £2,000 and £2,500 a week – six times the amount a tenant could expect to pay to rent the property on a long-term basis.
Landlords renting out properties on Airbnb can either vacate their home and let the entire property, or let a spare room to holidaymakers.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “With over a million people expected to descend on Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games, VisitScotland has been working hard with partners, such as Airbnb, to help identify affordable accommodation options so that visitors can experience Scotland and be close to the sporting action.”
Earlier this month, Commonwealth Games officials cracked down on the use of the Commonwealth name in advertising properties for rent during the event, banning listings site Gumtree from publishing adverts which mention the Games in the headline.