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»Optimistic landlords are bumping up their rents to eye-watering prices to capitalise on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the Olympics.

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With Ebbsfleet International train station nearby, Gravesend homeowners hope to cash in on visitors using the high-speed link into Stratford.

One two double-bed furnished flat in Windmill Drive, Gravesend, has a £2,000 per week price tag during the Games.

With average rental fees for a similar property in the area just £700 per month, it is an increase of more than 10 times the going rate.

A two-bed riverside flat near Fort Gardens is going for £600 per week and a five-bed detached house in Istead Rise is £1,250 per week.

Lee Smith, a landlord from Gravesend, has a four-bed property in Maritime Gate, Northfleet, advertised for £1,295 per week during the Olympics. But four weeks has gone by since he first put the flat on offer and so far there has been no interest.

Mr Smith said: “Some people are clutching straws. I’m not sure whether my property will go – I am hoping it will. The rent is normally £900 a month. I can fit nine people in there so it would be £100 a week per person.”

For two months Ron Evans and his wife Melanie have been advertising four bedrooms in their Cobham family home for £2,000 per week altogether, but without any takers.

He said: “We thought it would be good to meet people interested in the Olympics. Our aim wasn’t to make money but if we are going to do it, it needs to be worthwhile.”

Estate agents in Gravesend who know the market doubt that people will be willing to meet the offers on the Gravesend properties.

Diane Sauerback, from Martin & Co in Manor Road, said: “I don’t think they are going to get £8,000 a month. Anybody who is part of the Olympics will have sorted their accommodation ages ago. The proximity to Ebbsfleet doesn’t justify two grand a week. Part of me thinks it is sheer greed.”

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