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UPDATE

Sniper trials create market for rentals

August 17, 2003|From Times wire reports

Homeowners in Virginia Beach, Va., are renting out their "executive" homes to media and other interested parties for the trials of accused snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo in October. Malvo's trial will be in nearby Chesapeake.

"An additional strain has been put on an already tight housing rental market," said Tom Lang, a Virginia Beach real estate agent and homeowner. "Hotels have quadrupled their rates; there are no permanent executive homes for rent, which creates a problem for the influx of media coming to Virginia Beach for the sniper trials."

Lang, along with his business partner Eric Holloman, will attempt to accommodate the trial watchers with short-term rentals of homes with amenities including Jacuzzi tubs, high speed Internet and cable TV.

"With what the hotels have done in Chesapeake, going to $300 a night fee with a 30-night minimum, you can rent a 3,200-square-foot home for the same price," Lang said.

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