Looking for extra cash? Put that spare space at home to work for you
From unused rooms to empty driveways, Chiara Cavaglieri offers hard-up homeowners five easy ways to turn a profit from their bricks and mortar
Sunday 06 September 2009
Many people view their homes as the most substantial debt they'll ever have – but properties can also be their biggest assets, and not just in the price they will fetch on the market.
With well over a million Britons in negative equity and countless others unable to remortgage to a better deal, it's understandable that many feel down about their properties at present – but there are ways to turn your home from a financial millstone to a nice little earner.
Take in a lodger
One of the easiest and most popular ways to make cash from your home is to rent out a spare bedroom and it would appear many of you agree, with the number of lodgers tripling to just shy of one million in the past year, according to new research from Abbey Mortgages.
Rooms can be advertised, free, on sites such as Crashpadder.com and SpareRoom.com and the rewards for sacrificing space can be substantial, with the average UK room rent at £393 per month, or £4,716 per year. As an added incentive, the Government's Rent a Room scheme allows you to make up to £4,250 by letting a room in your family home without paying tax.
If you're wary about having a full- time lodger, try MondaytoFriday.co.uk, a website designed for people who need to rent a place away from home during the working week only. It's ideal for contract workers needing a place to stay for a short time, or those with a new job not wanting or able to move home yet, or simply for people who are commuting too far and need a break from time to time.
It costs £29.95 to advertise a room on MondaytoFriday for three months. The site's founder, Judy Niner, says: "In terms of those offering the rooms, it suits people who do want to earn a bit of extra money, with the tax break, but don't want someone moving in hook line and sinker."
Turn your home into a B&B
Anyone lucky enough to have several spare rooms at their disposal may want to take things a step further and set up a small B&B in their home. This isn't necessarily as daunting as it sounds and can be a great earner, with many charging anything from £30 to £100 per night. It will, however, require a great deal of time and effort. Thorough research is essential and if your home isn't in a suitable location, don't bother. Factor in all the potential costs before starting up the business – such as redecorating, advertising and increased household bills.
There are also the various licences, business rates and planning permission to organise. If you plan to serve food, for example, your local environmental health department will need to be informed. Insurance is yet another issue, from public liability to extra cover on your home contents and buildings insurance.
Although larger B&B conversions will require specialist business insurance, you may well find that for small B&Bs your current home insurance policy will suffice. There will, however, be conditions imposed due to the additional risk. Esure, for example, insists that the main policyholder remains living in the property and that a fire certificate is obtained.
Cast your home as a film set
Allowing a film crew into your home for a few days is an exciting and lucrative way to make some extra cash.
"You'd be surprised how much you can make from allowing a film crew into your home," says Jasmine Birtles, founder of Moneymagpie.com. "You could be paid £1,000 a day or more if your house is particularly distinctive, large or historic."
Ordinary homes are also soughtafter, she adds, though usually only if they're not too far from the main film-making cities, such as London, Manchester and Bristol. Rates vary widely, but you can expect typical location fees from £250 per day up to £2,000 if a big-budget production needs your property.
Register your home on AmazingSpace.co.uk, which hosts an online library of properties, mainly within the M25, for its production clients. AmazingSpace requires applicants to complete a questionnaire providing details of their homes, and send pictures showing their properties and their full potential.
Other sites to try are Locations-uk.com and Lavishlocations.com, which also allow homeowners to register their properties complete with pictures.
Rent out your driveway
Don't leave an unused parking space or garage lying idle; renting it out can be a serious earner, particularly for those living near big city-centres and event venues.
Several websites offer you the chance to advertise your space, free. Parkatmyhouse.com and Yourparkingspace.co.uk are among the most popular sites, but while the former charges an ongoing commission of 15 per cent for successful rentals, the latter is completely free and makes its money from advertising instead.
You can earn anything from £50 to £300 per month, according to Yourparkingspace, with the amount depending on factors including proximity to transport links, and the availability and pricing of parking in your area, as well as the level of demand.
A contract will have to be written to cover the details of the arrangement and to remove your responsibility for the vehicles and any items left inside them. Most of the sites will help out here.
Offer storage space
One site trying to encourage people to be a bit more adventurous is Spareground.com. People can register, free of charge, anything from their cellar and attic to shelves in the garage.
"It gives people options to make money beyond the obvious," says Anne Jones, the managing director of Spareground. "Renting out a room is not always ideal, so this gets people to look at other aspects of space they may not have thought about."
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Bargain Hunter: Getting your hands on these baby goodies is child's play
Time is running out for holiday home tax relief
Problem gambling: Amid heavy advertising and a surge in remote sports betting, more and more 16 to 24-year-olds are now seen as 'at risk'
The HiFX guide to managing corporate foreign exchange and international payments
The Cyprus dream becomes a nightmare
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# Web d...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000