If you have a spare room, driveway or even cupboard in your property, it could be the key to boosting your income in these tough financial times. Here’s how…
With higher mortgage rates and soaring energy bills many homeowners will be looking to either makes cuts or boost their budget to make ends meet.
One way you can make some additional cash is by using your home to your advantage and tapping into its financial potential.
From taking in a lodger to renting out your driveway, there are some smart ways to utilise any spare space in your home. Here are a few ideas and the lowdown on what you need to consider before taking the plunge
Take in a lodger
Whether you rent out your spare room to a friend or advertise for flatmate, taking in a lodger is a very popular way to make additional cash to help with the mortgage repayments.
If you don’t know anyone suitable to share your home, there are many sites which allow you to search for a lodger including SpareRoom.co.uk, RoomBuddies.co.uk and MondaytoFriday.com along with social media too.
Make sure you obtain references and draw up an agreement so you both understand what’s expected – for example, when the rent gets paid, notice period etc.
It’s also a good idea to check with your mortgage lender as some require you to ask permission if you are planning to rent out part of your home. Don’t forget to inform your home insurance provider too.
Kellie Steed, mortgage expert at money.co.uk suggested looking into the government’s Rent a Room scheme.
“This allows live-in landlords to earn up to £7,500 a year of tax-free cash, anything after that will be taxed,” she said.
“If you make less than the £7,500 threshold, then you don’t need to do anything and your tax exemption is automatic.
“However, if you earn above this threshold, you can opt into the scheme by letting HM Revenue & Customs know on your tax return, this way you can still claim your tax-free allowance. You can opt into the scheme at any time if you are a resident landlord and if you run a B&B or guesthouse.”
How much you charge your lodger depends on the area you live, but Steed said the current average for a room per week in the UK was £90.
“As well as charging for rent, you could also charge your lodger for council tax, utility bills, and even cleaning and food if provided,” she said. “This would be a big help for those struggling with the rising costs of living on their own.”
Rent out your driveway
Is your home well-located? Perhaps it’s close to a station, arena or city? Do you also have a driveway you don’t need or which has some space for another vehicle? The combination of these two factors could help you earn up to £150 a month by renting your driveway.
There are a number of websites which provide the service of marrying you up with potential customers – they include Just Park and Park on my Drive.
Whether you set up a regular arrangement with a commuter, take ad-hoc bookings or do both, this is a simple way to make cash without too much hassle.
Host international students
Being a host to an international student is another option for those with a spare room who would like to boost their income.
How much you earn depends on what you can offer – hosts who provide an en-suite and home-cooked meals, for example, can make more money. However, the average earnings seems to be around £100 per week.
There are a number of organisations with whom you can register to take in students, such as ef.co.uk and UK Guardians.
Depending on the age of the students, stays can last anywhere from a week or two or for several months. Summer holidays are a peak time for older university students.
Let or rent out a room in exchange for a skilled professional
Another option if you have a spare room is to rent it to someone in exchange for a skilled service. Room letting platform Kindroom will list your property or room to let in exchange for any services or professions you might need.
It said homeowners can charge a small fee on top of the service you’re looking for if the service is a small one or you’re in a particularly lucrative area? You also have complete control over the let periods and the service is entirely safeguarded for both parties.
Hosts can choose multiple tenants to host and select one they like most following a conversation with each tenant.
Rent out office or storage space
It’s not just bedrooms which can be rented out. How about creating an office space to let to a remote worker?
Got space in your garage, shed or spare room? Could you rent it to someone as a storage solution?
Platforms such as Storemates allow you to advertise your space with a regular-sized cupboard in London currently being listed at £175.50 a month.