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How to make money from your home

Buying and managing your home can be expensive but if you know what you're doing you can make it pay its way too - read our top tips on entertaining paying guests, letting it out while you're away and even renting out your parking

Rent out your spare storage space

You could rent out space in your home, such as attics or unused rooms, as storage space for 25-60% of commercial storage prices.

  • Charging £10 (which is a minimum requirement on some sites) a week for 15 square feet of space could make you more than £520 a year
  • You can advertise your space for free on sites such as storenextdoor.com and storemates.co.uk
  • But check that your insurance covers damage to other people’s property, if not you could find yourself paying for accidents out of your own pocket.
  • Ask if your insurer will extend your cover. If not, it may be worth setting up a separate business policy

Rent your home out for filming and photo shoots

The right kind of property in London could earn you from £500 a day for a magazine photo shoot to £2,500 a day for a big-budget film.

  • Glamorous properties are obviously popular, but all sorts of quirky and original sets are needed in films so it’s worth giving it a go
  • Most production companies are based around the M25, so properties in these areas are likely to be popular
  • Register with companies such as shootfactory.co.uk beachstudios.co.uk, or lavishlocations.com (for more glamorous properties) to get your property seen.
  • Be prepared to have a film crew take over your home for a few days – they may want to repaint, reorganise and cause general havoc. But the fee will take the inconvenience into account so you could be grateful for it in the long run
  • Find out more

Get a lodger

A lodger will bring you extra money by paying rent and contributing to household bills.

  • Taking in someone you trust could increase your sense of security at home and provide you with extra company
  • You can take up to £7,500 of rent a year tax-free under the Government’s Rent a Room Scheme 
  • It’s worth noting that you won’t be eligible for the scheme if your home is converted into separate flats that you rent out. Nor are unfurnished properties eligible for the scheme

Rent out your spare room

Let your home out for short-term homestays

  • Medical students and locums are often looking for places to let while they carry out placements
  • Foreign language students are often looking for somewhere to stay for a few weeks and rarely stay longer than an academic term. If you’re prepared to offer language tuition you could make some extra cash while they’re with you
  • Or if you want to be more hands-on you could open a bed and breakfast. It’s worth remembering that your home will have to comply with fire safety regulations, as well as health and safety laws

Rent your house out while you’re on holiday

  • Go to airbnb.co.uk to find out how you could let out your home to holiday makers while you’re away. This will earn you money and mean you don’t have to leave your house unoccupied during the holidays
  • Are there any popular events in your local area? You could vacate your home and rent it out to festival goers or people who are in town for big sports events

Rent your home as an office workspace

If you have unoccupied space in your home during the day, you could hire it to business people. All you need to offer is a desk/table, chair and wifi.

  • With websites such as Vrumi and Spacehop, you can rent your home by the day, making it easy for you to  work it around your schedule. The deal is: they will list your home for free and provide an easy-to-use online booking system for guests but they take commission from bookings
  • Vrumi charge a commission rate of 15 per cent in total but it is split between the host and guest, so you, as the host, would pay 7.5 per cent for each day booking. Spacehop charge guests 7.5 per cent and hosts £1.90 plus 1.9 per cent of the rental fee per day
  • Getting the right kind of insurance will give you peace of mind. Buildings and contents cover is important and you should consider public liability too
  • From April next year, anyone renting their house (it has to be your main and only house) gets an annual tax-free allowance of £1,000.  Earn over that amount and you’ll need to declare it as part of your Self Assessment tax return
  • You shouldn’t have to pay additional council tax but each local authority has its rules and accompanying regulation, so we advise that you check to make sure you are exempt

Rent out your parking space

  • If you’re not keen on leaving your property to festival-goers and sports fans, you could still make the most out of your parking space during the events. Or if you live near a station, you could rent your drive or a parking space on your street to commuters.

Produce your own energy

As well as reducing your energy bills, you might be able to get money from you energy supplier by generating your own energy. The ‘feed in tariff’ (FIT) is a set amount of money the supplier pays per kilowatt hour.

  • The amount you receive is determined by the size of your system, the type of technology you have, when it was installed and who installed it
  • It’s worth noting that homes in the south of the country are likely to get more sun and solar panels should be as south facing as possible
  • You should also look into the Government’s renewable heat incentive (RHI). It will offer homeowners 7.3p/kWh produced by air source heat pumps; 12.2p/kWh for biomass boilers; 18.8p/kWh for ground source heat pumps and at least 19.2 p/kWh for solar thermal systems.

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  1. Hi Christine,

    The article refers to next year (2017). You can also find some more information here: Budget 2016: what it means for homeowners.

    Many thanks!

    HomeOwners Alliance Team

    Comment by Sophie Khan — October 20, 2016 @ 1:32 pm

  2. Hi
    You say ‘from next year’ people who rent out their only home….
    Yet, you don’t mention when the information was written.
    How do I know if I can reduce my tax now?

    Comment by Christine — October 16, 2016 @ 4:13 pm

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