Inflation surged to 6.2 per cent last month, according to the Office for National Statistics and predictions are that it will climb even higher. That means everything from food, clothing, commodities and energy bills are rising and we are all feeling the pinch. With that in mind, here are some ways of making your home earn its keep.
Rent a room. The Government’s rent a room scheme allows you to earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. That can be a bedroom in your home or furnished rooms in an annexe, as long as the annexe is attached to the house itself. You are not eligible for the tax exemption if you let accommodation in your UK home while you live abroad.
When the rent-a-room scheme was first launched it was aimed at those who took in lodgers but it’s now commonly used by those letting rooms/attached annexes via Airbnb and by those who run a guest house or bed and breakfast business. Those who live close to a university often let to foreign students and visiting lecturers via the university or via sites such as www.homestay.com
Others who live in areas where there are annual big events, such as the Ebor and Dante festivals at York racecourse, let rooms in their home for just a few days a year. The generous tax exemption is automatic, which means you don’t have to complete a tax return unless, of course, you exceed the £7,500 threshold.
Rent out your drive or dedicated parking space. If you live in an area where parking costs a fortune and/or is hard to find or your home is close to a popular venue, football ground or airport, you could rent your parking space. You can advertise on justpark.com, which is free to list but adds a 25 per cent service charge to the rental price, which is paid by the driver.
This company also administers the bookings and collects payment and gives you an estimate on what to charge. You can also list on parkonmydrive.com, which charges a £20 annual fee.
Annual revenue of £1,000 a year is not unusual with these schemes. If you hire out your driveway, you may be liable for accidents or injuries on your property. Make sure your insurance policy or that of the bookings provider covers you for this.
Rent your electric car charger: Co-charger is the brainchild of Joel Teague who spotted the potential for allowing those with electric car charge points to share them with those who are unable to install one because they live in a terraced house or an apartment with no driveway. He now has a website www.co-charger.com where you can look for further details of the sharing scheme, which works via the Co-Charger App.
The App matches hosts i.e. those with chargers to neighbours who want to charge their cars and allows them to book a charging slot on a host’s drive. The App deals with everything from communication between each party, booking and payment. Those renting their charger can set their own price points. One is for a minimum amount of charge in any given session and the other is the amount per hour that the charger is running.
“This is all about neighbours using your charge point on a regular basis, usually a weekly slot, and so you have the same people charging their cars on your drive,” says Joel, who drives an electric car. The cost to the consumer is usually less or on a par with the cheapest public chargers. Some of those hiring their charge points choose to make little or no profit, seeing it as an altruistic gesture that helps the environment by enabling more people to have an electric car. Others make a small income.
“Typically, a host with four neighbours using the charger can make £1,000 a year,” says Joel. “It’s not a huge amount of money but it could help with household bills or pay for a holiday.”
He adds that from an environmental point of view, if 10 per cent of people with charge points shared them with neighbours it would enable many more drivers to swap petrol or diesel cars for an electric vehicle.
Ed Byard who runs Crucible Software and is a founder member of the Yorkshire Electric Vehicle Club. He drives a Tesla S and his wife has a Renault Zoe. While they love their electric cars, charging them was an issue as they live in a terraced house in Sheffield with no option for a home charge point. Co-Charger has been a Godsend as it helped them find neighbour Mike McCarthy who is happy to rent the charge point on his drive.
“We message Mike via the App to book a slot of anything between two six hours. It’s really convenient and because Mike doesn’t make a profit, it’s also less expensive than the public chargers,” says Ed.
Mike adds: “People can make money from being a Co-Charger host but we rent our charger to neighbours who are EV users and who aren’t able to have a charge point because we want the neighbourhood to be greener and we care about climate change. The App is easy to use with a bit of maths involved when deciding how much to charge per hour.”
Hiring your home for photo shoots and filming. You can earn between £400 and £800 per day by hiring your property for shoots. Leeds based Lifestyle Locations is one of the top agencies with scores of Northern homes on its books. The properties generally have to be beautiful and well-kept. Plenty of parking for the crew is a must, as is a home that is big enough to fit the cast and crew in. Size also matters when getting the right shot so rooms with generous square footage are needed.
Rent out your garage or spare storage space. You can let these spaces but you must check that your home insurance covers you for damage to other people’s property. Otherwise, it could leave you paying for accidents and incidents out of your own pocket.
You could also rent out your caravan or motorhome. Camplify.co.uk is a recognised site. It allows users to list for free and charges 10 per cent commission on the hire cost.It also offers insurance cover.