For most of us, the feeling of being short on cash is probably all too familiar on any day of
the month other than payday. But even if you’re lacking in funds, there’s a very good
chance that you’ve got a valuable resource available that you can monetise, and you
probably don’t even know it.
Over five million homeowners in the UK have additional space in the form of a spare
room. Perhaps it serves as a glorified storage cupboard, or as a long-abandoned child’s
bedroom – useful, or with sentimental value, yes, but not the best choice from a financial
perspective! Instead, renting out your spare room could earn you thousands every year.
Recognising the need for surplus accommodation, and the added earning potential for
homeowners, the government introduced the Rent a Room Scheme as far back as 1997,
although it’s still not particularly well-known. You can earn up to £4,250 a year – that’s just
over £350 a month – tax free from renting out a furnished spare room, whether it’s to a
long-term lodger or on a nightly basis, without the need to register as a private landlord.
Even if you don’t own your home you could still qualify, provided you have permission
from your own landlord.
But wait – those rooms are surely full of things that you could never get rid of in a decluttering, no matter how strict you were with your choices. Where can they go while a
stranger stays the night?
Well, how about a self-storage unit? Secure, clean and dry household self-storage units
are available at a fraction of the price you could be charging depending on where you live,
with flexible deals for long-term renting to a lodger or short-term renting for events. You
could open up that profitable space without having to throw a single thing away.
There are loads of resources online to help you fill your spare room with happily paying
guests – Airbnb is popular with tourists and people travelling for business, and Monday To
Friday is a great listing site used by those who work away from home in the week,
meaning you’ll always have the place to yourself for the weekend.
Listing your room on Spareroom, Roombuddies, or even Gumtree are all great alternatives
to the classic advert in the Post Office window. If you live in an area that plays host to
popular events, then you may be able to get some great prices for your space at certain
times of the year if you pay attention to what’s on.
It’s not just a spare bedroom that could be making you some extra cash – if you have a
garage that’s just used for storage, why not think about emptying it in to a unit and
renting it out to someone who needs secure car parking?
Provided you’ve got the space, you could be making the cash – just with a little help from
a convenient self-storage unit.