There are a number of ways people use self-storage to help their business – for example, it can be a secure way to store excess stock without the steep up-front costs of investing in a warehouse. However, there’s another way self-storage can help ordinary people make some extra cash on the side.
Many people have a spare bedroom in their house, especially older people whose kids have grown up and left the nest. This room often lies neglected and becomes a general storage space, but there could be a better way to use it: put what you want to keep in a secure self-storage unit, and rent out the room to lodgers or travellers.
The Rent a Room Scheme
Since 1997, homeowners have been able to rent out a furnished spare room in their houses and can earn up to £7,500 tax-free a year for doing so. This threshold used to be £4,250, but it was increased in 2016 – so there’s now more reason than ever to earn money from the extra space in your home.
It’s estimated that more than five million homeowners in the UK have a spare room they could use for the scheme. There’s no need to register as a private landlord, and in fact you don’t even need to own your home – as long as you have permission from your landlord, you can use a room in rented accommodation too.
One of the biggest barriers to using the Rent a Room scheme is space. People accumulate a lot of stuff over their lives, and of course there are many items of sentimental value that we don’t want to get rid of, even if we can make money from it.
That’s where self-storage comes in: for a low price, you can de-clutter your spare room and move all the items you want to keep into a secure unit that only you have the key to. You’ll be safe in the knowledge your possessions are in a manned facility protected by CCTV, and you have access to them at any time.
Even better, if you’re planning to rent out a room for several months at time or more, you can take advantage of our long-term storage deals – leaving you with even more of your tax-free earnings to enjoy.
You can learn more about the Rent a Room Scheme in the government’s series of help sheets here.
Don’t want a full-time lodger? Go AirBnB
Remember, you don’t need to have a long-term lodger to benefit from the Rent a Room scheme. You can also rent out the room on a nightly basis via websites like AirBnB, Wimdu and Tripping.com.
This can be a great option if you live in a tourist hotspot like London, where travellers and people visiting family and friends are always grateful for cheap, short-term accommodation.
You can choose when you make the room available, so even if you just do it at peak times of the year - such as during popular festivals or big calendar events - you can still expect to turn a healthy profit.
What about that garage?
Renting out spare rooms aren’t the only way you can make money from extra space in your home – another potential money-spinner is a garage with a parking space you don’t use.
Many of us use spare garage space for storage, but rather than having a cobweb-laden mass of paint pots and rusting tools, you could be renting it out as a parking space. Just pack up your bits and pieces into self-storage and you’re ready to go.
Websites like JustPark and YourParkingSpace.co.uk let you advertise a parking space you don’t need, including the dates and times it’s available. Again, this could be a particular boon if you live in London, where parking spaces are in famously short supply, and many residents will jump at the chance to use a secure garage instead of parking on the street.
What you charge is up to you (and unlike Rent a Room, your income from this is taxable.) You can use the website Parklet to find average prices in your area – in London, the estimated monthly price for a garage is around £200.
Self-storage isn’t just a way to keep your belongings secure – it can also be a great way to make your property work harder for you. Get in touch with Space Station if you want to arrange short or long-term storage and start putting your excess space to use!