Fed up with working your fingers to the bone every month to cover your mortgage or rent payments?
It's time to put your home to work and make it start paying you.
There are plenty of ways our properties can bring in a bit of extra income, yet many of us fail to take advantage these opportunities.
Here are some of the thing you can do, along with the pros and cons of each.
Remember that if you are renting your home, you’ll need to get your landlord’s permission to let any part of it out.
1. Rent out your garage or driveway
If you've got a driveway sitting empty, or even better a garage that you don't use, consider renting it out.
Off-road parking is in big demand particularly in towns and cities, so many motorists are prepared to pay a premium to avoid costly car parking charges.
If you don't want the hassle of trying to advertise your space or garage independently, there are lots of websites which are prepared to do the hard work for you, although some will take commission.
ParkLet.co.uk, for example, which is for people looking to rent out garages or driveways for longer term periods rather than just the odd day here and there, charges 20% commission plus VAT.
There’s also a one-off £25 plus VAT admin fee, which is deducted from your earnings.
The site JustPark.com lets you list your space for free. It doesn’t take commission but adds a service fee when your space is booked, which is paid by the driver.
Your home doesn’t have to look like Downton Abbey for film and TV companies to be interested in renting it
2. Swap your home for a free holiday
Getting away from it all can be really expensive, especially if you’re restricted to school holidays.
One way to keep costs down is to swap your home for someone else’s when you go away, saving you the expense of a hotel or villa.
Homelink charges £115 including VAT for one-year membership, rising to £265 if you want to sign up for three years. Homebase Holidays charges £29 for six months, or £49 for year.
Always let your home insurer know in advance if you’re planning on a property exchange.
3. Open your home to guests
Make a bit of extra money by letting out your room for the odd night here and there.
It’s free to list your property on Wimdu, and the price you set is what you will get when the room is booked. The site charges guests a processing fee which is added to the price you have decided on.
Airbnb charges a 3% ‘host service fee’ every time a booking is completed, and this comes out of your payment from the guest. The site also charges guests a ‘guest service fee’ to cover site running costs.
Under the Government’s Rent a Room relief scheme, you can earn up to £4,250 a year tax-free from renting out your spare room. This increases to £7,500 from April 2016.
If you want to take in a longer-term lodger, find out more about how to go about it from our article Top 10 tips on renting out a room.
4. Give your home a starring role
Your home doesn’t have to look like Downton Abbey for film and TV companies to be interested in renting it.
If your property got signed up for a series, then you could potentially earn hundreds, if not thousands of pounds, but you’ll need to be prepared for some upheaval as they may want to move furniture around of even redecorate.
Film location agencies don’t usually charge for you to list your home on their sites, but if the property is used, they’re likely to take commission from any fee you are paid.