Everyone is quite familiar with how expensive life is in the capital – and none more so than those who already live there. While thousands of people are desperate to get their hands on a home in London, many of those who already have theirs are finding themselves strapped for cash while trying to enjoy it.
If that sounds like something you can relate to, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a lot of value in all those people clamouring for their own slice of London. Before you resign yourself to the fact that you won’t see profit in your home until you sell up, consider these four ways to squeeze a bit of cash from it right now.
Rent your driveway
Do you own a square of paving slabs outside your home? Does it sit empty while you’re at work? If so, you could be renting it out for some decent cash. You see, while you tootle off in the morning to earn some cash, some other poor commuter will be driving around looking for a spot to park in near their own workplace that’s down the road from your house. By the time you get home, they’ve finished for the day, too – meaning that you could offer them your space for a weekly or monthly fee and not even notice that they’re using it.
If you have a parking space but don’t even have a car, that’s even better! You can use a tool like Parklet to work out just how much that empty patch of tarmac could be adding to your travelcard fund. Obviously, the closer you are to central London the better, with spots in Camden bringing in over £200 a week but a Woodgreen space being worth only around £115 a week. Still, not bad for nothing, is it?
The only thing to look out for is that technically renting out your driveway counts as a “change of use”, so make sure you obtain planning permission before making any deals. Failure to do so could land you a hefty £20,000 fine.
Loan your living room
If you’re particularly proud of your interior design aesthetic, why not show it off to the world by renting out your home to a media company? Production companies all over London are constantly looking for interesting and beautiful homes to use as a backdrop for photoshoots or video campaigns, and your house could be the star.
The drawback is that you won’t get the run of your home for a day or two while the filming or photoshoot takes place (don’t worry, you can still stay there). You’ll also have to be okay with between 10-40 professional crew members milling around while they work – again, they make sure to leave your house spotless so it isn’t a problem once they’ve gone home.
Rent it out part-time
Does the idea of renting a room Monday to Friday and living somewhere else at the weekend sound nuts? Well, increasingly long commutes and extortionate travel costs to get into London have made “temporary letting” a very realistic option for a lot of professionals. If you don’t want a permanent roomie but could handle someone staying over midweek then you might be able to line your pockets quite nicely – rooms generally go for about £150 a week.
Alternatively, if you’d rather slightly longer stints of privacy, why not get signed up to Airbnb? Property owners in Greater London are permitted to rent out their entire home for up to 90 days a year without needing to submit a “change of use” application. With hundreds of thousands of tourists looking for London accommodation each year, you could take a two-week break (or longer) and have your home pay for the trip while you’re gone.
Rent it out full-time
Warming up to the idea of your home paying for itself while you jet around the world? If you’ve been dreaming about taking an extended holiday for a while, why not make your home available for a short-term let? It can be an ideal way of generating an income if you’re not sure how long you intend to be away, or allowing you to travel for business without giving up your home.
There is a huge market of prospective tenants that have moved to London for their own job (or extended holiday). So, even though you might not think your home has the same appeal as a hotel, there will be plenty of people keen to experience the city without feeling like a tourist. You don’t even need to worry about someone keeping an eye on your property while you’re away, as there are plenty of professional property management firms in North London that will handle all of the rental processes for you.
Chances are, you’ve invested a lot of money and effort into your perfect London home. The good news is that there is an endless queue of people that would be happy to pay you a handsome price to share it with you.