As the cost of living crisis bites, there are many ways to make some extra cash, from taking in a lodger to renting out parking space
Soaring household bills are making it tougher than ever to make ends meet.
However, your home could provide some extra income, and you might not even have to pay tax on this cash.
The UK government’s rent-a-room scheme enables you to earn up to £7,500 a year completely tax free through letting out a furnished room in your home.
You can advertise your room online on websites such as SpareRoom (where you can also download a lodger agreement for £4.99). Another website, RoomBuddies, which some people will have used before, has now merged with SpareRoom.
Just make sure to let your home insurance provider know that you have taken in a lodger.
You must live in the property with the lodger at least some of the time to qualify for the allowance, and it must be your main residence. If you earn more from letting a room, you will need to complete a tax return to pay any tax due on the remaining income.
Sarah Coles, a senior personal finance analyst at the investment website Hargreaves Lansdown, says: “You don’t need to own the property to use the allowance but if you’re renting, you need to check your tenancy agreement carefully, and if in doubt, talk to your landlord. In many cases subletting is specifically forbidden.”
You can rent out your garage, off-street parking space or driveway on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis.
There are several websites that link people with spare parking space with drivers who need to park in a particular place.
You can advertise on websites such as YourParkingSpace, JustPark and Park On My Drive. ParkLet is an option for longer-term lets.
You may pay a listing fee, and you will typically pay about 5% to 20% commission on bookings.
If you live near a busy railway station or big attraction where parking is at a premium, you could make a chunk of cash.
Similarly, if you live near an airport, you may want to offer a space for holidaymakers.
The most popular football ground when it comes to local residents renting out their parking space is Manchester United’s Old Trafford, with average booking fees of £13 when an event is on, according to YourParkingSpace.
Every film and TV drama needs suitable set locations, and you don’t need to live in a fancy property for your home to make money as a film location. Plenty of ordinary homes are used.
However, if you live near or in London, and have plenty of parking for film crews, your home is more likely to be chosen.
If you have got a series that you know is being filmed locally, you could be in luck. For example, the BBC drama Casualty has been running for decades, with Bristol residents making money from offering their homes as locations when production was based there, before moving to Cardiff.
You can advertise your home on agency websites such as Scouty, Location Works, Amazing Space and Shootfactory.
On average, hosts make from £500 to £2,000 a month from one to three bookings by renting out their home as a location, according to Scouty. The average shoot length is one day.
Ryan Gannon, the co-founder of Scouty, says: “Short-term rentals for photo and film shoots are skyrocketing, as it pays better than Airbnb and is less disruptive. The shoots that take place range from small individual content creators, like YouTubers, all the way to large film productions.”
Location Collective is on the hunt for architecturally inspiring properties within the M25 or home counties. Its properties have featured in popular BBC shows such as Killing Eve and Silent Witness.
If you have a spacious family home, try Lavish Locations.
If you have a half-empty loft or garage, say, then consider renting this to someone who needs it to store their things. You can list your space on websites such as Storemates by detailing the location, size and monthly cost.
According to the storage rental company Stashbee, you can expect to earn about £1,000 a year on average from renting an unused garage or loft space.
You could even turn an unused area of your home into a rentable storage space, such as a bedroom or large cupboard.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the way we work, with more of us than ever now working from home for at least some of the time. But not everyone has the space to set up a home office.
If you have a spare room, you could earn between £50 and £250 a day by renting it out to a home worker.
Websites such as OfficeRiders enable professionals and businesses to work at someone’s home, or rent a space for events and meetings. To sign up, you detail your space and include some photos and the price for a day. Hosts can earn from £85 to £450 a day renting their place to single photographers, for example, startups or bigger companies.
Deciding to house swap isn’t so much about making money but it could save you a fortune on holiday costs. After all, as living costs soar, it can be hard to justify spending a lot on breaks abroad.
If you want a break away from home, you can simply swap your home with someone else’s instead of paying hundreds or thousands of pounds on holiday accommodation. House swapping may also be a good way to explore somewhere new if you work from home, giving you a break from your home office. If you have kids and want to travel at peak periods, the savings can be particularly substantial.
You could arrange an informal swap with family or a friend, or ask around to see if anyone is looking to do the same. Alternatively, there are several home swap websites where you can list your home and search for accommodation. You can register with Guardian Home Exchange, for example, and choose from three different plans to become a member. You can try the service for two weeks for free.