Are you strapped for cash? Perhaps your property holds the answer. We have come up with a few ideas to help you.
No, I am not talking about doing clever things with your mortgage. There are many options to choose from if you have room to spare, or live in the right location.
Under the U.K Inland Revenue’s ‘Rent A Room’ Scheme, you are entitled to earn £4,250 in rent, tax free per household, letting out a room in your house. You do have to declare it on your income tax return form.
If you prefer to not have anyone living with you full time, but would prefer to let out a room for short periods, there are who organize accommodation for tourists, business people and students who wish to stay in London.
Many of the language schools seek accommodation for their foreign students and these too can be short or long lets, some will require you to provide meals, others will want to do their own catering.
If you have a room that might suit someone who needs a space to work away from their own home, then advertise it in on the web or in a local local newsagents window.. Someone running a business will need a phone line and possibly broadband. Someone wanting to write a novel, or an artist might just require a quiet space in which to work.
Think laterally, a house with an unused drive or garage near a tube or train station could be rented out to a commuter who lives too far away to walk.
Or as Jane Furnival suggests in her book ‘Smart Spending’ published by Hay House . Rent out your workshop or garage if it has natural light. www.property.org.uk carries ads from artists and craftspeople seeking places to work, to rent.
Another piece of advice she gives is, if you have a field or a piece of grass land of at least an acre with shelter you can rent it out as grazing for a horse. The British Horse society will help www.bhs.org.uk
If you are lucky enough to live near to one of the large London stadiums, concert halls, football or rugby pitches and you can stand the hassle. Either sell food, drink, umbrellas or sun hats depending on the weather, to passers by or let them use your loo and charge them!
With the Olympics coming up any one living near to any of the venues will be able to let their house out at a premium.
If you live within walking distance of the tennis courts you may be able to let your house out during Wimbledon week. A friend of mine a self-employed photographer, used to do this every year when his children were pre-school age. He would take his holidays on the proceeds and reckoned himself lucky as he didn’t have to sit in traffic jams at home. www.tennislondon.co.uk
There seems to be a common misapprehension that if you live in a big house you must have loads of money. Not true, in many cases, as every bill is three or four times that of a smaller house and if the house is old there are always repairs. There are plus sides to large houses though, they often have large rooms in which one can run courses. You might run them yourself if you have particular skills such as drawing, or yoga or dancing or you might bring in others to teach for you.
The other option for those with interesting homes is putting your house up as a location for films and stills shoots.. I have set up my own agency www.dixcotlocations.com
If you are lucky enough to own a property abroad then the chances are in order to cover the basic costs you may want to let it out. There are many agencies that will do this for you and although they will take their cut most home owners find it is a good idea having someone in the vicinity keeping an eye on their investment.
Although this is written from a UK perspective many of these ideas are transferable to other parts of the world.