HOME FRONT with Jenny Knight
The gloomy news that house prices fell in London by 0.5% last year, will depress people struggling to pay off mortgages – but there are ingenious ways in which a home can be made to pay for itself, explains Jenny Knight. Aside from taking in a lodger or deciding to become an airbnb host there are other less intrusive ways to turn your home into a money-spinner.
Using a spare room, the garage or the attic for storage space brings in monthly cash without any of the troublesome elements of a lodger – slamming front doors, crashing footsteps when you want to go to sleep, cooking smells and lost door keys.
The site Storemates collects the monthly fees and organises insurance. They claim that renting storage from people letting their lofts, garages, spare rooms and sheds costs about half as much as going to commercial self-storage units, while still bringing in a useful income for the house owner. Storage places being offered on the site include an eight-foot square cupboard in Battersea for £25 a month and an attic in Richmond for £88 a month.
Another money-making wheeze is to let your property out by the day as an office, studio or conference centre with Space Hop. The advantage is that you don’t have to vacate the house property, or you can arrange times so that guests arrive while you are at work. Naturally the section of the property being let needs to be immaculately tidy and equipped with wi-fire, heating and tea and coffee making facilities.
Income from these deals ranges from the £20 a day – 9am to 5am – for a flat in Putney, to £80 a day for a large kitchen in a house in Richmond with disabled access, to £100 a day for a open plan flat in Clapham with a vast kitchen with a table that seats eight people – ideal for a mini-conference thanks to the wall mounted plasma that can be used for presentations.
Best of all is the £150 a day it costs to hire a luxury yacht on the Thames half a mile from Hampton Court Palace. The boat boasts a dining area with a printer/scanner that seats up to six, plus super-fast broadband and multi-charge phone cables. Coffee and biscuits thrown in.