A Detailed Guide to Renting Out Your Space
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When my husband and I bought our house, we found we had way more space than we needed. We knew we’d grow into it but it felt like a waste to have two empty rooms collecting dust for a few years.
So we decided to rent out one of our spare rooms on Airbnb. And in two years hosting on Airbnb, we made over $18,000 from a room that would’ve gone mostly unused.
Now that we’ve had a baby we’ve stopped renting out the room, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped looking at other ways to optimize my unused space to make extra money.
And what I’ve found is that people are looking for spaces for storage and all kinds of events, making it easier than ever to make money renting out your space.
What Kind of Space Can You Rent Out?
You may not be able to rent your house or a room in your house on Airbnb, but you can probably rent storage and event space more easily than you think.
- A beautiful living room or outdoor patio can be a great place to host parties and bridal or baby showers.
- If you have office space, you can rent the address out as a mailing address for virtual businesses.
- Half of a double garage can house someone’s vintage car or serve as a workshop.
- An unused shed or part of a barn could be an affordable alternative to public storage.
- A detached garage or pool house could serve as a storefront or an artist’s studio.
- Part of your backyard can be used as a boat or RV storage.
The possibilities are almost endless. When you get creative you can turn any unused space into profitable passive income. Just make sure to check local ordinances or, if you live somewhere with a homeowners association, to verify it’s possible to rent your space.
You might also want to check with your insurance company to see what coverage you have or if you should consider purchasing an umbrella policy.
Where to List Your Space
While you do have to pay some fees for using a listing service, you get two benefits. First is visibility. You’ll get your space in front of people looking for exactly what you’re offering. The other is payment processing.
Some companies also offer extra insurance coverage you can purchase to protect your property and your tenants’ belongings.
It’s great to make money by renting out your space. But if you have a tenant who doesn’t pay or are the victim of theft and your tenant’s property is stolen, then having the protections offered by a third party will be invaluable and worth the extra expense.
Neighbor.com offers an affordable way for people to self-store their belongings or vehicles. The website states they offer storage and parking spaces for half of what self-storage companies charge.
You can find lots, garages, bedrooms, even storage facilities on Neighbor.com. This could be a great way for a student to make passive income if they have a spare closet or parking spot on campus but no car.
Renting shed space or your basement are also options.
Jennifer Walden, Director of Operations at WikiLawn, rents her shed out using Neighbor. Walden set her price at $50 a month and the renter pays Neighbor directly. After a 4.9% processing fee and $.30 cents for every payout, Walden gets paid the remainder through the platform.
“While we do require myself or my husband to be home when the renter comes by, they can just send us a text and go in through the gate with their key to the shed. The only thing we have in there is what they’re storing, of course,” Walden said.
It’s free to list your space on Neighbor.com. Hosts are protected by $1 million in liability insurance and are guaranteed a monthly payout while the storage space is occupied even if the renter stops paying.
ShareMySpace is a professional event venue rental website offering a simple way to find and book spaces and venues for work, events, art, sports, and more. It’s good for people who have non-residential space that can hold events like weddings and banquets.
It costs $49 per month to list a private space or $9 per month for nonprofits and public spaces.
Once your space is listed, it’s searchable and bookable, and you’ll be notified of any booking requests. The more details and photography you add the more likely you are to be successful on the platform.
Related: How to Make Money as an Airbnb Host
StoreAtMyHouse provides peer-to-peer storage solutions around the world. You can rent out storage space in your house, garage, business, etc. StoreAtMyHouse states storage providers can make $300 to $3,000 per year depending on where they’re located and the storage size available.
StoreAtMyHouse doesn’t offer additional liability insurance to renters or storage providers and states if it does become available, it’ll be an additional cost to the landlord.
Posting and renting your storage space through StoreAtMyHouse is free, but there is a steep 15% fee if you want to use their automated billing system. You can also pay a one-time fee of $35 to have your posting featured on the website.
PeerSpace offers unique spaces for meetings, photoshoots, parties, performances, and more. Spaces that do best on PeerSpace are industrial, vintage, modern, or are in some way out-of-the-ordinary.
It’s free to list your extra space through PeerSpace. You can set your own price, charge by the hour, and you’re also protected by $1 million of liability insurance. Payout is directly deposited into your bank account after each event minus a 15% service fee.
Stashii is a Canadian peer-to-peer storage and parking marketplace. It’s free to list your space on Stashii, and payments are made the first week of every month. The only fee is a 3% payment processing fee per transaction.
While Stashii offers $50,000 insurance to renters, they don’t offer the benefit to storage owners. Stashii does state they will help you manage resolutions including but not limited to, payment, storage removal due to overstay, and lost items claims made by renters.
Sometimes, renting out your extra space can be as easy as getting the word out.
Parking in Washington D.C. is notoriously stressful and parking garages charge premium prices. When Ilir Salihi of FreedomRep moved to his home in Washington D.C., he learned that a few of his neighbors were renting out their garages for commuters during the workweek.
All Salihi needed to do was tell people he was renting his garage and he was quickly offered $100 a month for it. They signed a six-month contract to test the arrangement, giving the renter access to the garage from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“I had permit street parking for my own car and still had the storage space in the garage for my own use. This turned out to be an easily-managed passive income stream that I continued for a couple of years,” Salihi said.
Facebook or Craigslist
You can also try advertising your extra space on your own. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are highly trafficked websites and even though not specifically for storage, can get more eyes on your listing.
Unlike word-of-mouth, you don’t have anyone to vouch for potential renters so be extra careful when interviewing people. It’s also a good idea to have renters sign a contract to protect yourself and your property from liability.
How Much Money Can You Make for Your Space?
It’s easy to make extra money renting out your space. You can expect to make around 50% of what storage companies charge for comparable-sized storage units, and can easily find renters depending on which platform you use to advertise your space.
Where the storage is located, if it’s air conditioned, and accessibility are also factors to consider when pricing your space.
You can also test out prices before you settle on one. “I would occasionally create ads on craigslist, but this was more to test the market and get a feel to whether or not I was charging a reasonable price for the parking space,” Salihi said.
And don’t forget to write off eligible expenses on your taxes related to the cost of renting your space.
Risks of Storing Other People’s Stuff
Every opportunity for income comes with its own unique risks. Letting other people store their things on your property allows them access to your home or land. You can set up restrictions on when they can access it, but then you’ll have to be accomodating with your time.
Additionally, you run the risk of your tenant not paying you, breaking your shed or other things on your property, and storing illegal items. Even with the protection of a company like Neighbor, you still rent your space at your own risk.
Don’t let those things deter you. If you take all necessary precautions you can easily, and safely, make passive income from your unused space.