Boost your income: make money from the spare room

The spare room was once a place where we stored all those things we didn’t know what to do with. To help you decide if it’s a good idea, we have put together 10 tips and facts.

The spare room was a hoarder’s paradise full of dusty paperbacks, old shoes, furniture and an untidy pile of unwanted birthday presents. These days, this much under-utilised space is undergoing a rebirth as more and more people are letting their spare rooms to lodgers. Often, the key to harmony depends on the tenant fitting in with their landlord’s lifestyle (i.e. not sitting in the living room watching television, while they’re trying to have a dinner party). But, provided lodgers and landlords establish ground rules at the start, it can be a mutually beneficial relationship. The landlord has an extra source of income, and the lodger gets a roof over his or her head. What’s more, there’s no shortage of demand.

Whether you intend to rent a room in a house or let it, we have put together 10 facts and tips which may help you make your mind up.

1. The rise of ‘The Rigsby Effect’

Remember the television series Rising Damp, in which the landlord Rigsby, played by Leonard Rossiter, rented out rooms? According to the insurance firm Liverpool Victoria, the number of homeowners renting out a spare room has increased from 1.4 per cent to 2.7 per cent in the past five years.

2. There are plenty of spare rooms out there

It is estimated that there are 15 million unused bedrooms in England alone. And since 2011, there has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of landlords looking for lodgers, says SpareRoom.co.uk.

3. Rising rents are not just a London trend

Across the rest of the country, rents have risen 6.7 per cent in the past year. During the same period, rents have risen in every part of the UK except Wales, according to the HomeLet Rental Index.

4. Aberdeen is a hot spot

Two universities, one college, plus an offshore oil industry have meant a 140 per cent increase in the number of “lodger wanted” advertisements in the past two years, according to Spareroom.co.uk. Just under half these landlords say they couldn’t pay their mortgage without rent from a lodger. Move to the Granite City, and the cost of renting a room in someone’s house is now £549 per month.

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