Make cash from your hidden assets
From renting out a parking space to making your garden available for use as a film set, many householders may be overlooking simple ways to earn a little bit extra, says John Cradden
IN the continuing search for ways to make a few extra bob, many householders may not realise that some of the answers may be staring them in the face.
Do you have an asset, room or space around the house that you rarely use but don't want to get rid of entirely?
We list some ways to make your property or assets work for you.
Garage or parking space
If you live in a busy urban or city area, or perhaps close to a railway, Luas or bus station with an overflowing car park, you could consider renting out a space to a commuter for one car either on your driveway or your allotted apartment car-parking space.
Demand for spaces in Dublin tends to be far higher than in any other city, and parking costs up to €20 a day, so if you have a space for a car you could earn up to €100 a month or more, depending on where you are.
According to Dublinparking.com, which helps advertise car parking spaces for rent, the main demand is close to a large area of office buildings, such as Dublin 2, 4, 7, 8, the IFSC and the South Docklands. Try also Rent.ie.
Similarly, if you have a near empty lock-up garage, you could rent that out to someone with a cherished classic car, for instance. Check out the Garage Wanted ads on online classified sites like Gumtree.ie or property website Daft.ie.
Rent a room
The rent-a-room scheme allows homeowners to rent out a room in their principal private residence and earn up to €10,000 per year on rental income without having to pay any tax on it.
This is a popular scheme with first-time buyers struggling to pay heavy mortgages, and it doesn't affect your entitlement to mortgage interest relief.
There is also less paperwork involved, as you are not covered by the normal landlord/ tenant legislation.
According to Daft.ie, the cost of renting a double room in a house in Dublin ranges between €375 and €525 per month with a single room about €100 less.
Outside Dublin, a double room advertises for between €250-275 outside the main cities and Dublin's commuter belt, and from €275 (Waterford city) to €350 (Cork city centre, Dublin's commuter counties).
You could also consider offering your room for just the working week, so that you have weekends to yourself. Try Getdigs.ie. Before you rent out rooms in your home, it is strongly recommended that you and the tenant agree some ground rules in advance.
Rent out household items
Do you have an expensive power tool, a sat-nav, or a musical instrument that you rarely use? You can rent them out to others through sites like Rentstuff.ie (see panel).
Rent out your house or garden to the film industry
If you have a nice garden or house with some character, whether on the inside or the outside, you can make your property available to a film company as a film set.
The Irish Film Board has a database of all kinds of properties that are available as short-term film sets. It doesn't have to be a mansion. Any type of home -- new, old, luxurious or rough around the edges -- can appeal to film-makers, depending on their storyline or budget.
The Irish Film Board doesn't get involved in how much a property will earn for being featured. That is between the owner and the location manager.
How much you can charge depends on the type of property you have and the level of intrusion required. Make sure you sign a contract and get all agreements in writing.
Another option is to contact companies specialising in providing film locations, such as Irish Film Locations or Leinster Locations. If your home is chosen, you pay the location agent around 15pc of the fee they negotiate for you.
Holiday house swap
If you want a cheaper holiday and don't mind having strangers in your home, you could swap your home with another family in Ireland or abroad for a couple of weeks. There are a few websites catering for this sort of thing, but try Homelink.ie for starters.
It's an even better idea if you have a holiday home somewhere and you're bored with it or you can't sell it because of the house price slump. A new home-grown website called Propertyswap.ie specialises in swapping holiday homes.