How to turn your home into a side hustle

By Jessica Hayden
Multimedia content editor

By Dan Thornton

Could your house or flat be earning you some valuable extra money? If you own your own property, find out how to turn your home into a side hustle and develop an additional income stream to help cover your bills or boost your earnings.

Some opportunities will also be available to renters, but you’ll often need the permission of your landlord before going ahead. Or you could risk legal problems and potential eviction.

And you should also research any requirements to notify your local council or home insurance provider before jumping into using your home to earn extra money. With any income from a home side hustle, make sure that you understand any tax implications. Under current rules, the first £1,000 of income is a tax-free property allowance.

But it can be more than worthwhile, even if you’re only sharing your home for a few days each year, or sacrificing some outdoor space. Depending on your location and property, you could earn thousands in a fairly short space of time, without needing much time or effort.

Renting out a room to take in a lodger

Taking in lodgers is a traditional way to earn income from a property. And with the UK government’s Rent a Room scheme, you can earn up to a threshold of £7,500 per year tax free by letting out furnished accommodation in your home.

You’re able to charge whatever you want for rent, and if you share a kitchen, bathroom or living room with them, they’re likely to be classed as an ‘excluded occupier’ which means you only have to give reasonable notice to end the letting, and you won’t have to go to court to evict them. And you can set fixed terms to rent out rooms for a set number of weeks or months each year.

You don’t need to own your home to take in a lodger or make use of the Rent a Room scheme, but if you’re renting, then it will depend on your tenancy agreement. Most will specifically prohibit subletting, but talking to your letting agency or landlord may give you options.

Obviously, the downside is that you’ll be sharing your home with someone else. But various websites try to make the process easier by letting you advertise your property and find the right lodger, including SpareRoom, Ideal Flatmate, Roomgo or Homestay. Or there may be someone in your network of friends and contacts looking for somewhere to sublet, in which case it may be slightly less awkward, but you should still put agreements and expectations in writing to ensure everyone is clear on the terms. Even if you’ve known each other for a long time, becoming a landlord and tenant will change your relationship a little, or potentially a lot if your friendship suffers.

But it can bring in a good income, depending on your location. Lodgers in London pay an average of £708 per month, compared to those in the North East at £392 per room.

Renting out your home

Depending on your property and location, it’s possible to earn a significant income from letting it out whenever your home might be empty. Various services exist to temporarily let your home, most notably Airbnb. But others include Vrbo, Plum Guide,  and Flipkey.

It allows you to earn money while you’re away on holiday, and you’re not leaving your home unoccupied. Or you might want to time visits to family or friends to coincide with large local festivals or sporting events, allowing you to bring in a significant amount of cash from music lovers and sports fans.

The downsides include the risk to your property from theft or damage. So, you should check the terms and regulations for any service you use, such as Airbnb. You may need to notify your local authority, or obtain licensing or permits for short term lets. And also ensure you’re not restricted by any mortgage, loan, or contractual agreements for leases, building regulations or community rules.

Your potential income will vary depending on your property and location, but it could be £1,000 a week or more. Just make sure you account for any service fees, and additional costs.

Turn your home into a film set or photoshoot location

You don’t have to live somewhere glamorous or unusual to rent out your home as a TV or film set, or as a location for a photoshoot. While somewhere architecturally inspiring might be more suitable for a magazine cover, a TV drama will often need ordinary homes for characters.

So while many film and TV agencies are based in or near London, you may be lucky enough to have a series being filmed locally. And with everyone from small content creators to film productions looking for locations, there’s a growing demand for suitable places to use.

The benefit is that you’re likely to earn a much higher rate for a short period of disruption. And in addition to having a film crew take over your home for a few days, they may want to repaint or reorganise your home. But the disruption should factor into your fee.

Not only do you get to potentially see your home on the big screen, but if you’re fortunate enough to be used for a long-running TV show, your house or flat might even become famous. And you might get to meet A-list stars and celebrities.

You can list your home as a potential film, TV or photoshoot location via various websites, including Scouty, Location Works, Amazing Space, or Shoot Factory.  And earnings can be from £500 a day to upwards of £2,000 depending on the scale of the production.

Renting out your driveway or parking space

If you don’t like the idea of letting anyone into your home, but want to earn some extra income, then you can consider renting out your driveway or parking space. Or a garage, if you’re lucky enough to have one.

As with short term lets, it’ll be more lucrative if you’re located in a big city or near a commuter train station. Or when there’s a big event taking place nearby. But no matter where you’re based, if your driveway is usually empty, then any income will be effectively money for nothing.

You can list the space on sites like JustPark, Your Parking Space, or Park on my Drive. And with the growth of electric vehicles, you can also list an EV Charger if you have one installed.

There’s generally a booking commission, and you may be charged a listing fee. Plus, you’ll need to inform your home insurer, and may be liable for accidents or injuries on your property. But you could potentially earn thousands each year, even if you’re only listing your space on weekdays.

A typical one-off booking could be priced between £6 to £13, but even the lowest fee at 5 days each week would earn you around £1500 each year if you had someone use your driveway every day. 

Open a micro-campsite

Along with renting out any parking spaces, you could also utilise your garden as a micro-campsite. It’s not necessary to have a huge outdoor space, although location and size can make it easier to find people wanting to hire it.

Listing sites include Camp Space, and you’ll need to inform your home insurer. But you could earn up to £25 per night or more for hosting campers in your garden.

Alternatively, if you own a motorhome or caravan, you could also let that out via Camplify or Camptoo for amounts varying from £515 to £750 per week.

Renting out storage space

If you have unused space in your garage, loft or even a spare room, you could rent it out for storage space with sites including Storemates or Stashbee.

You can list your space for free, and will typically pay a commission on bookings. Storage agreements will include an inventory of all items, and you are within your rights to ask for an inspection before letting anything be kept at your location. Most storage services will provide you with some amount of insurance cover, but it’s important to check the terms and conditions, and to inform your home insurer. 

Some items are prohibited from being stored, and generally it’s recommended that no-one stores valuable items via these services. But if a contract has ended and no-one has collected their belongings, it’s possible you’ll be able to sell anything left behind.

Your potential earnings could vary from £20 per month for a small attic space to more than £100 each month for a secure larger area.

Let out part of your home as an office

As a freelancer, you may already be working from home. And if you’ve invested in a suitable location and equipment, why not let out part of your home as an office?

It means you’ll only be sharing your space during set hours. And you could end up meeting some useful professional contacts as a bonus, alongside the extra income. Given that freelancing can often be a lonely career, it’s an alternative to paying for a coworking space to be alongside other people working during the day. 

As with other home side hustles, it’s worth checking any mortgage, tenancy and insurance agreements to make sure you’re covered and offering space legally without risking any complications. 

Professional spaces can be listed via sites including Office Riders, and depending on the size of your space and facilities, you could earn between £50 and £250 per day by renting out a spare room, or even more if you have access to a larger office for meetings or events.

Other ways to earn or save with a home

If you don’t currently own a home, or need to save on your renting costs, there’s been a growth in house sitting opportunities, letting you get free accommodation in exchange for looking after someone’s property.

Other options for homeowners to bring in some extra income or save money include house swaps to cut the costs of holidays, or hosting premium dinner parties and cooking classes if you’re a keen chef.

Or you could become a social media influencer and content creator, just by sharing your skills in cleaning (For example, Sophie Hinchcliffe, known as Mrs Hinch to more than 4.6 million Instagram followers), home improvements and DIY, or gardening. 

With all opportunities to earn an extra income from your home, it’s important to check that it’s not going to cause issues with your mortgage or other loans, insurance cover, tenancy agreements or local authority regulations. And the terms, conditions and protection offered by any third-party listing sites you’re using.

Other freelance side hustles to earn extra income

Looking for ways to earn extra income alongside your self-employed or freelance career? Why not check out some of our other guides to bring in some extra money?