From spare rooms gathering dust to empty driveways, garages and even summer houses, you could be sitting on a small fortune without realising it.
As the popularity of home-sharing sites such as Airbnb and SpareRoom increases, as does the need for more accommodation.
Short-term rental management companies such as Glasgow-based SpotHost are making it easier for homeowners to cash in on their properties by taking the stress out of the process, offering services which include listing properties on Airbnb and booking.com, guest screening, 24-hour guest check-in, as well as cleaning, communication and transfers.
Merilee Karr, Chair of the STAA (UK Short Term Accommodation Association) said: “The sharing economy has huge potential to help homeowners earn money from their home either through homeshares or when they are away, to offer guests a much more comfortable and personal experience, and to support local businesses and communities.”
Akash Sharda, one of the founders of SpotHost, launched the company last year as he regularly rents his home out while he is working away, and wanted to make the experience as painless as possible for others.
Pilot Akash earns himself an average of £2,200 per month renting out his two-bedroom flat in Glasgow city centre while he is jetting across the world with work.
He said: “The sharing economy is pretty massive at the moment and tourism is booming in Scotland.
“People want their own space when they’re away and to live like locals for a more authentic experience rather than staying in hotels.
“There is always a need for more accommodation, especially in Glasgow and Edinburgh, so we help people utilise their space to generate extra income.
“The money I make renting out my flat while I’m away covers all my costs, pays for holidays, and gives me extra cash. There’s huge potential there for people to make a lot of money.”
So just how exactly can your home help pay your mortgage, bills and give you some leftover cash for a family holiday?
1. Rent out your spare room
If you have a room going spare that’s rarely used, then you could be sitting on a gold mine. Rooms in city centre properties can fetch between £30 and £60 per night, potentially earning you an extra £1,800 a month.
2. Rent out your home when you’re away
Whether you’re on a business trip or on a family holiday, there’s no point leaving your home to sit empty while you can be making money from it.
During peak tourist season, a two-bedroom city centre property can make in excess of £3,000 per month, or somewhere between £80 and £140 per night.
But make sure you have the right insurance - providers like GUARDHOG (www.guardhog.com) specialise in homesharing hosts.
3. Take advantage of big events in your city
There’s no shortage of major events held in Scotland’s biggest cities, meaning that there’s no shortage of tourists desperate to find decent, affordable accommodation. From Hogmanay celebrations to music concerts and of course the world’s biggest arts festival, there’s an abundance of opportunities to cash in on.
Akash said: “If you’re in Edinburgh and thinking of renting out your property, then there’s no better time to do it than during the Fringe.
“Demand is so high and you can make a lot of money. For a two-bedroom property during the Festival, you’re looking at between £250 and £300 per night.
“You could go away during that time and let your home pay for your holiday.”
4. Don’t forget your driveway
There is also big money to be made from parking, so disused driveways, parking spaces and garages can also give you a healthy boost to your income - particularly if you have a prime spot near a busy office block, an airport, or even near a school where parents struggle to park when dropping off their kids. Websites like Kerb allow people with empty parking spaces to rent them out in a similar way to Airbnb, and they deal with all the handling and processing so you can simply pick up the profit without any of the hassle.
5. Ensure every space has a price tag
It doesn’t just have to be spare bedrooms that boost your coffers - any available space, both inside and out, could earn you some extra cash. If you have a quirky or unusual space in your home or garden, then this can be rented out for meetings, workshops, photo shoots, or interviews. Sites like Gaest.com match up hosts with guests looking for specific meeting spaces, a bit like the Tinder of the property sharing world.