You probably would never imagine that a little ol’ garden shed can make you tens of thousands of pounds a year, but that’s exactly what’s happening with enterprising entrepreneurs across the United Kingdom.
Services like Airbnb have made it possible for practically anyone with an extra room to make a significant amount of money by opening up their home (or fixed up garden shed) to renters. This allows owners of the rented space to rake in passive income all throughout the year.
Airbnb and similar sites make their money by providing a platform for you to list your space for rent (without charge) and taking a percentage from each time the space is booked.
The condition of your shed
Obviously, no one wants to stay in a dusty shed. It needs to be renovated entirely so that people can stay in it. That means insulating the structure so that it holds heat (or cold air), possibly adding wiring for electricity or running power outlets from your house out to the shed, and adding furnishings such as chairs and a bed.
You probably want to paint it too so that the exterior looks just as inviting as the interior. Does your shed have to be perfect? No. Does it have to meet a certain standard of cleanliness? Also, no but it’s obvious that untidy, dirty spaces will repel renters and kill your review ratings on Airbnb and similar sites.
Always remember that top sellers on these sites thrive because of positive feedback. You should do everything in your power to get positive reviews.
Responsibilities that fall on your shoulders
Airbnb may be good for a lot of things, but they can’t be held responsible for the laws that govern your area. For example, you must adhere to local planning laws, and you can’t forget to pay taxes. It’s important that you tread carefully to make sure you stay within the bounds of the law.
Keep in mind that one of the biggest issues you may face is your neighbours. In most cases as long as you are within the bounds of the law than no one should bother you. However, if your neighbours begin to complain (maybe they don’t like the fact that you have so many visitors staying on your property), then authorities may become involved.
Keep your neighbours in mind before taking on renters. Consider implementing quiet hours at a certain time of night and other like gestures of good will to keep everyone happy.
Is the effort of renovating your garden shed worth it?
The idea of fixing up your garden shed and renting it out to rake in thousands of pounds may sound appealing, but you might think twice when you consider the amount of work that goes into making this dream into a reality. Before you jump in you should consider why you’re renting out your garden shed in the first place.
You’ll have to deal with a stream of people who may or may not be pleasant to deal with, you may clash with planning authorities, and you will have to pay taxes on the money you make. Furthermore, you may end up disagreeing with your neighbours.
You also have to consider how much money it’ll take to make your garden shed rentable. Some people may only have to spend a minimal amount to make their garden sheds a habitable space where others may have to pay a much more substantial amount.
Renting out your garden shed doesn’t require any special licenses, but you can be held liable for safety features such as a lack of smoke detectors. Once again be aware of the laws in your area.
How do you begin?
There are two ways you can begin. The first route is for those who already own garden sheds. These individuals will either have to renovate their garden sheds on their own, or they’ll have to hire a professional to do it for them.
The second route is for those who don’t own a garden shed. You can purchase a lovely log cabin, summerhouse, or garden shed and have it installed on your property for you. Going this route will ensure that the structure is built professionally which will guarantee a high-quality experience for renters.
Once you have your garden shed situated and you’ve squared away the legalities of converting/adding a shed to your property that you intend on renting out, then you can go online and create a profile on Airbnb or an equivalent site (there are many to choose from).
When your profile is set up create a listing and let the platform take over from there. They’ll bring the customers to you – you just have to be ready to accommodate them when they respond.
- If you intend on adding a small kitchen and bathroom then the structure will need access to a water supply and a way to dispose of sewage.
- If you intend on adding electricity to the structure make sure you install several outlets so your guests can charge their portable electronics.
- If your shed doesn’t have any windows, consider adding at least one if not more. That way your shed won’t feel like a big wooden coffin.
- Don’t forget to add pipes for plumbing!
Any extensions you add to your shed will require planning permission from the local authority. This process can sometimes take weeks to process, so make sure you plan ahead accordingly. Don’t forget about taxes!
The money you make from your garden shed is not exempt from taxes, and you will be hit with penalties if you keep 100% of the money for yourself without giving the government their just do.
How much money can you really make?
Are people really making tens of thousands a year by renting out their fancy garden sheds? Of course they are! And the more unique your space is the more business you’ll likely bring in. Travellers away on holiday often look for a unique experience during their time away from home.
That means the quirkier the experience you can offer the more likely you’ll make more money. For example, on top of renting out your garden building you can also provide a place for a campfire, provide tours of the local area, and serve your guests breakfast in bed.
Provide an experience for your guests, and they’ll reward you with high ratings. Eventually, you’ll gain a good enough reputation that guests will be clamouring to rent out your garden shed and all the while your bank account will grow all the fatter.