Make money by opening your home up to guests

Esther Shaw / 13 September 2016

If you’re looking for a simple way to boost your income, you could think about opening up your home to guests.



Recent findings from Airbnb revealed that residents close to Wimbledon were potentially able to make more than £1,000 on average during the tennis tournament in June and July by letting visitors stay in their properties.

And whilst Wimbledon is firmly behind us for this year, you could start planning ahead for next year – and bear in mind there are plenty more opportunities to take in guests over the summer, including the Edinburgh Festival (which runs until the end of August), Reading Festival at the end of August, and Bestival on the Isle of Wight in September.

And that’s on top of a potentially regular stream of holidaymakers who simply want somewhere cheap but lovely for their summer holiday.

Here we take a look at how you can make some extra cash by being a host.

Become a host

With a wide range of sport and music events taking place throughout the year across the UK – and especially during the summer – there is a demand for places to stay.

Those who are willing to open up their homes and take in visitors via a home-sharing site such as Airbnb, can find that this is a simple way to provide a second income.

House-guest etiquette for guests and hosts

Support for home-sharing

The Government has long said that it supports home-sharing, and is now taking steps to demonstrate that support.

Under current rules, you can rent out your room or house for 90 days per year and can earn up to £7,500 annually tax-free. This tax break means you can maximise your income without incurring tax.

How does this tax break work?

If the amount you earn is less than the threshold of the Governments Rent-a-Room scheme (currently £7,500), your tax exemption is automatic, and you don’t need to do anything.

Equally, from April next year, homeowners in the UK who let their properties via home-sharing sites will be granted new tax allowances worth £1,000. This means you do not need to declare – or pay tax – on the first £1,000 you earn.

For more information visit hmrc.gov.uk.

Holiday house swapping

Inform your lender and insurer

Before opening up your home to guests, you need to proceed carefully to ensure that you do it properly.

This means speaking to both your mortgage lender and insurer to ensure you aren’t breaching the terms of your home loan or cover.

You will need to check with your lender that you are covered under the terms of your mortgage.

You also need to be aware that generally speaking, ‘hosts’ are not insured under their existing home insurance policies, so you may need to arrange extra cover.

Think about a security deposit

In addition, you might want to think about taking a few preventative measures, such as including a security deposit in case any damage is caused.

After all, you are inviting strangers into your home.

By having a few simple precautions in place, this will not only give you peace of mind, but will also ensure the arrangement works well for both parties.

Twelve ways to make some extra money

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.