Peer to Peer Rentals

peer to peer renting is becoming ever more popularI’ve just finished a somewhat eye-opening article over at the Guardian on the growing phenomena that is being called peer-to-peer rental. With the recession still biting, people are looking for ways to increase their income, and a growing number of websites are allowing them to make some money on the side from unused possessions.

Of course, the idea of renting out a spare room or – as has become increasingly common – your garage/parking space is nothing new, but it seems that just about everything from bicycles to barbeques are now being rented out via the internet. If you have an empty loft or basement, you may want to consider hiring it out as storage space.

Sites like RelayRides.com enable car owners to hire out their vehicle during periods they do not need it, allowing them to set their own price (although it obviously needs to be reasonable) and availability and even including insurance coverage.

In the UK, websites like RentMyItems.com allow members to list all kinds of stuff: need a chainsaw or a leaf-blower this weekend? No problem. Grandkids visiting? Rent a games console and earn yourself a little peace and quiet.

With the internet making it easier to find people who want to hire something you own, website review/feedback systems reducing the risk of something going wrong, it looks like the whole Peer to Peer Rentals thing is going to be HUGE.

One important thing to keep in mind though: remember that the taxman is going to take a keen interest in any additional income you make – although there can be exceptions.

For example, in the United Kingdom, the government’s “Rent a Room” scheme allows homeowners to make up to £4,250 per annum for letting out furnished accommodation without having to pay any tax on it.

You can read the full article on the Guardian here.

Philip

6 Comments

  1. This is a great idea! I’ve seen AirBnB and couch surfing sites here in the US, but this takes it to a whole new level. Shame this is for the UK though… are there any similar sites that have more American members? It sure would be nice. I live in the city and while I in no way could manage without a car, I really don’t use it on a daily basis and would love to rent it out.

  2. Of all the emerging sites to make money online, I hadn’t come across the idea of renting things out.. Am also curious if there is anything similar in the US? Would definitely be interested in checking it out!

  3. So, was this the brainchild of one person or did the idea sort of evolve? I wonder If I could rent my pool and deck to people who want to throw parties? Hmmm…

  4. I don’t know if I like the idea of “swapping” with some one I don’t know…you might not get it back and if you don’t it could be broken. I have rented rooms…..also…Jennifer I don’t know if that is a good idea if some one gets hurt on your property, you could be liable!

  5. I think this is an awesome idea! But with a few exceptions. I would never rent a spare room, I prefer the piece and quiet at my house. Also, I would never ever rent my car to a stranger. Come on, it’s common sense.. But renting the garage or bike or household items… seems like a sweet idea, if it can bring you some extra income 🙂

  6. I have to agree with many of the reservations you have all mentioned. Especially the legal liability if someone somehow gets injured. It seems like people can be so quick to sue these days. Definitely something to think about!

Comments are closed.