If you have extra space in your garage, you may be wondering if there is a way to turn it into a business for money. By renting a space, you can create a source of income, giving your budget a decent increase. If you are trying to figure out how to make extra money by renting out your garage, here’s what you need to do.
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Clean the rental area
Before you do anything else, you need to spend some time to clean up the leased area. This will help you make sure you have enough space to make renting your garage a viable earning option.
Along with removing any of your belongings, go the extra mile when it comes to cleaning up. Also, think about refreshing the space with new paint, updated shelves, new door and window seals or other upgrades that make your garage more attractive.
Research laws in your area
Once you learn that you have enough space to rent, you need to study the laws in your area regarding this type of activity. Rules can vary from city to city, so you need to make sure you can follow them before listing a garage space as available.
Also, if you have a homeowners association, you may need to check these rules. HOA can restrict the use of spaces, so make sure this is allowed before moving forward.
If you do not rent out the entire garage, you will need to install some partitions. The partition gives the leased area physical boundaries. In addition, it reduces the likelihood that the tenant will mess with any of your things on the other side.
You can put temporary walls or buy ready-made partitions. In any case, make sure that they improve the appearance of the room, increasing the attractiveness of your garage.
Explore your castles
Another preparatory step you need to take is to check your locks to see if they are suitable for the new purpose of your garage. Eventually, you will give someone else access to the space.
You need to not only keep everything safe, but also make sure that the tenant’s access does not pose any unnecessary risks. For example, if the side door of your garage uses the same key as the front door, giving a copy of that key to a tenant means they can get into your home if you decide to try the key in that lock.
For side doors you can consider a reprogrammable door lock without a key. This way, you can give tenants a unique code that only works on these doors. If you use a smart lock, you can also check that the door is closed when it comes straight out of your phone, which improves overall security.
Decide how you will look for tenants
If you want to rent all or part of your garage, you will need to find someone who is willing to rent that space. Typically, you have two approaches. First, you can handle everything yourself. Second, you can use a platform or app that manages garage lease arrangements.
Often managing all of this on your own gives you the most potential for earnings. However, it also greatly increases your workload and can put you at greater risk when it comes to liability. However, it is worth considering if you prefer a higher degree of control, if you are comfortable managing contracts, have some marketing chops and are willing to handle any payment fees.
If you use a platform or app, finding a tenant and managing it usually takes less effort. In addition, payment processing services are usually included, and you may receive certain liability and property coverage to offset some of the risks. However, you will have to pay a fee for using the service, the exact amount of which may vary depending on the platform.
Take high quality photos
Images can make a big impact if you are looking for a tenant. Make sure you have quality photos of the garage that you can rent. Along with an image showing a full room, make a close-up of any features that tenants may appreciate. This way, they can learn everything they may want to know in a relatively short time.
Create a description
A description will also be required for your rental list. Along with discussing key features be sure to include the physical dimensions of the rental space. This way, tenants can determine if the area is large enough for their needs.
Alternatively, you can create a bulleted list of any rules or restrictions. For example, if storing certain types of materials in garages is prohibited in your city, add it to the list. You can also tell if you should consider your garage as a storage space only, or if you are open to a tenant who uses it as a workshop. So there will be no confusion.
It is also reasonable to outline any rules related to access. Will the tenant be free to come and go at any time, or is access only allowed at certain hours? Can they give someone their door code to get an item for them? Can they open the garage door or use only the side doors?
You also need to decide if there is a minimum rental period. Long-term agreements and monthly arrangements have pros and cons, so consider both. However, you will need to indicate what options are available in your description, so decide before making a list.
By addressing these points, you can set clear expectations. Therefore, only tenants who agree to these terms are likely to apply.
Determine your price
Whether you use the platform or rent on your own, you will need to set a monthly room rate. Spend some time exploring what is available in your area and what others charge. Along with other garages that can be rented, check the cost of storage units.
Setting a competitive price is very important if you are going to provide a tenant. Compare the quality of your room with what is otherwise available in the area, and set a fair price.
List or sell your space
Once you handle all of the above, you can list or sell your space. If you use a platform, the listing process is usually simplified. Just be sure to read any rules regarding what may or may not be in the message as well as what is required in the list.
If you do it yourself, you can use any channels you choose. Social media can be a good place to start, as well as Craigslist ads or online newspapers.
Move to Rent
Once you find a tenant, you will need to take care of some laws. If you use a platform or program, it can manage the contract for you. If not, you will need to meet with the tenant to resolve this.
After concluding the agreement, you officially leased your garage. Determine when the tenant will move their belongings and start collecting payments.
Have you tried to earn extra money by renting out your garage? If so, what was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila MacDonald has worked as a financial advisor in the military for the past 13 years. She has taught personal finance classes on all topics, from credit to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. MacDonald is an accredited financial advisor to AFCPE and helps her clients achieve their short-term and long-term financial goals.