Get your possessions earning their keep

Got loads of stuff gathering dust around your house? Rent it out and earn some cash!

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Classical Guitar

You can add a few hundred pounds to your annual income by renting out things that you own.

From sewing machines to pushchairs, loft room to your car, you'll be surprised at the range of products and even spaces people will be willing to hire from you.

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Markets for stuff

You might wonder who would want to borrow your random possessions, such as that old electric guitar from your student days or your electric hedge trimmer that gets a once a year airing.

Amazingly there are hundreds of people out there that would rather pay a few pounds to borrow your guitar for a one-off jam session than buy one; or your travel cot for the few hours that they are looking after their sister's baby; or to give their hedge its annual trim.

Ecomodo bills itself as 'the marketplace of good returns' and it enables people to lend and borrow various everyday objects. It's free to join and you set the rate you want to loan your things out at, whilst it takes a cut of all transactions. You can even decide to do a good turn and donate the fee to charity or not charge at all and it offers the option of insurance to protect your possessions whilst they are in someone else's hands.

Markets for space

There are people after borrowing bits of your space too.

If you have oodles of empty storage space in your home, perhaps a half empty loft, shed, garage or spare room let someone else fill it with their junk. Storemates brings together people looking for affordable storage with homeowners with space going spare. You set the price and they take a commission from your earnings, they also endeavour to ensure that everything that you store for others is safe and legal.

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Become a car park

If you live near a popular tourist attraction, train station or in an area where parking is restrictive you can compete with the local carpark by renting out your garage space or driveway, via sites such as Just Park, Parklet and Park on my Drive. They are normally free to list on, but they take a cut of your earnings so shop around to find the best deal.

Check with your insurance, however, to check whether this affects your cover. Renters are unlikely to have the right to sublet a parking space either.

Give the roof a raise

You can even rent out your roof for solar panels, providing it faces the right direction that is and that the schemes are available in your area.

Solar panel companies install the panels on your roof and reputable ones will insure and maintain them too. In return, you get to use the electricity they generate for free, and the companies generally make their money by selling any electricity you don't use back to the National Grid and by keeping the feed-in tariff, which is money paid by the government for electricity generated from renewable or low carbon sources.

There are cowboys out there, however, make sure that the solar installation company you go to is a member of the Micro Generation Certification scheme. For more on this go to The Energy Saving Trust.

Hire out your own car

We all know that cars run best when they are used regularly, and if yours spends most of the week sitting in front of your house whilst you bus it in to work, you could have someone else pay to exercise it for you.

The Easy Car Club allows you to rent out your own car or van to vetted drivers and it covers them with comprehensive insurance and RAC cover whilst they are driving your vehicle. You specify when your wheels are available for hire and Easy Car Club will advice on a fair market rate, it then takes a 10% commission on all sales.

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