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Make Your House Earn Its Keep

Did you realise that there is a lot you can do get an income from what is probably your most valuable asset? Not only is your property a great (long-term) investment, your home could also bring you an income while you are still living in it. Here are some ideas to make your property really earn its keep.

Does your property have a spare room? Firstly, in the UK did you realise that you can rent out a room in your house and not be liable for Income Tax on the rental income up to 4,250 per year? The scheme is called Rent a Room and applies to someone who lives as a lodger in your house. The lodger would be someone who shares your facilities and would have meals provided.

The scheme was set up by the government to help alleviate the huge shortage of affordable housing in the UK.

As well as advertising your room in your local newspaper or newsagent's window make sure that you ask around where you work and play! This scheme is particularly suited to people who live a long way from their place of work and only need rent somewhere to stay during the week. You would have a lodger that you knew and you would also get your weekends back for some privacy.

A fun way to make some money from your home is to hire it out as a film location. It does not need to be a mansion or stately home of the type seen in costume dramas. For example, the house of Harry Potter's cruel Aunt and Uncle used for the films is on an ordinary housing estate in Bracknell, Berkshire, UK, and trust me it doesn't get much less glamorous than that! Think of all the shots in TV shows that are filmed in ordinary streets - only long running soaps have their own sets built for constant use.

Recently we saw the staff of a local estate agent packing up their files and moving out. Thinking that the local housing market wasn't that bad, we asked what was going on. A film company has seen their shop front and decided it was perfect for a few scenes in the film they were making nearby!

The easiest way to get your home on TV is to register your home with an agency which specialises in finding properties for TV and films, most will add you to their database for free, only taking a fee where your property is actually used for filming. It may not be a regular form of income but you could have the cream of Hollywood sitting in your living room!

Copyright Jacqui O'Brien 2005

Jacqui O'Brien is the editor of, the directory of UK Private Seller property websites where you can also list your FSBO property for sale free.

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