The government’s communities secretary has said he will crack down on what he called a “back-door parking tax” so that residents can rent out their parking spaces without the threat of hefty fines.
He’s quite right to take action. Renting out one parking space without planning permission is within your right, so long as it doesn’t cause nuisance to neighbours. And it can provide vital extra income to people who are struggling to make ends meet in these difficult economic times. According to parking website ParkatmyHouse.com, the average monthly driveway rent in London is £240, while the average cost across the rest of the UK is £130 a month.
As well as it helping people bring in a bit of extra income, renting out your driveway has other benefits. There can’t be many of us who haven’t cursed the fact it’s impossible to find a place to park in heavily congested areas – allowing motorists to rent people’s driveways will free up council spaces for the rest of us. It might also help bring a bit of much needed competition to the parking sector. After all, if there are alternatives to expensive public parking it might help drive down the cost of parking everywhere.
There are environmental advantages too. If more people can park more quickly, it will avoid endless circling and all the pollution it causes. So how do you get involved in letting out your space? There are several websites which link people looking to rent out their parking spaces with motorists looking for places to park their cars. Check the costs involved before picking one, though, as there’s often something to pay to get a listing or a commission on the deal itself.
For example, although it’s free to list your driveway on the website ParkatmyHouse.com, the site takes a 15% commission on lettings from the person who rents it. Usemyspace.com also enables you to rent out your parking space, and again the site is free to register on. It doesn’t charge commission on lettings. The weekday rental specialist site mondaytofriday.com has just launched its new service to allow users to rent out a spare parking space too. You pay £14.95 to advertise your space for 12 months.
The site suggests anyone renting out their driveway should have a written contract which has details about rents, as well as terms and conditions of use. It should also make clear that the landlord isn’t responsible for the car or anything left in it while it’s on their driveway. Before rushing to let out your space, however, remember that you must own it or be legally entitled to rent it out, so if you don’t own your property, you’ll have to get permission from your landlord first. It’s a good idea to let your neighbours know that you’re going to let your driveway out too – otherwise they might wonder what you’re up to when endless different cars are left parked outside your house!