If the space is, or could be, suitable for someone to live in, you can consider renting it out to a long-term tenant. The advantages of this arrangement include a regular income, some potential company and an additional sense of security if you currently live alone.
Finding the perfect tenant is a must, because this is someone who will be a regular presence around your property. You’ll also need to make sure you get professional advice to comply with housing regulations and other legal obligations that apply to landlords.
The sharing economy has produced new short-term renting opportunities such as AirBnB, which allows people to rent out their homes to holidaymakers, in part or in full. If your home is particularly attractive or well placed for popular visitor attractions, you might consider making it available for very short-term lets.
Self-contained accommodation, even if it’s quite compact, is particularly desirable, so this could be a good option if you have a pool house or outbuilding that could be converted into a holiday rental. You could even consider moving into your pool house yourself every few weeks and allowing your main house to be rented, earning you a larger sum for each visit.
Somewhere in between the long-term let and the short-term let, you may be able to rent out part of your home to working visitors, for example professionals on short-term secondments or even actors performing in fixed-run theatre shows.
These kinds of opportunities can be advertised in industry-specific publications and on specialist websites. You can also directly contact local performing arts organisations (for example) to find out how to reach potential tenants.
Just because you don't need your extra storage space, it doesn't mean someone else won't pay for it. If you have a secure space you don't need access to, for example a basement or outbuilding, you might be able to charge people to store their excess or valuable items there – even their car, if you have spare space in a multi-car garage.
Office space can be at just as much of a premium as living space, so you could rent out some of your home for professional purposes too. This could be of particular interest to artists and other people in more speculative work who may not be able to afford a commercial workspace. Your garage might make a wonderful photography studio, or your basement a self-contained office.
By looking at your home with fresh eyes, you might be able to spot the huge value your extra space could have for someone else. You can find out more about the markets where you are, and how to capitalise on them, by following our property insights pages.