Country houses for sale

Renting out driveways

In some offices, hot desking used to be all the rage. I worked in one once. On my first day, I was shown to ‘my’ desk. After lunch, I found someone else there. Mid afternoon, I went to make a cuppa, and returned to find my latest berth usurped. My second day was my last. But, for all I know, the bosses still think I work there after all, they don’t know where to find me. Now, the principle of hot desking has been transplanted, but in a more friendly manner, to driveways. Many people are out during the day, and so have no use for their drive then, and car less property owners have no use at any time for theirs so why not put it to work earning money as a parking space?

‘You’re looking at between £450 a month for a secure concierge car park in Mayfair down to about £70 for a residential driveway in the Home Counties,’ says Verity Winsbury, founder of Park Let. The financial attraction is obvious, but another positive for those out all day is security a car outside suggests that someone is at home. Most of those seeking a regular place to park are commuters, so spaces most in demand are those in business areas of towns or near train stations. Andrew John is one such commuter.

‘The official station car park is tiny and always full by the time I arrive, so I used to park on the street. But I came back one night to find my tyres slashed, and another time to find an indicator light smashed. I now rent a space Monday to Friday on someone’s drive. Considering my repair bill both times, it’s probably money well spent to know that the car will still be in one piece when I come home.’ Others are looking for a permanent place to leave their car. Malcolm Doran, who is car less, rents out the underground car parking space allocated to his flat in Westbourne Park through Peasy, Parking Made Easy, at £35 a week to someone who lives a few streets away but has no parking at her property. Many of those who have signed up to Park Let were looking for somewhere in the country to keep a classic car, which they drive only rarely. Some are seeking a garage to rent as a general storage unit more cheaply than with a commercial storage company. Some simply need a space for a day or a few days, perhaps one near an airport or a sports event.

Those living near Ascot racecourse have long made money from renting out spaces in their drives one chap turns his lawned garden into a car park for the duration of Royal Ascot week and makes several thousand pounds from it. Many agencies have sprung up to serve this growing demand for parking spaces. It’s normally free for both potential landlords and tenants to sign up the agencies make their money from taking a percentage of the rental income, usually 12 to 15%. Exact locations aren’t advertised for security, only general ones. Some agencies merely put potential landlord and tenants in touch, and invoice for their share of the rent; others provide written contracts and collect the money themselves, which they then pay to the landlord, minus their commission.

Some flat leases state that residents cannot sub-let the parking spaces at the property, so leaseholders should check with landlords before renting out any space that comes with their flat. Cars are parked at their owner’s risk, just as they would be in any other car park, and the driver’s own third-party car insurance will cover any accidents or damage they may cause when on the landlord’s property. If the owner needs his driveway on a certain day for instance, for a delivery the accepted practice is that he will pay for the tenant’s car to be parked elsewhere. Peasy, Parking Made Easy: Park Let: 0870 162 4977;