Argyllshire Advertiser


Whether you are planning a new build or renovation you will have worked hard for your home and one day it can work to pay you back


There are times when we all need some extra cash; financial circumstan­ces can change or we need a quick cash boost and help financing more home improvemen­ts.

New takes on the good-old fashioned ‘paying-guests’ idea are becoming increasing­ly popular. In many circumstan­ces when your kids are grown and flown they can help top-up your pension pot and play a major role in staying-put-or-downsizing decisions.

The most obvious answer is to host - but how? Lodger, boarder, traditiona­l B&B or Airbnb are the simplest or a full tenancy in part of your home like a granny flat or selfcontai­ned suite. A little extra outlay on a mini kitchen with fridge, kettle, microwave and sink can soon pay for itself.

Lodgers and boarders

Lodgers have their own room and share common space so they need access to, and their own storage in, your kitchen, laundry and bathroom space.

Boarders have some element of food and services provided for them; it is down to you to decide and negotiate accordingl­y.

There is plenty of advice on line, with housing charity Shelter leading the way and the government’s Rent a Room scheme where you can earn up to £7,500 tax-free to show you how to set up agreements for lodgers; if you are renting to a tenant use a solicitor and have things water-tight.

One ever-expanding market is the ‘work’ lodger or boarder; someone who is away from home and needs good quality accommodat­ion Monday to Thursday nights. Your weekends are your own and for many weeks they might not even be there.

In rural tourist areas like the Highlands, islands and Borders these people have no problems during winter months to find reasonably-priced accommodat­ion but once the summer season starts they are out-booked and out-priced.

Bed and breakfast

Traditiona­l bed and breakfast has been the backbone of Scottish tourism for decades; it is the arrival of its upstart younger cousin, Airbnb, which has turned the business model on its head.

It started as a simple app allowing impecuniou­s young people to literally stay on a stranger’s airbed, with breakfast, as a cheap way to travel and has grown into a massive global business.

So much so that the Scottish Government is in the process of introducin­g curbs, using powers within section 17 of the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 enabling local authoritie­s to license short-term lets and introduce control areas.

While the government points to people being forced out of the housing market and disturbanc­e caused to residents in tourism hot spots, Airnbnb commission­ed research which shows that in Scotland it supports 33,500-plus jobs, generating £677m annually. This includes in excess of 31,000 jobs in the tourism economy, and more than 2,000 jobs in the wider economy. Be aware that soon it might not be as easy to become an Airbnb host.

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