Renting out your outdoor buildings— what you need to know before opening the doors

It’s no secret that everyone is looking for a way to bring a little more money in. If you’re lucky enough to have the space outside your home, you may already have an outdoor building such as a log cabin or summer house. They make for fantastic spots to get away from the hustle and bustle of home life without having to wander too far. But you could get even more use out of your outbuildings through renting the space, whether is short or long term.

Before you go typing up a listing online, however, you need to be aware of the ins and outs of renting your log cabin or summer house.

Can I rent out my log cabin or summer house?

If you’re looking to rent out a log cabin in your garden, the change of use would require planning permission to be sought. This is because your outdoor building will need to be suitable for living in — you’ll needed a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, for example. But adding these to your log cabin or summer house changes it from ‘incidental’ to a self-containment in the eyes of the government. So, for that, you’d need planning permission.

Like a log cabin, if your summer house is to be used as a separate living space, it wouldn’t be a Class E building anymore. You’ll need planning permission if it is to house someone as sleeping accommodation, as well as ensure the building complies with The Building Regulations 2010 legislation.

The market for renting log cabins and summer houses

With the love of quirky accommodation on the rise, it’s certainly worth looking into advertising your garden buildings if they’re up to standard. According to one report, an outhouse refurbished for £10,000 rents for £3,200 a month, bringing some serious money in for its owner. But again, the main advice worth following is i to check the need for planning permission due to change of use — whether you’re renting a log cabin, summer house, or caravan on your land.

Also, with the market on the rise, it’s vital that you stand out from the crowd. It’s not enough to just offer your cabin if you’re looking beyond the occasional renter. If you want to keep a steady flow of bookings at your space, make sure there’s an experience to be had — wellness and getting back in touch with nature are popular tropes in the holiday industry, so weave a little romance into a prospective booking with a few outdoor-perks, such as hammocks or firepits.

Check with your council and your insurance company

Whether you decide to opt for short or long term lets, it is advised that you check with your local council regarding permissions needed. You’ll also want to check with your bank or insurer regarding renting out your outbuilding, as a number of things will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Renting out your log cabin or summer house could be a fantastic way to make a little extra money, especially over the summer. Be sure to check all the permissions and insurance requirements before you get started though!



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