If you do a little research in your area, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out you could be renting out your garage for additional income. Garage rentals are pretty well known to landlords, but if this is your first time doing this, or maybe you’re not a landlord and haven’t thought about renting out a piece of your real estate, you may be pleasantly surprised.
All over the world you’re finding rental storage places popping up everywhere. It’s become so popular there are now dedicated “reality shows” that walk through the lives of people who buy unclaimed storage lockers and sell the items that are left behind for profit. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look up a show called Storage Wars, which airs on A&E, and watch as these people go from storage locker to storage locker hoping to find hidden treasures left behind by former owners.
More and more people just need a place to put stuff and that’s why the popularity of these places has grown. I always talk about how we are a society of consumers and this is illustrated by the amount of storage needed more and more each and every year. That stuff needs to go somewhere and a nearby garage may be the solution. At least we here at STOW IT think so!
People will pay for convenience and if you have am empty garage they can rent that is just around the corner or even the next neighborhood over, it’s far more convenient than tracking down one of these storage places that may not be as handy. Additionally, people also have hobbies.
Woodworkers have drills, presses, lathes, saws and more. Mechanics and weekend mechanics have tools and compressors and vehicles and parts and they too need places to leave them.
Small business owners like plumbers, landscaping companies, and movers all need to store supplies somewhere, and retail space is crazy expensive while commercial space requires huge commitments and also huge expenses.
What I’m getting at is more people than you might think would be happy to pay rent for an extra garage spot to protect their classic car, put their trailer, RV, or boat outdoors, or store some of their toys for the winter. Remember that ust with the low end parking space only, is still an additional $300 income a year that you didn’t have before, and with the big garage at $250 per month that ends up being over $3,000 in additional income every year!
Is It Legal?
What I see working with storage is that most people are allowed to store whatever they choose in garages and they rarely run into any issues. However, this is something I would strongly encourage you to look into before deciding to rent out your garage.
Just because you can rent out a garage in Windsor, CO, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s legal in the suburbs of Denver. So I would recomend doing your homework. The easiest way to start with that is to check local ads like Craigslist and Facebook to see if anyone in the area is renting out their garage. Also, I strongly recommend you talk to your HOA or your landlord as these will be two big influences on deciding whether or not you’ll be able to rent out your garage.
If you find other people renting out their garages, it’s a good sign, but your work isn’t done yet. If you don’t see anyone listing their garages it may not mean it’s not possible, it may just not be common practice.
What you really want to learn as you do your research is what laws cover the renting of a garage or storage space. They typically fall outside the jurisdiction of Landlord and Tenant laws, but you need to verify that. Sometimes, renting a garage is the equivalent of renting a warehouse space and the rules are very much in my favor when it comes to payment issues or other problems.
Determining the full legality of it may require you contacting a lawyer who understands local Real Estate law to get the real answers and access to proper leases allowing you to rent your garage out safely and legally.
Some useful landlord advice
After a while, to run your landlord business you start finding your garage starts to fill up with parts and pieces that are needed (or not) to run your properties.
From fire alarms to furnace filters, they all start taking up a ton of space. At a certain point that space may start compromising the space you have for storage at home. A solution to this would be just renting one of the spaces for yourself! I would suggest checking in with your CPA to see what you can and cannot get away with in your area as this may be a free rental or a possible tax deduction.
I know landlords who personally have a two car heated garage at one of their rental properties that is filled with all sorts of things acuumulated over the years. It’s also used to store extra items like dishwashers, refrigerators, renovation materials, and anything else that is an eyesore at your home.
Below I included a step by step guide to renting out your garage and a few tips to be sucesful in doing so.
What you’ll need to rent out your garage:
- Clean, well-organized garage
- Permission from your landlord (if applicable) to rent out your garage or storage space
- Banking info so you can get paid
Renting Out Your Garage on STOW IT
Why use STOW IT?
- Guaranteed automated payments
- $3,000 host guarantee
- STOW IT takes care of paperwork, tracking down late payments, and eviction notices
Step by step guide
Prepare the Garage
Take an afternoon and clean the garage inside and out. If possible, do some necessary purging to get rid of some not so needed items. Remove anything else and store it in the attic, basement or shed of your house. Confirm the garage door opener functions properly and the door opens smoothly. You want to have a clean, organized garage to make a good impression on a potential renter. It may make the difference of 10-20% of the agreed price- that alone could be enough to cover your host fees.
Determine the Monthly Rent
How much can you get for you garage?
The amount you can charge for garage space can vary depending on many factors ranging from size to floor type to being climate controlled as well as having 24/7 access.
We here at STOW IT have seen single car dirt floor garages go for as little as $80 per month and we have multiple two car garages that are climate controlled that have been able to get $250 or more per month. Very basic storage such as dirt or concrete parking pads (no roof or any structure, just the parking space) just for someone to store a vehicle, RV, or trailer have even gone for $50-$90 a month.
There is no guarantee you will see these same rates in your area, they could be lower, but they could also be higher and obviously there is a chance it may not even be done in your area, but if you could do it, why not just make a “few” extra dollars for doing nothing?!
If you’re already a STOW IT host, a great idea to see what other indoor and outdoor storage spaces are going for in your area is just typing in your city into the STOW IT search bar at the top of the page, and you will be able to see what the going rate is in your area, and what price you could charge to have an edge on the competition. Large city garage spaces may rent for $150 per month and up, whereas suburban spots may rent for $50-100 per month.
Like every property rental decision, it is all about “location, location, location”. When deciding what rent to charge, don’t be greedy. If you offer a good, fair asking price for your garage space, you are more likely to find a trustworthy renter quickly.
List your garage for rent on STOW IT and make sure your listing describes the garage space, location, price and any additional facilities offered including electricity, lighting, etc.
Don’t Be Afraid to Show the Garage
When you receive an enquiry about your garage or parking space for rent, answer their question truthfully and as fully as possible. If people make an effort to come and look at the space, it is likely that they will rent it and have accepted in their mind that they will pay the rent you are asking.
Close the Deal
It is likely that the renter will try and negotiate the price. Be prepared to explain how you came up with your price and if they still want a discount, you should be prepared to give them $5-10 off per month. Otherwise, offer to give a 10-15% discount if they pay for a whole year up front. Once you have agreed on the pricing and the contract length, make sure the booking is completed online and then coordinate a good move in time that works for you and the renter. If you would like to receive a deposit, make sure that you collect it before handing over any keys or electronic opening devices.
Terms and Conditions
STOW IT offers its hosts detailed terms and conditions for both them and the renter. We store your information on our secure site as well as keeping everything in writing, it’s basically old school meets new school for storage. Agreeing to STOW IT’s terms and conditions is essentially a signed contract that is necessary for legal and peace of mind reasons.
Finish the details
STOW IT helps with getting banking details setup so you can get paid on time every month. All that is then needed from you is to explain how the garage opener works, tell them the gate/keypad code, and any rules/regulations/requests that are applicable.