Privately renting out your driveway is a great way to earn a bit of extra cash, but up until now some local councils have required homeowners to seek planning permission before pressing ahead. Fortunately the government has removed any such obstacles, with local government secretary Eric Pickles claiming he’ll clamp down on councils that try to dip their hands in property owners’ pockets.
The clarification comes after some councils were found forcing households to pay £385 to apply for planning permission because they deemed the rental of a parking space a “charge of use”, with a hefty £20,000 fine threatened for those who didn’t.
“Councils should be welcoming common sense ways that help hard-working people park easier and cheaply and for families to make some spare cash,” Mr Pickles said in a statement. “Councils shouldn’t be interfering in an honest activity that causes no harm to others, unless there are serious concerns. Parking charges and fines are not a cash cow for town halls.
“This government is standing up against the town hall parking bullies and over-zealous parking enforcement,” he added.
Back in August 2012 the Government said it was okay for homeowners to rent out a single space ─ providing it’s not a nuisance to neighbours. However, it seems a few councils were keen to up their parking revenues because these councils were, to quote ParkatmyHouse founder Anthony Eskinazi, “taking the law and interpreting it in a way which isn’t particularly consumer-friendly”.
“What Eric Pickles has done today is clarify the situation, saying this is not what councils should be doing, you shouldn’t be legislating against these property owners for just trying to earn a bit of extra income,” Mr Eskinazi told the Telegraph.
Although driveway and parking space rental has been going on for a number of years, homeowners have always been a little unsure whether doing so would get them into trouble. Now, at least, it seems you can do so ─ providing you don’t turn your home into an NCP car park, of course.
How much can you charge is up to you and largely dependent on your location. An inner-city parking space or one next door to a major transport network such as Heathrow Airport, for example, will likely allow you to charge more than a space in some relatively unknown village. Websites like ParkatmyHouse.com will give you a rough indication of how much money you can expect to make.
It’s not all plain sailing, however. You’ll need to declare the earnings made from your driveway rental by calling the council or by adding the figure in your tax return.