Listing and Renting out your Spare Storage Space is a simple process, but there are a number of different aspects to renting out your space that you should consider. This section provides a number of checklists to help guide you through the entire process, and to ensure that you get the maximum benefit out of your Space for Rent Listing with a miniuml of effort.
Click on individual Headings to open or close the guidelines for that phase of the SpaceOwner Lifecycle.
1 - Preparing Your Storage Space
The very first step is for you to determine the suitability of your “space” to be rented out. The following checklist presents a number of questions that you should consider :
- Can you really spare the space? Try not to be lured by the prospect of making some extra income, if it is going to impact on you or your family's day to day lifestyle. Squeezing all your stuff into 2 rooms to free up space in one room that you can rent out may not be a great idea for you.
- Is the space empty?
Most of us tend to use spare space that we have to store our own stuff, but can you be smarter about how you store your own gear? You may find the rearranging your own items, and even possibly selling some of them (and making even more extra income) will allow you to make room for an area that you can rent out.
- Is the space clean, dry and pest free ?
You may have trouble renting out a space that is dirty, damp or overrun by vermin. These conditions may also cause damage to stored items, and create unwanted problems between you and the space renter.
- Can the space be secured?
Whilst you may be able to rent out a space that is not locked up (to someone with relatively low value items that they just want to store and are not too bothered about the security), most SpaceSeekers will want an area that can be locked up. They may also be willing to pay extra for a secure space, so if you are able to make the space more safe and secure, you are likely to get a higher rent.
Note: Even if the space itself cannot be locked (if it is a part of a room in your house for example), you may be able to secure the goods stored there – e.g. by wrapping in a tarp and securing with a cable lock.
- What is the availability of the space?
If your space is only temporarily available, you still may be able to rent it out for a shorter period. Some seekers will be looking for an ideal short term rental.
2 - Listing your Space
Listing your space with SpaceOut is fast and easy, and to maximize your chance of securing a suitable SpaceSeeker, we offer you a few tips to make the most of your Storage Space Listing, and improve your chances for renting out your space fast :
- Write down a brief description of your space to use in your listing – this should be simple, accurate, honest, and provide seekers with a good understanding of the space you have to offer.
- Consider your available space and how to present it in the best possible way for SpaceSeekers. When describing your space – don’t tell any lies of course, but try and think like a SpaceSeeker; what are the features of your space that would appeal to a SpaceSeeker?
- Use our Space Search to see what other spaces are being offered in your listing area – you may be competing directly with other SpaceOwnrs. Are you able (and willing) to match or beat their conditions and prices?
- Think about what extras you could offer or how you can describe your space to make it stand out from other spaces in your area.
- Decide what type of access you are willing to offer to SpaceSeekers.
- Check with your insurer – are you able to offer insurance under your existing home and comntents policy ? Read more about self storage insurance.
- Measure your space – as a part of the listing process you will need to provide the dimensions of you space (in metres). And do actually measure it ... don't just guess!
Depth : ________
Height : ________
- Determine a price that you are prepared to rent the space out for. Be realistic – setting the price too high may mean that you won't rent your space at all, and setting it too low may mean it is not really worth your while. See SpaceOut Price Guidelines for more information on setting the right price for your space.
Weekly : $_______
Annual : $_______
- Decide the minimum rental period you are prepared to rent for - weeks, months or even years
- Are there any periods when the space will not be available? If so take note of the start and end dates when the space will be available.
3 - Initial Contact
Your initial contact with your chosen SpaceSeeker(s) will be to get a ‘feel' for them and their storage needs. In most cases, the SpaceSeeker will contact you via our SpaceOut messaging system – you and they will be anonymous until you (the SpaceOwner) agree to exchange contact details. The SpaceSeeker will have an understanding of what you are offering (as described in your listing) and may also provide you with an outline of what they are looking for.
You will then have an option to ask them (via the message system) more about their requirements, or you can agree to exchange contact details. We suggest that initially this is just your email address and/or phone number so you can discuss their needs in more detail – and that you only provide your address when you are both happy that you have a good match.
We recommended that you:
- Be friendly, yet professional
- Keep in mind you are providing a service to a ‘customer'
- Try to make the SpaceSeeker feel at ease and comfortable renting your space
- If you think that you can not help the SpaceSeeker, be polite in rejecting their contact request.
4 - Face to Face
Meeting the Seeker - Meeting your potential or chosen SpaceSeeker is usually exciting, because it marks the start of a mutually beneficial agreement. Before meeting a SpaceSeeker, though, we recommended that you:
- Review the SpaceSeeker's storage needs and ensure that you can meet them at the planned time and place (usually your place).
- As the seeker will (most probably) be coming to your home/business to check out the space, be as careful as you normally would with any stranger coming to your home/business, and try to have a friend/neighbour present if you'd feel more comfortable.
- Show the Seeker the space and ask them more about the items they plan to store and the situation around their need for storage space
- You should find out :
- What they wish to store
- When they want to store
- How Long they wish to Store
- Is it likely ( or possible) that this term, could be extended
- Have they considered Insurance?
- Try to get a ‘feel’ for the SpaceSeeker, their needs and their profile in person
- Decide whether you trust and/or feel confident with the Seeker - if you are uneasy or unsure, you should probably not rent out the space to them.
- Keep in mind a ‘win-win’ solution for both yourself and the SpaceSeeker at all times.
5 -The Space Rental Agreement
Negotiating and finalising the agreement - Entering into any agreement is in effect a legal contract and some important things should be considered before signing the Storage Space Agreement and storing someone's items:
- Make sure you have read, understood and are happy with all aspects of the agreement (seek legal advice if necessary).
- When you agree on and sign the rental agreement, it is a legal agreement and the terms and conditions agreed upon by you and the SpaceSeeker need to be adhered to.
- Remember to keep things simple and easy for both yourself and the SpaceSeeker - keeping in mind a 'win-win' situation for all - making sure both of you are completely satisfied with the agreement and storage conditions.
- Review payment options and ensure that you are both very clear on payment amount and conditions.
- Once an agreement has been made, update your Space Listing to show that it is no longer available – this will stop your Ad from being displayed on SpaceOut searches, and prevent you from being bothered by extra enquiries.
We have more information about a Space Rental Agreement, and provide a sample Rental Agreement that you can use as the basis of your agreement with the SpaceSeeker.
6 - Moving Day
The day the SpaceSeeker moves their stuff to your storage space should be smooth and easy if you are both prepared well and all the recommended and agreed conditions are in place. We suggest that you:
- Ensure that the initial payment (or deposit) has been paid and any other pre-rental conditions have been met
- Be fully prepared by having the storage space clean, ready and accessible.
- Agree on a time (or time period) with the SpaceSeeker.
- Are ready and present on time at the storage space to meet the SpaceSeeker.
- Keep things simple, easy and stress-free, as moving and storing stuff may be stressful for the SpaceSeeker.
- Check that the SpaceSeeker has packed their stuff correctly – if not, suggest that they finalise any packing as soon as possible before storing their stuff with you.
- Be prepared for wet weather – will it impact on the ability of the SpaceSeeker to load their items into your space? You may want to place floor coverings or plastic down on any areas that the space renter will need to walk on..
- You may wish to move some of your furniture, or place some protective coverings on the walls or floor, to make it easier to access the space, and reduce the risk of damage.
- Once all items have been stored, ensure that the space is appropriately secured and you have each other's contact details. See the Space Rental Agreement.
7 - during the storage period
Once the space rental agreement is agreed upon and signed, and the SpaceSeeker’s stuff is stored safely and securely, the storage period should be smooth and without incident. To ensure this we suggest that you:
- Have the SpaceSeeker’s full contact details easily accessible at all times.
- Provide the SpaceSeeker with your full contact details.
- Make sure all contact details are current and up to date.
- Ensure that both you and the SpaceSeeker have a nominated and reliable 'contact person' and their full contact details should one or both of you be non-contactable for any period of time, eg. on holidays, business, sick, etc.
- Ensure that the SpaceSeeker's stuff remains stored as agreed upon - safe and secure.
- Request that the SpaceSeeker give you agreed notice before accessing their stored stuff, should they wish access during the agreed storage period.
- Ensure that any agreed regular payments are being made. If a payment has not been made, we suggest that you contact the SpaceSeeker as soon as possible.
- Report any incidents, changes of contract or storage conditions to the SpaceSeeker immediately.
8 - agreement term draws near
As the agreed completion date for your storage agreement draws near, we recommend being prepared by following a few simple steps to ensure a smooth exit process:
- Mark on your calendar or in your diary a date about 2 weeks before the agreement end date to contact the SpaceSeeker about their storage and to arrange an exit plan.
- Review the Self Storage Agreement and make sure all agreed conditions are still OK.
- Confirm with the SpaceSeeker the agreement conditions, exit date and plan, and ensure that their stuff is ready to exit.
- If the Seeker wishes to extend the period, make any necessary arrangements and confirm the revised end date.
- Schedule a time for the Seeker to pick up their stuff and finalise the agreement.
- Negotiate with the Seeker immediately if there were any changes to the Rental Agreement.
- Decide whether you wish to renew your SpaceOut membership and relist your space. If you do wish to rent out the space again, we suggest listing it at least 2 weeks prior to it being available – to give you time to arrange for a new Seeker, and minimise any time that the space is empty.
9 - moving out
At the completion of the Space Rental Agreement we recommend being prepared by following a few simple steps to ensure a smooth exit process:
- Arrange a suitable time for the Seeker to move out all their stuff.
- Once the space is empty, check that it is clean, and that there is no damage to the space. e.g. floor or walls.
- Once the SpaceSeeker has vacated the space, you may want to clean and/or re-arrange the space again, ready for your next SpaceSeeker.
10 - Re-listing your space
We recommend that you consider re-listing your space a couple of weeks before the existing rental agreement is due to expire – or as soon as you know when the existing SpaceSeeker will be moving out. You can pre-list your space, and identify when your space will become avialable. Here are some activities that you should do as part of the re-listing process :
- Review your existing listing – does it still accurately reflect the space you have to offer? Is the price still appropriate (you may like to increase or reduce it)?
- Review what other listings are currently available in your area.
- What questions did your last SpaceSeeker have about the space – you could consider including new or different information about these in your new listing?
- When you are ready – activate the listing – this will start your add being displayed in the SpaceOut Search Results (if your Listing has expired you will need to renew this).