A company in the United Kingdom is helping residents rent portions of their homes to those looking for storage. Registered users of Storemates.co.uk can list available space in their homes or search for storage for free. No percentage of the rental income is taken. Storemates.co.uk requires a one-time arrangement fee, equivalent to the first two weeks of rent. Those looking for space can do so for free by registering on the site. Homeowners can rent out extra space in a loft, garage, spare room, attic, shed or another area of the home.
The service is part of a movement being called “collaborative consumption,” in which community members pool their resources for mutual benefit. “Many people, especially those who live in flats, have items which they only need occasionally, cluttering up their living space. With self-storage units being so expensive, Storemates.co.uk offers a simple solution that’s cheap, convenient and completely carbon neutral,” said Ben Rogers, Storemates co-founder and a former environmental campaigner.
Rogers acknowledges that not all people would feel comfortable at first storing their belongings at a stranger’s house due to security concerns. But Storemates has built a range of safety measures into its service to create trust and confidence between renters and storage providers. “Storemates' users can review and read about each other through the secure site. They have to follow strict safety guidelines and a code of conduct, plus we provide a detailed legal contract, similar to a tenancy agreement for both parties to sign once they are ready to enter into a storage arrangement,” he said.