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Renting your property out as a venue

Ever got interiors envy watching your favourite TV drama, or spied your dream wedding venue on Grand Designs? Real-life homes are used by television and film production crews regularly and getting your home on screen can pay big bucks for owners.

If you’re thinking of hiring your home out as a set or investing in a property that could double as an events space, there’s definitely a market for it.

But there are a few things you need to think about first:

How much could you earn?

Prices vary depending on the property and the client, but a good rule of thumb is £400 for an editorial photoshoot and up to £1,500 a day for filming. You might want to use a location agency to market your property, as location scouts are usually pretty clear on what they need and will use location agencies to source it. They will take a cut of the fee, but will do most of the legwork for you.

Prices vary depending on the property and the client, but a good rule of thumb is £400 for an editorial photoshoot and up to £1,500 a day for filming. You might want to use a location agency to market your property, as location scouts are usually pretty clear on what they need and will use location agencies to source it. They will take a cut of the fee, but will do most of the legwork for you.

Will anyone want to hire your property?

Films crews and event planners use all kinds of building so there are no set rules, though they will have a few basic requirements – the most important of which is probably parking.

Crews come with lots of kit, so need to be able to park nearby, and if you’re looking to hire out your space as a wedding or event venue, guests will need somewhere to park too. Your local council might object if you’re bringing too much traffic to your street on a regular basis, and your neighbours might have something to say about it too. So, think about access and what disruption it’s going to cause before you pick up the phone to a location agency.

If you’re looking at becoming a film or TV set, you need to think about what’s not on screen too. So consider whether you have room for actors to get changed, space for hair and make-up, and whether there's space to move furniture around to get the best shots.

Are you ready for the upheaval?

Inviting a film crew or wedding party into your property can be incredibly disruptive, though most of the time you probably won’t be around to experience it. If filming is over in a day, the crew will probably want you there to let them in and lock up, then out of the way while they work. For longer shoots, they may put you up in a hotel until the job’s done.

Are there any rules to follow?

If you want to hire your property out for weddings that include a civil ceremony, you’ll need to apply to your local authority for a licence, but you also need to think about issues like noise, parking and anti-social behaviour, as you could face fines and even prosecution if the council don’t approve of what you’re doing.

You’ll also need to think about insurance, plus your mortgage lenders rules on running your property as a business; personal mortgage lenders sometimes have clauses in their mortgage contracts that forbid this. If you breach their rules you can face a range of penalties, including having to pay back the full loan amount immediately, so make sure you speak to a specialist lender, and get expert advice on licensing and insurance so you don’t run into problems later.

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