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Your spare room could be a goldmine

Your spare room was once a place you stored all your obsolete stuff. But with swelling commodity prices fuelled by spiralling inflation, erratic house rents and stagnant salaries ─ you need to look inward for solution.

Demand for holiday accommodation is at all time high, as more people travel across the world but want to do so affordably. The global hotel industry revenue was project to apex Sh60 trillion ($550 billion) last year.

The industry revenue was worth Sh50 trillion ($457 billion in 2011, which indicated an increase in revenue by almost Sh10 trillion ($100 billion) into 2016. PD Wikendi sought to enlighten you on how to convert your spare room into a goldmine.

Spare rooms have been a hoarder’s paradise full of dusty paperbacks, old shoes, furniture and an untidy pile of unwanted birthday presents, but, globally it is undergoing a rebirth.

More people are willing to rent your spare room for a couple of days for a relatively good price. So why not rent out that extra room for some cash.

Sign up to Airbnb

Airbnb is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, home-stays, hostel beds or hotel rooms.

Founded in 2007 as a kitchen table start-up, Airbnb is the global internet phenomenon that enables “hosts” to upload pictures of their guest rooms, set a price and wait for the bookings to come in.

According to the Telegraph, the website now features two million homes in 190 countries including Kenya with people in Mombasa utilising it more.

Prices can range anywhere from Sh2,000 to Sh6,000 or more depending on what comes with the package. According to Anna Kauppi, a frequent Swedish tourist to Kenya, who often uses the facility, it is the best way to travel.

“It gives you the ambiance of a home and is relatively affordable compared to conventional hotels,” she told PD Wikendi.

According to On-the-market web, the key to harmony depends on the tenant fitting in with their landlord’s lifestyle. This provided that lodgers and landlords establish ground rules from the start.

It can be a mutually beneficial relationship. Renting your house ensures the landlord has an extra source of income and the lodger gets a roof over his or her head.

What’s more, there’s no shortage of demand. But if the idea of having a stranger living in your home long term doesn’t appeal to you, consider letting out your spare room to tourists, advises the website.

You can charge more for short-term lets and only rent out the room as and when it suits you. is also another website where you can advertise your spare room to tourists around the world, specify who can stay and set the price.

If you don’t have a spare room you could rent your whole place out while you are on holiday and recoup the cost of your own trip. Renting out a room does not have to be a difficult affair either.

If you live in a suitable spot you could get yourself a commuting lodger who only wants the room on week nights through a website such as That way you get extra cash in your pocket but also have your house to yourself during weekends.

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