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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Website aims to let out homes as workspaces without agent involvement

A new online offering wants to allow people to let out what it calls ‘dead space’ - in other words, the rooms in their houses and apartments which are empty during the day when the owners are not at home.

The site, called Vrumi, says it currently has a large dining room available in an unspecified location at £75 per day (which makes it £375 per week or over £1,500 per month - enough to pay for a substantial privately let property in many areas).

Such space, it claims, is ideal for start-ups or casual business users such as therapists. 

The site has been founded by a former hedge fund manager and a former publisher.

  • Barry X

    an interesting idea.....

    If tenants in rented accommodation participate in Vrumi's scheme then they will generally be in double-breach (at least) of their tenancy agreements (a) for subletting, sharing or parting with.... and (b) for allowing business use.

    If owner-occupiers, i.e. not tenants, opt to participate then potentially they could lose some, or all, of their valuable PPR relief from CGT if HMRC ever somehow finds out (which admittedly isn't that likely).

    Whether tenants or owner occupiers I'd imagine HMRC might want to know what's going on if they don't declare the income and pay tax on it.

    Presumably HMRC would at some point take an interest, investigate, and demand access to Vrumi's records and details of past and present clients / users of their scheme.

    I see other problems too, e.g. invalidating insurance and much else besides.

    It's an interesting scheme, and I wish them luck, but I hope none of our tenants chance giving it a go!

  • icon

    Barry, this is Roddy Campbell the founder of Vrumi, and as you'd expect we've tried to tackle all of the points you raise above (and more).

    Would you be up for a chat about it? I'm always interested in talking through upsides and downsides, and we get asked these very questions by our hosts and try and point them in the direction of sensible advice, because there are few things more important than tenancy agreements, insurance and HMRC.

    As part of Sharing Economy UK (our trade body) we are also in regular contact with the Treasury and HMRC, who have working parties on how to handle and capture the sharing economy in general, and property in particular as by far the largest sharing sector, eg Airbnb.

    Getting an experienced agent's view would be good.

    Our number is 020 3773 5818, or email me at roddy@vrumi.com.

    Thanks!

    Roddy Campbell

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