Renate Stewart is one of a growing number of Aussie homeowners who are renting out their backyard, as interest rates and the cost of living soar.
Stewart decided to rent out the swimming pool and tennis court at her property in Sydney’s Earlwood last year after hearing about Swimply - an online rental marketplace - from a friend.
She has now made $2,300 through eight bookings on the platform, with all the extra money going towards paying off her mortgage.
While having strangers to your home might seem awkward, Stewart said she’d had no problems so far and said someone was always at home when guests were over.
“Everyone has been really nice, except one person who used the barbeque and burnt their food and used the fire extinguisher. But I’ve had no bad experiences,” Stewart told Yahoo Finance.
Stewart, whose main job is running a Bavarian food truck, said people usually booked her property for birthday parties, since her pool area also included a barbeque, fridge and speakers. Bookings have lasted between three and six hours.
“The last one had a DJ set-up and went really out there with a balloon person. It was awesome,” she said.
Aussies cashing in
American start-up Swimply relaunched swimming pools in Australia late last year and rolled out tennis courts last week. Tennis court bookings currently start from $18 per hour, but some homeowners are charging upwards of $60.
Stewart, for example, charges $55 per hour for tennis bookings and $80 per hour for pool bookings.
Swimply CEO Bunim Laskin said the cost and difficulty of finding tennis courts were a major barrier for many players.
"With our launch into tennis, we're thrilled to be able to provide Australians with an affordable and easy way to access these facilities, while also helping homeowners to monetise their underutilised assets,” Laskin said.