Everything you should know about renting your home as a film set
It may not be the first thought that comes to mind, but you can make money by renting your home as a film set. Location scouts are looking for all kinds of properties and could pay you up to £2,500 a day to use your home.
As part of our spotlight on making money from your home, we are bringing you loads of great ways to make some cash from your humble abode. From renting out your driveway to making money from your shed, there are plenty of ways to earn a little extra.
Here’s a quick guide to renting out your home as a film set:
What does renting your home as a film set involve?
Sometimes film and TV productions want to use a real location instead of building a set. This might be because it is cheaper or they may simply be looking for a location that is more authentic. No matter where you live, whether it be a stately home or a grotty little bedsit (no offence if you live in one), there is always the potential for demand.
If your house is selected then you will have a film crew around your house for an agreed amount of time. It may just be for a day or it may be longer.
Renting your home for a photo shoot
There’s also the opportunity to have your house used in a photo shoot, which is less invasive and can earn you a few hundred pounds.
These types of photo shoots could take the form of anything from a fashion feature where your home/part of your home merely serves as a backdrop or even an interior design focus where your space is the main event.
While photo shoots do come standard with a lot of people and equipment, they typically only last a few hours and leave less of a trace than their moving picture counterparts.
Not surprisingly, you get less money for photo shoots than for filming, but it’s still decent cash just for allowing others into your space.
Is it for me?
Having your house appear in a film or TV show might sound like the perfect glamorous money maker. You can get paid a good amount and if you hang around during filming you could meet some interesting people – maybe even snare Hugh Grant as a husband! (Ok, maybe not…)
However, if your home is going to be used as a film set you’re going to need a laid-back attitude.
- Having a film crew of 30 to 40 people lugging around their equipment can be very intrusive and could even lead to breakages!
- Film crews should replace anything they damage, but if something is of sentimental value, rather remove it. Plus, you might discover something’s broken weeks after the film crew has left.
- If the crew has to be at your home for any length of time, you may have to move out for a while. This is obviously a real nuisance and completely impractical if you have a family.
- Also, consider whether you have enough parking nearby to cater for all the crew and whether your neighbours will be happy with the arrangement. Night shoots, for example, could be noisy at night, which might not impress the rest of the street.
Oh, and don’t forget that you will need to pay tax on any income you get from renting your home out this way. It’s like any other normal earner.
Quite rightly you are probably wondering if this will affect your insurance. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- For a start, you should iInsist that the film company leaves your property as they found it. In fact this is a standard stipulation in location contracts anyway but do just check before you sign. Some film-directors will paint entire rooms in your home a different colour and then back again in a day so be prepared for major changes, albeit temporary!
- Check that your insurers will cover you for any incidental damage to your property. The film company will have public liability insurance as standard so they will be able to pay for breakages but it’s good for your insurers to know what’s going on before you have to claim.
How to get started
To get started it’s best to sign up to an agency such as
You can register your property with these sites and they’ll help provide you work. To apply, you will need to provide photos to give a feel of your house.
You could also contact the BBC locations department or your local film commission directly to ask if they’d be interested in your home.
If you live in Scotland
You can get in contact with Location Scotland, a company that, among other things, scouts Scottish locations.
what locations managers are looking for
- Most filming is done in and around London, so the closer you are to the city, the more likely your property will be used.
- The more extraordinary or individual your home is the better chance you stand of getting picked if you are further from the city.
- Not all television programmes and films are made in London though, so don’t give up just because you’re not in London, for example BBC’s Doctor Who is filmed largely in Wales.
- All kinds of homes are sought for filming. Homes that have original period interiors might be very useful for a nostalgic series or a period film. You remember the grotty bedsit we were talking about earlier? (Sorry again!) Well that could be great for a gritty police drama.
- The key to your property’s success is that it must be a good example of the kind of property it is representing
how much can you make by renting your home as a film set?
- If you live in a fabulous stately home you could make a lot of money per day – up to £2,500 upwards for a film crew.
- For an average home, the fee is usually around £1,000 a day, although it would be less for a small place and more for a large home.
- The type of filming that is taking place will obviously govern the price. Filming for a Hollywood blockbuster is going to pay out more than a low budget film.
- In London, for example, documentary makers would pay around £500-750 per day.
- For photo shoots you could expect between £300-750 depending on your location and the size or quality of your home.
Don’t forget the potential costs.
- Although any damages should be covered, it is possible that you won’t discover something is broken until some time after the filming.
- Even more costly, if the filming lasts more than a day then you might have to factor in the cost of alternative accommodation.
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