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New Brighton website allows you to rent out your cupboard
Empty garages, sheds and cupboards across Brighton and Hove could soon be stuffed full of strangers’ belongings.
A new service launched in Brighton this week allows people to rent storage space from their neighbours.
According to Shaff Prabatani, the founder of www.storemates.co.uk, people could earn up to £80 a month for renting out half an attic.
Users of the community project are also being encouraged to trade space for other services, such as gardening, dog walking or babysitting.
Neighbours using the service will have to sign legal contracts similar to a tenancy agreement to protect the property.
Community worker Mr Prabatani came up with the idea after running out of living space when his girlfriend moved into his tiny Brighton flat.
As they were planning to start a family, the couple decided to upgrade to a house and needed time to save for a deposit.
In the meantime, they needed additional storage space for their camping equipment and winter clothes.
Put off by expensive commercial self-storage prices, Mr Prabatani dropped home-made flyers through the letterboxes of all his neighbours asking if they had any room to store his extra items in return for a fee.
He said: “I was amazed. Fifteen people contacted me offering to store my stuff in their lofts, garages, spare rooms, even under their bed.
“This was the first time I had contact with my neighbours, who were all wonderfully helpful. Eventually I stored my belongings in a neighbour’s garage for less than half the monthly price of the cheapest local self-storage centre.”
Lucy Pook, a nutritional therapist from Brighton, was one of the first people to list space on Storemates in the city.
She said: “When I first heard of Storemates, I thought this was a really good way of helping someone out locally while being able to earn a little extra for my holiday fund.
“The service seemed really friendly and safe and I like the idea of being able to support someone in my local community who is struggling with space.”