A storage unit on the outskirts of town can be expensive and come with complicated contracts. New platforms allow users to hire out their lofts, garages or sheds to people in the neighbourhood that need storage space.
Salt Lake City-based peer-to-peer platform Neighbor aims to ‘restore’ the self-storage industry. Hosts share details and images of their unused spaces on the website. People can then choose one based on the size and location that would be the most attractive for them. There’s no minimum or maximum amount of time that a host and renter must agree to. Also, Neighbor enables renters to search for hosts who they have mutual friends with on Facebook.
Stashbee, a British equivalent of Neighbor, is aimed at “people who are moving home, travelling a lot or just living somewhere that is too small for all their possessions.” The scheme may not be for everyone as both leaving personal belongings in a stranger’s house and accepting to rent out a private space requires a lot of trust. Nevertheless, both platforms assure that both sides are protected from damages by liability agreement.
Still, for the hosts, it can mean a regular income from their unused spaces. While for renters, a peer-to-peer storage platform can solve a lot of problems that they would have with regular storage units while being a cheap and quick solution at the same time.