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    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 4:14 PM
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    muddlemand
    What to charge for the use of a workshop?
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 20, 4:14 PM
    What to charge for the use of a workshop? 14th Jan 20 at 4:14 PM
    A friend is about to set up selling models he makes - a business he has done in the past and is getting back to. He has asked if he can use a workshop I have - I think of it as the shed, but it has a workbench and is really a workshop or (he says) studio. It is bigger than a shed, probably big enough to garage a car, or nearly (but without that kind of door).

    I've said yes in theory, on condition that he does the setting up - it has lighting but needs heating, and a good clean-up / clear-out. All the one-off costs are his problem. but how much would be reasonable to charge, ongoing?

    I'd prefer to charge a set amount weekly or monthly, rather than keep track of the hours he's there. (He's only just made the suggestion today and we haven't got down to details like which days and so on.) I don't feel it's fair to charge as much as he'd pay for a commercial place. Or would it be fair to? I'm so used to thinking of it as a cluttered, cobwebby space where I never go, it's hard to decide how to approach this.
Page 2
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Jan 20, 5:52 PM
    • 12,501 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    If the building is the same size as a lock up garage, what do those go for locally and use this figure as a basis for negotiation
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 5:54 PM
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    muddlemand
    He's a mate, he's tidying it up, he's starting out in a new venture.

    I'd be inclined to let him have 3 months free, other than electric costs. Of after 3 months he decides it was all for nothing you have a mate and a tidy studio/ shed. If it works out then you can sit down and discuss a reasonable rate. It also gives you an opportunity to decide if it is something you want to continue with.

    Is he going to have access to your home to get to the shed? Does this shed have a toilet?
    Originally posted by silvercar
    I will sound him out more about how "maybe" the venture's success is likely to be, but from looking at what he used to do, it'll be a re-run of a business that was successful for years. But I'll get him to talk more about this.

    He was talking about claiming it as a business expense so he may even be keen to pay "properly", I'm not sure as i can't remember in detail how that all works with HMRC. (From my good-health days when i did things like this.)

    But i do like the idea of a period to see if it's going to take off, we'll talk that through.

    Access is without coming through the house, though he'd need to come in for the loo. Or he could pee in the field, no one round here would mind.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Jan 20, 5:55 PM
    • 27,610 Posts
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    AdrianC
    I don't think there's anything childish about asking a "friendly" group of people more experienced than me, what might be reasonable.
    Originally posted by muddlemand
    I think you might have misunderstood my suggestion...

    We know nothing of the relative finances of either of you, of the finances of his business or the credibility of his business plan, the going rates for workshop space for your area, or of the balance between social interaction and intrusion surrounding his use of your surplus space.

    Only the two of you can balance all those factors, and only the two of you can come up with any sort of sensible figure that will be mutually acceptable.

    In and of itself, how the negotiations go is probably a fairly good litmus test of the wisdom of the plan. If you can't come up with a mutually acceptable figure within the duration of time it takes to sup a pint or a cuppa, then this is unlikely to work out long-term...
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 5:57 PM
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    muddlemand
    Why don't you suggest that he pays you a percentage of the sales he makes?
    Originally posted by need an answer
    Well... that's probably less simple than a single number. I'd need to see his books etc to make that work. But it is another approach. Maybe if I ever own and want to rent out a bigger space.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 6:01 PM
    • 144 Posts
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    muddlemand
    If the building is the same size as a lock up garage, what do those go for locally and use this figure as a basis for negotiation
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    I'll look at that, good idea.
    • Skiddaw1
    • By Skiddaw1 14th Jan 20, 6:06 PM
    • 604 Posts
    • 947 Thanks
    Skiddaw1
    I think you might have misunderstood my suggestion...

    We know nothing of the relative finances of either of you, of the finances of his business or the credibility of his business plan, the going rates for workshop space for your area, or of the balance between social interaction and intrusion surrounding his use of your surplus space.

    Only the two of you can balance all those factors, and only the two of you can come up with any sort of sensible figure that will be mutually acceptable.

    In and of itself, how the negotiations go is probably a fairly good litmus test of the wisdom of the plan. If you can't come up with a mutually acceptable figure within the duration of time it takes to sup a pint or a cuppa, then this is unlikely to work out long-term...
    Originally posted by AdrianC

    I think Adrian makes some very wise and pertinent points and that sitting down with a pint/cuppa should be the starting point for negotiations. I'd see if your friend has a figure in mind and work around that.



    Hope it works out because it sounds like a potentially win-win situation for both of you.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 6:10 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    muddlemand
    I think you might have misunderstood my suggestion...

    We know nothing of the relative finances of either of you, of the finances of his business or the credibility of his business plan, the going rates for workshop space for your area, or of the balance between social interaction and intrusion surrounding his use of your surplus space.

    Only the two of you can balance all those factors, and only the two of you can come up with any sort of sensible figure that will be mutually acceptable.

    In and of itself, how the negotiations go is probably a fairly good litmus test of the wisdom of the plan. If you can't come up with a mutually acceptable figure within the duration of time it takes to sup a pint or a cuppa, then this is unlikely to work out long-term...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Fair enough. (I've said more now, about ouur relative finances and all those things, in my first reply.) The one thing I didn't know was roughly what this would cost "normally", on which to base my adapted asking price, so I came here for people's thoughts.

    I like that rule of thumb about working it out in the time it takes to have a cuppa, I'll remember that.

    The big thing is that I think he's far more experienced than I am both in business and in haggling, buying informally (Facebook and small ads etc), all that kind of thing. I don't want to be greedy or unfair but I also don't want to lose out by being naive. If I wasn't worried about money already, I wouldn't worry and would probably not even ask to cover the extra electricity costs, initially, as a favour, but I'm not free to be that nice.

    I have given him lifts for an amount for petrol, and even lent him my car once, and the amounts he suggested were exactly what I'd expect to pay in more formal arrangements (volunteer driving organisations that I have used and a website I forget the name of where private individuals rent their cars out on the Airbnb model). That seems to be how he expects to go about things in every case.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 14th Jan 20, 6:57 PM
    • 39,810 Posts
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    silvercar
    I suspect he has an idea of what is reasonable, so you could be led by him; especially as he has dealt honestly with you in the past.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 14th Jan 20, 7:58 PM
    • 8,943 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    I thought he was going to work from home, he has bought the kiln and so on, didn't know he wanted more room until just now.
    Originally posted by muddlemand
    A kiln might be expensive to run so measuring his electricity usage might be wise.
    Don't harass a hippie, you'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 14th Jan 20, 8:19 PM
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    muddlemand
    A kiln might be expensive to run so measuring his electricity usage might be wise.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Good point. My elec. supplier shows my usage in kWh, so it'll be easy to see the difference.
    • need an answer
    • By need an answer 14th Jan 20, 8:51 PM
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    need an answer
    Will the workshop activities be noisy or disruptive to any near neighbours?

    points raised over running a commercial business from private residence might need to be addressed if there were to be an issue that maybe a near neighbour made a complaint to the council

    However if you live in the middle of nowhere with no near neigbours to bother then it might not be such as issue
    in S T 1 F 1
    out S 2 T F 4

    2017-32 2018 -33 2019 -21
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 10:27 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    muddlemand
    If the building is the same size as a lock up garage, what do those go for locally and use this figure as a basis for negotiation
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    I can't even find any - but parking on a driveway, in the second-nearest town to me, is anything up to 75 per month. Varies wildly.

    I can't rent out my own driveway because of being half an hour's walk from anything people want to get to (and no bus), but this proposal isn't about being near things, in fact the remoteness may help. So I'm thinking I may think in terms of 50 ish.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 10:31 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    muddlemand
    I think Adrian makes some very wise and pertinent points and that sitting down with a pint/cuppa should be the starting point for negotiations. I'd see if your friend has a figure in mind and work around that.

    Hope it works out because it sounds like a potentially win-win situation for both of you.
    Originally posted by Skiddaw1
    I thought so too about those points.
    I hope so too!
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 10:34 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    muddlemand
    Will the workshop activities be noisy or disruptive to any near neighbours?

    points raised over running a commercial business from private residence might need to be addressed if there were to be an issue that maybe a near neighbour made a complaint to the council

    However if you live in the middle of nowhere with no near neigbours to bother then it might not be such as issue
    Originally posted by need an answer
    I hadn't thought about noise, though I don't think it's noisy - making ceramics - and we are generally tolerant of all sorts here, I get on with all the neighbours and we're all used to farm machinery (even at night), each other's stinky bonfires (probably illegal), hunting hounds overrunning our gardens, military jets making us jump out of our skins, etc etc. People take most things in their stride. Nobody was bothered when my son was recording heavy metal bands upstairs, and on his own playing electric guitar, drums etc (professional musician). But I will find out if it is ever noisy and especially if it's an all-day thing.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 10:38 AM
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    muddlemand
    I'd just like to say thanks to everyone getting much more in-depth on my question than I expected, thank you for your thoughts and good ideas.

    My lack of experience is showing, isn't it(!) and all these considerations are valuable both for now, and for bigger arrangements I may eventually be able to set up in future (haven't quite lost hope of making a living, somehow, one day).

    And sorry if i've missed anyone's reply; each time I have another look, i find a reply tucked in among the ones I thought I'd already seen all of.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 15th Jan 20, 10:44 AM
    • 10,813 Posts
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    -taff
    I'm caught in a trap of not being in good enough health to battle the DWP, so I'm eating my savings until they run out which will be in a year or so. (I will keep trying but so far each attempt to claim benefits has affected my health dangerously.)
    Originally posted by muddlemand

    I would get in touch with the cab if you can for an appointment, you can write them a letter of authority and they can apply for PIP on your behalf [the letters will still come to you though, but they can open and read them and keep you out of the whole process] It needn't be an issue if you don't want it to be.

    And I'd go 75 quid if he's wanting to use it as a studio for ceramics but I would say that have an agreement where he takes anything he uses away when he moves on, because that stuff would be a lot of work to remove if he were to leave clay, or fired objects...
    Does he have a kiln? If so, that needs phase 3 electricity, so hopefully taking it somewhere else to a kiln.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 11:13 AM
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    muddlemand
    I would get in touch with the cab if you can for an appointment, you can write them a letter of authority and they can apply for PIP on your behalf [the letters will still come to you though, but they can open and read them and keep you out of the whole process] It needn't be an issue if you don't want it to be.
    Originally posted by -taff
    Thank you so much. But my local CAB don't do anything except go through the questions after I've written them. It's the only branch that will deal with my postcode. The very first time I applied for DLA, someone came to the house and spent 2 hours going through the questions, but they don't do home visits now, and what I really need is an advocate with me at the face-to-face. There was a brilliant advocacy service in this county, but no longer. I'm on various very helpful forums - but spending that much time on the phone or online plus concentrating on the form, last year I made myself ill 2-3 times and have decided to try only when I my better energy kicks in with the summer months. If I keep ignoring attacks, i'll end up in hospital and take so long to get back up to speed that it'll put off moving house even longer, so it's more cost effective to focus on prepping to move, and leave PIP until after I've got over that.

    Answering the questions is complicated in my case because every one of the options is true of me at different times, working out how much of the time it applies is really tricky, etc etc. I'd be OK undertaking it, if i only had to tick the boxes. But that's true of most of us.

    I also know I'd almost certainly have take it to tribunal as i'm very likely to be turned down initially as over 50% are (esp. with conditions that are chronic, fluctuating, or invisible, and i tick all those boxes). That would be months of the same kind of effort with shorter deadlines for responding, and I'm definitely not up to that. I disengaged completely from the DWP when my lifetime, high rate DLA switched to PIP and I got zero - felt very positive, as I was sure I'd find some imaginative way of earning money once no longer giving energy and attention to the DWP. But I haven't so far, and circumstances force me to reapply. Maddening as I know i have more advantages than almost anyone with disabilities - articulate, educated, native English speaker, internet savvy, comfortable with legalese and long medical words, not hampered by fear or depression, not browbeaten by "the authorities", functioning well when I'm functioning at all... and so if I'm in this situation, how much worse must it be for the rest. After I magically get well again you'll see me campaigning loudly!

    ... Off topic. Sorry.

    And I'd go 75 quid if he's wanting to use it as a studio for ceramics but I would say that have an agreement where he takes anything he uses away when he moves on, because that stuff would be a lot of work to remove if he were to leave clay, or fired objects...
    Does he have a kiln? If so, that needs phase 3 electricity, so hopefully taking it somewhere else to a kiln.
    He has a small kiln, yes. I will sound him out about the electricity - never heard of phase 3, is that already there on the ordinary domestic supply? As far as i know he was going to use the kiln at home - until he saw my workshop and had this idea.

    We're having a discussion (over a cuppa as recommended ) tomorrow and i'll make a list of all these things to talk through.

    (Also, I know to get the agreement in writing and not depend on our memory of what we agreed on. Previously I always had our WhatsApp message history if i'd needed to pursue anything, and it was always small amounts of money anyway, but I am (just! ) canny enough not to go ahead on this without everything signed.)
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 11:14 AM
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    muddlemand
    PS. Good point about taking his things away afterwards. I'll add that to my list.
    • kdotdotdotdot
    • By kdotdotdotdot 15th Jan 20, 3:02 PM
    • 54 Posts
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    kdotdotdotdot
    The big thing is that I think he's far more experienced than I am both in business and in haggling, buying informally (Facebook and small ads etc), all that kind of thing. I don't want to be greedy or unfair but I also don't want to lose out by being naive.
    Originally posted by muddlemand
    And this right here is why so many friendships break down over money.

    You're not using the space at all, so it's worth absolutely nothing to you. He could pay you tuppence ha'penny a week for using it and that would be 2 1/2d a week more than you currently have, but no, now you've realised it's worth something, you want to get fair market value for it.

    If he wanted to pay commercial rent, then presumably he could already be renting. Best thing is to ask him what he thinks it's worth to him, and add electricity costs. Agree to revisit it after 6 months and also agree how to handle things if it doesn't work out for either one of you.

    stop worrying about "losing out". You were earning nothing for the space, so anything on top of that nothing is gravy.
    • muddlemand
    • By muddlemand 15th Jan 20, 3:49 PM
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    muddlemand
    And this right here is why so many friendships break down over money.

    You're not using the space at all, so it's worth absolutely nothing to you. He could pay you tuppence ha'penny a week for using it and that would be 2 1/2d a week more than you currently have, but no, now you've realised it's worth something, you want to get fair market value for it.

    If he wanted to pay commercial rent, then presumably he could already be renting. Best thing is to ask him what he thinks it's worth to him, and add electricity costs. Agree to revisit it after 6 months and also agree how to handle things if it doesn't work out for either one of you.

    stop worrying about "losing out". You were earning nothing for the space, so anything on top of that nothing is gravy.
    Originally posted by kdotdotdotdot
    I think your reading of "losing out" is far stronger that I meant.

    From how it's been so far, we're going to relate mostly by him paying me for things - use of the car, things i unearth as I clear this house (which is like an old furniture warehouse that someone tipped upside down leaving everything all over the place). I don't want to be the little old lady that anyone uses as a super cheap way of getting things, because she's so out of touch with the world that she has no idea. I *am* as out of touch as that, eg I see high street shops maybe every 2 or 3 months, never see adverts as I don't have a TV, etc. It would be easy to take advantage of me. That's why i came here to get a realistic idea from people who are not out of touch.

    I've known this guy a while (weeks/months) and from all appearances he's honest and trustworthy, he's also good company, but on the other hand you hear of people just like that who spend a year even more being perfectly honest and normal and friendly, then conning 1000s out of people in exactly my situation. Therefore I keep my wits about me and take nothing for granted.

    Selling stuff is exaclty how I intended to earn money, until I found that the admin of that (photographing, listing things, etc) is too much for me to manage. The table he bought was the only thing I managed to list on Facebook in the whole of last year, for example. Also I would be renting space out, but my parking space isn't worth using as i'm out of town. I'd have income from lodgers or Airbnb if I could make the house fit to live in and also manage the admin, but those aren't options for me. I'd be taking a tradesman who broke his contract to court, and winning a couple of other big cases that I had to drop because I can't keep up with the admin side.. I would certainly have ended up renting out this workshop *if* i'd been able to clear it out - also my garage - so in that sense it isn't a "freebie" for me.

    But as it is I need any extra coming in that i can get no matter where from, whereas he has his health and decent earning potential. I've seen what he used to sell, and how much for, and he told me he was making 24k by selling what he makes. I haven't got the luxury of turning down any rent he wants to pay, and I gather he looks at it as a reasonable part of the business costs, since paying rent for it is how he opened the conversation.
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