This San Francisco-Based Startup Will Build a Studio Apartment in Your Backyard For You to Rent

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studio apartment

Have you ever wanted to make money on AirBnB but don’t have space in your house?

Rent The Backyard is here to help (well, if you live in the San Fransisco Bay area). This company will construct a backyard studio apartment and manage the rental listing in exchange for a stake in unit ownership and 50% of the rent income, which they estimate could be $10,000+! There’s zero cost upfront and you only pay for the studio apartment if you sell your home.

Better yet, you can choose your own tenant if you have a friend or family member looking for a place to stay. You can even give them a discount on fair market rent, though keep in mind the discount will come out of your share of the rental income.

Because most of the construction happens off-site, the building process in your backyard can take as little as a week and a half. Plus, Rent The Backyard handles securing permits and ensuring your backyard is suitable for the studio apartment in the first place.

interior of rent the backyard unit

“This sounds a little too good to be true.”

For starters, you have to be open to the idea of your backyard becoming a rental property and tenants residing so close to you and your family. On top of that, there are a few caveats in the qualifications and program logistics.

  • You must live in the San Fransisco Bay area with a backyard of at least 30′ x 30′, which limits the availability and likely means you’ve already spent a lot on your home.
  • Their estimate of $10,000 in annual rental income isn’t based on actual renter/tenant experience, as no units have been built or rented out yet.
  • This could decrease the value of your home if you decide to move. While you may enjoy renting out this backyard apartment and its respective income, a potential buyer of your home in the future may look at the arrangement as a negative purchase aspect.

That said, this company could be exactly what some homeowners have been hoping for to help them start earning rental income. If that’s you, check out their website at for more details.

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