Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own the yacht, villa or classic car you have always wanted but without having to fork out the entire cost?
Many people dream about owning a boat on the South coast, having a sports car convertible, owning a holiday home in the Mediterranean or a beach hut in sleepy Norfolk, but for many these luxury assets are just a pipe dream.
One woman, who has set up an online service called yours2share, has made these dreams reality for many people and saved them a lot of money in the process.
Sophie Garrett, 44, set up yours2share after spending from a year fighting cancer. Once she had recovered, Sophie decided to change her life, giving up a well paid full time job, to work from home and set up a company that enables people to enjoy the good things in life at a lower cost.
“I spotted a gap in the market when I wanted to rent our holiday cottage in Suffolk to another person or couple for the alternate weekends when we didn’t use it. It seemed an obvious thing to do, but to my surprise there was no service allowing you to do this. Then I realised there was an even bigger gap in the market bringing like-minded people together to buy expensive stuff together. ”
This type of asset sharing is known as “fractional ownership or fractional rental” where groups of people own or rent the asset for fractions of time.
So far Sophie has a good track record in helping people to share. Three Yorkshire men, Ian Chapman, Tom Harrison and Geoff Sumner had never heard of each other until autumn 2007 and met through yours2share. Six months later, they bought a Fairline Targa 40 together for £155,000.
“Through yours2share” said Sophie, “they made contact with each other and as a result bought the yacht together. After discussion and negotiation, they agreed how they would split the time, who could use the boat, and all the nitty-gritty which was detailed in the comprehensive contract that they signed. They are like-minded people, got on well and buying the boat together has saved them a lot of money.
“Owning a yacht is an expensive hobby not only in terms of the initial purchase costs, but also the high maintenance, management and mooring costs. In addition, boats deteriorate if they lie idle for long periods. If their boat is only going to be used a few times a year, people often consider chartering to generate income. But chartering has its disadvantages: sharing is a great alternative.”
For others, renting on a repeated or fractional basis can be the ideal route to the city crash pad or country cottage they dream about.
Sophie says: “There is a trend at the moment for Monday to Friday rentals for those who have a lengthy commute or work away from home but don’t want to live in a hotel during the week. Monday to Friday landlords benefit from having their home to themselves at weekends. Many people want cottages and houses for weekends at regular intervals either as second homes or for visiting elderly relatives or children. Although you make less money than holiday or permanent lets, fractional renting generates some income with much less inconvenience. Once you have found like-minded partners with compatible requirements and agreed a contract, the arrangement can run hassle-free for landlord and tenant for many years.
yours2share has extensive guidance pages and template contracts are available for between £20 and £40. People should obtain independent professional legal advice, but the template contracts should help to reduce these costs.
The website is easy to use and post an ad. The majority of ads are from people who want to sell or let a fractional share, but ads from people looking to buy or rent, or create a new syndicate, get an excellent response.
Sophie says: “yours2share makes me feel good. Many people who share can easily afford the full cost but sharing makes them feel good too and helps them to justify the expenditure.”
Notes to Editors:
yours2share is a website for private individuals to buy, sell or rent shares in valuable assets, or create new syndicates. This enables people to see all the options in one place, and allows them to take control and create bespoke sharing arrangements. yours2share is totally independent. It doesn’t sell any of the valuable assets, finance or insurance, so it offers an objective view of the industry.