By Michael Wong | May 30, 2019.
Rent House Out For Filming
Did you know you can make $1,000 to $5,000, or more, per day, renting out your property (home, store, office, warehouse, etc.) for filming (feature film, TV movie, commercial, music video, etc.), or photo shoots?
Yes, you can!
If this idea interests you, read on...
How Much Can You Make Renting Your House Out For Filming?
Depending on your property, you could make anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, or more, per day!
The industry daily rate is generally your monthly mortgage payment. For example, if your monthly mortgage is $2,000, then you could earn $2,000 per day.
Location fees vary for many reasons:
- Size and quality of your property.
- Size of the production.
- Production budget.
- Length of time needed at the location.
- Inside and/or outside filming.
- Use of furnishings or other personal property.
- It is customary to charge less (50% or less) for prep days and wrap up days.
Three Real-Life Success Stories
Here are three success stories to give you an idea of how much money these property owners made renting out their properties for filming:
- Forrest and Lorri McClain made $80,000 renting out their Atlanta home for six weeks, for the movie, The Blind Side, starring Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. Source: Multi-Million Dollar Georgia Home in the Spotlight for The Blind Side (http://c1ick.us/blindsidefilminglocation).
- Grace Verzosa Ambat made $50,000 renting out her Los Angeles home for the movie, Argo, starring Ben Affleck. Source: The Perks of Renting Your House to Film Productions (http://c1ick.us/perksfilmproductions).
- Diane Conway made $6,000 renting out her Potomac, Maryland, house for four days, for the movie, Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench. Source: The Perks of Renting Your House to Film Productions (http://c1ick.us/perksfilmproductions).
As you can see, renting out your house for filming can be extremely lucrative!
Tax Free Earnings
There is a special tax rule that if you use a dwelling unit as a residence and rent it for no more than 15 days during a year, you do not need to report any of the rental income and, or deduct any expenses as rental expenses, according to the IRS.
For more information, visit the "Topic Number 415 - Renting Residential and Vacation Property" webpage on the IRS website (http://c1ick.us/irs-topic415).
This information does not constitute tax advice. Please double check with your tax advisor.
Step-By-Step Guide To Renting Out Your House For Filming
- To attract production companies to film/shoot at your property, you need to submit your property details to your local or state film location office/commission, film location directories, and location scout databases.
- Include great looking photos of everything inside and outside, including the hallway, living rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, attic, basement, wine cellar, garage, swimming pool, shed, front yard, back yard, drive way, back allies, side allies, patios, etc.
- Wait for a location scout or manager to contact you.
- When a location scout/manager contacts you, verify their credentials through your local film office/commission to ensure they are legit.
- Respond as quickly as possible because they will move on if they have not heard from you within a few days.
- Determine the nature of the project and how your property will be used. If there will be smoke, fire, gunshots, etc., ensure the production company notifies the local police and/or fire department.
- Determine the number of days required. A day could be as long as 16 hours and include night time. Days required include:
- prep days - preparation time before the actual filming
- days of actual filming
- strike/wrap days after filming - time to return your property to its original condition
- back-up days
- Arrange for a walk-through with the directory or production manager to determine:
- Exact interiors and exteriors to be used for filming.
- Any areas which may be altered during filming, such as furniture, paint, nails, tape, pins, clamps, etc.
- How many and where equipment and vehicles will be positioned or parked - trucks can vary in size from 15 to 65 feet.
- Any off-limit areas
- Determine who will be allowed on location and how this will be enforced. A feature film or television movie may have a crew of up to 100+ people on location.
- Determine rules regarding:
- protective floor coverings and furniture protection
- use of restrooms, water, electricity, kitchen, food, laundry, etc.
- where meals will be eaten
- trash collection and disposal
- phone use
- Determine how you and your family, and any pets, will be accommodated, and include any living expenses, such as your meals, travel expenses, pet boarding bills, etc.
- Determine clean-up requirements, such as who is responsible (ideally, the production company), time needed, etc.
- If appropriate, check with your co-op/condo board or management office regarding any building fees (elevator operator, maintenance personnel, electrician, etc.).
- Decide whether to set an all-inclusive rental fee, or a rental fee plus itemized charges (furniture use, electricity, water, phone, etc.).
- Ask for a damage deposit of at least $5,000 to cover any damage to your property.
- You will be asked to sign a "Location Release Form" to release your rights to the films recorded, photographs taken, and/or sound recordings on the property, so that the production company retains all rights, including copyright and exclusive right to reproduce, exhibit, and distribute the material.
- Production companies will have a Liability Insurance policy that cover third-party rentals for property damage and bodily injury. They typically offer coverage up to $10 million. Make sure the production company lists you and your property as additionally insured on the certificate. Get a certificate of insurance from the production company before you allow any crew on your property.
- Make sure the contract contains a "hold harmless" clause that releases you from any liability for accidents as a result of filming activities.
- Location filming fees are negotiable. But like all businesses, product companies have budgets to meet and are looking for a good deal. Demand too high a fee and the production company may choose another location. Negotiate a fee you are comfortable with, but do not be too greedy.
- Do not be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Make sure you fully understand the terms of the contract, and that your conditions are understood by the production company.
- Make sure the person who signs the location agreement has the legal authority to bind the production company to the contract. Typically, this will be a producer of the movie, not the location scout/manager.
- Expect the production company to pay you in full prior to allowing any crew on your property.
- Before the production company sets foot on your property, take lots of digital photographs of your property, inside and out, furniture, and valuables, and time stamp them. They will be useful in case a dispute arises, because of damage to your property or items go missing.
- Sit back and enjoy the experience!
- For a major film, a property probably would not be used more than once. But TV shows and commercials could return to the same property multiple times. You can improve the odds of repeat business by developing a reputation of working well with production crews, so be friendly to the crew, and allow your property to be easily redecorated or reconfigured.
- After filming wraps up, the product company cleans up, removes all trash, and returns all furniture and valuables back to their original position. It is the production company's duty to return your location to its original look and condition.
- Arrange for a final walk-through with a representative from the production company for your final approval before signing off. If there is any damage or missing items, report it to the production company rep and the person you negotiated your contract with.
How To Submit Your House As A Film Location
Submit your property to these three resources to attract the attention of location scouts:
- State film offices/commission (free).
- Film location online marketplaces/directories (free/fee).
- Location scouts.
You can find websites for the first two types of resources below.
There are far too many location scouts to add them all here. Please use Google.com or your favorite search engine and search for "location scout" in your area.
50 State Film Offices/Commissions
A good way to exposure your property to location scouts is to submit it to your state's or city's film office/commission locations database for free (mostly). Location scouts will often contact a state's film office/commission when they are looking for suitable filming locations.
Visit each website for more information:
- Alabama Film Office (http://c1ick.us/alfilmoffice):
Alaska Film Office (http://c1ick.us/akfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Alabama Film Office locations library.
Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media (http://c1ick.us/azfilmoffice):
- Contact the Alaska Film Office to find out if they have a locations library and how to add your property to it.
- Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, except holidays.
- Address: Atwood Building, 550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 500 (5th floor), Anchorage, AK 99501.
- Phone: (907) 269-6620
Arkansas Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/arfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media locations library.
California Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/cafilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the arfilm locations library.
Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media (http://c1ick.us/cofilmoffice):
- The California Film Commission offer tips and resources on how to market your property as a film location and list your property on location registry websites.
Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media (http://c1ick.us/ctfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media locations library.
Film Delaware (http://c1ick.us/defilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Connecticut Film Office locations library.
The Florida Office of Film and Entertainment (http://c1ick.us/flfilmoffice):
- Contact the Delaware Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (http://c1ick.us/gafilmoffice):
- Submit your property to The Florida Office of Film and Entertainment locations library.
Hawaii Film Office (http://c1ick.us/hifilmoffice):
- List your property as a film location in the Georgia Department of Economic Development locations library.
Idaho Film Office (http://c1ick.us/idfilmoffice):
- Contact the State of Hawaii Film Office and your local county film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (http://c1ick.us/ilfilmoffice):
- Contact the Idaho Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Indiana Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/infilmcommission):
- Submit your property as a potential film location to the Illinois Film Office.
Iowa State Office of Media Production (http://c1ick.us/iafilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Indiana Film Commission locations library.
Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (CAIC) (http://c1ick.us/ksfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the Iowa State Office of Media Production locations database.
Kentucky Office of Film and Development (http://c1ick.us/kyfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (CAIC) film locations database.
Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development (http://c1ick.us/lafilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Kentucky Office of Film and Development locations library.
Maine Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mefilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development locations library.
Maryland Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mdfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Maine Film Office locations library.
Massachusetts Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mafilmoffice):
- Contact the Maryland Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Michigan Film & Digital Media Office (http://c1ick.us/mifilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Massachusetts Film Office locations database.
Minnesota Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mnfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office locations database.
Mississippi Film Office (http://c1ick.us/msfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Minnesota Film and TV locations library.
Missouri Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mofilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Mississippi Film Office locations library.
Montana Film Office (http://c1ick.us/mtfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Missouri Film Office locations library.
Nebraska Film Office (http://c1ick.us/nefilmoffice):
- Complete this form to add your property to the Montana Film Office locations database.
Nevada Film Office (http://c1ick.us/nvfilmoffice):
- Contact the Nebraska Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
New Hampshire Division of Film and Digital Media (http://c1ick.us/nhfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Nevada Film Office locations database.
New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission (http://c1ick.us/njfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the New Hampshire Division of Film and Digital Media locations library.
New Mexico Film Office (http://c1ick.us/nmfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the New Jersey Motion Picture & Television Commission locations database.
NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (http://c1ick.us/nyfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the New Mexico Film Office locations database.
North Carolina Film Office (http://c1ick.us/ncfilmoffice):
- The New York City Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting does not maintain a list of private locations interested in hosting production. However, they do offer guidelines on how to "Make Your Home a Star," as well as several online services that list location scouts and services.
- Call the NYC Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting, on (212) 489-6710 to confirm they have a record of this company.
North Dakota Film Office: (http://c1ick.us/ndfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the North Carolina Film Office locations database.
Ohio Film Office (http://c1ick.us/ohfilmoffice):
- North Dakota does not have a film office/commission. NDstrong, a nonprofit organization, serves as a film resource for the state of North Dakota. It has a film directory but no private properties are listed. You could ask them whether you can submit your property as a potential film location.
Oklahoma Film & Music Office (http://c1ick.us/okfilmoffice):
- Contact the Ohio Film Office or Ohio Development Services Agency for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television (http://c1ick.us/orfilmoffice):
- To submit your property to the Oklahoma Locations Directory, send an email to the Oklahoma Film and Locations Coordinator.
Pennsylvania Film Office (http://c1ick.us/pafilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television locations database.
Rhode Island Film & TV Office (http://c1ick.us/rifilmoffice):
- Contact the Pennsylvania Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
South Carolina Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/scfilmcommission):
- Contact the Rhode Island Film & TV Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
South Dakota Film Office (http://c1ick.us/sdfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the South Carolina Film Commission locations database.
Tennessee Entertainment Commission (http://c1ick.us/tnentertainmentcommission):
- Contact the South Dakota Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Texas Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/txfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the Tennessee Entertainment Commission locations database.
Utah Film Commission (http://c1ick.us/utfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the Texas Film Commission locations database.
Vermont Film Commission: (http://c1ick.us/vtfilmcommission):
- Submit your property to the Utah Film Commission locations library.
Virginia Film Office (http://c1ick.us/vafilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Vermont Film Commission locations library.
Washington Filmworks (http://c1ick.us/wafilmworks):
- Submit your property to the Virginia Film Office locations library.
West Virginia Film Office (http://c1ick.us/wvfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Washington Filmworks locations database. Washington Filmworks is the private 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that manages the Motion Picture Competitiveness program as well as a diversity of resources for the creative industries in Washington State.
Film Wisconsin (http://c1ick.us/filmwi):
- Submit your property to the West Virginia Film Office.
Wyoming Film Office (http://c1ick.us/wyfilmoffice):
- Submit your property to the Film Wisconsin locations database ($20 application fee per category, maximum of 4 categories), a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the film, television, commercial and electronic game industries in Wisconsin.
- Contact the Wyoming Film Office for information on how to submit your property to their film locations database.
Top 3 Film Location Marketplaces
You could consider adding your property to film location online marketplaces to improve your chances of getting it noticed by location scouts.
Most film location marketplaces charge a listing fee, so you have to decide whether it is worth the investment. Visit each website for more information:
- Make money renting out your property on the Peerspace online marketplace for finding and booking creative and production spaces.
- Free listing.
- Earn 85% of the rental fee.
- $1 million General Liability insurance protects hosts from injury or property damage.
- Free space review to optimize your listing to increase reservations by the Peerspace Host Relations Team.
- Earnings processed within 7 days of the booking taking place.
- iOS app rating: 2.4 (15+ ratings)
- Funding: $34.8 million (http://c1ick.us/peerspace-crb)
- Employees: 51+ (est. 2013) (http://c1ick.us/peerspace-lkd)
- Minimum age: 18+
- Countries: USA, worldwide.
- Free to join: Yes
- Make money renting out your home, store, or other types of property on LocationsHub, an online marketplace for filming productions.
- Set your own rate and keep 100% of the rental income.
- According to LocationsHub:
- daily rental rate for filming is approximately your property's monthly mortgage
- location, production schedule and size may affect how much you can charge
- Subscription fee:
- 1 location: $4.95 per month or $49.95 per year
- 10 locations: $19.95 per month or $189.95 per year
- 1.5 million+ location images.
- LocationsHub is a product of Reel-Scout, Inc.
- Funding: $15.2 million (http://c1ick.us/reelscout-crb)
- Employees: 11-50 (est. 2002) (http://c1ick.us/reelscout-lkd)
- Minimum age: 18+
- Countries: USA, worldwide.
- Free to join: No ($4.95+ per month or $49.95+ per year)
- Make money renting out your house, store, or spare space for film shoots and other activities, on the Splacer online marketplace.
- Keep 85% of the rental income.
- Splacer collects the full rental fee at the time of booking.
- Earnings paid out to you by Payoneer, direct into your bank account after the event has ended.
- $1 million General Liability insurance coverage for property damage, bodily injury, medical payments, liquor liability and legal defense, provided by Splacer.
- Option to request a security deposits at time of booking to protect against minor damages, cleanliness, and overtime use.
- Splacer is active in select locations in these cities:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- You can buy a sponsored listing to give your spaces premium placement on search results and Splacer's homepage.
- Access to Premium leads gives you the highest level of access to Hot Leads that have been deemed by Splacer as high value and most sought-after, based on budget, organizer type, event type and/or event duration.
- Funding: $8.7 million (http://c1ick.us/splacer-crb)
- Employees: 11-50 (est. 2014) (http://c1ick.us/splacer-lkd)
- Minimum age: 18+
- Countries: USA, worldwide.
- Free to join: No ($4.95+ per month or $49.95+ per year)