Rent More Than Just Your Housing

Not sure you can make your rent this month, or just need some extra pocket money? Look around your place and see what you have that other people might want to rent–for cash.

Rentalic.com facilitates private-party rental agreements for just about anything you can borrow or lend, from baby equipment to computers to furniture.

This smart peer-to-peer rental concept comes hot on the heels of our recent report on a car rental company with a twist - RelayRides, which connects private vehicle owners with potential renters.

The brand new company (its beta site launched on January 4) touts the green-ness of its concept, which strives to build a community of shared stuff. Why should five people own five sets of camping equipment when four of them could simply rent the other person's gear when it would otherwise be sitting in his (or his parents') garage?

It's an idea that should appeal to small-space dwellers who don't have storage for all the goodies they may want occasional access to, like tools. For instance, just imagine your landlord's smiling face (and the 100 percent security deposit you'll get back) when you steam clean your carpets before moving out.

Like RelayRides, Rentalic leaves all pricing up to the owner of the goods-so everything is up for negotiation. The owner can request a security deposit on bigger-ticket items, and Rentalic charges the borrower $.99 per transaction. Up and running for only a few days, it doesn't have enough listings to fill a small closet just yet. But keep an eye on it. This smart, green idea may just give that guy Craig a run for his money in the long run.

For more on renting what's inside your house, see our stories, "Borrowing is the New Buying" and how to rent moving boxes.