/ Home & Energy

You’d share your drills, but would you share your house?

Last week Debbie Wosskow brought the emerging trend of the ‘Sharing Economy’ to Which? Convo. While most of you were up for the idea, you weren’t quite so keen on sharing your big ticket items.

The general consensus was that the ‘sharing economy’ is a positive step with a range of mutual benefits. Alfa was first to get his thoughts across:

‘I often lend my tools to people I can trust to treat them with care. But I do it for free and am also able to enjoy borrowing for free.’

Wavechange feels the same, although it hasn’t always gone to plan:

‘I’m prepared to lend to neighbours and friends, providing that they have not let me down in the past. One of my neighbours damaged my expensive hammer drill, probably without knowing what he had done.’

Malcolm R came up with an interesting idea – why stop with neighbours?:

‘I’ve just come in from the garage after making furniture. I suggest you need to swap a workshop! Local schools and colleges used to have well-equipped workshops – perhaps these could be made available after hours.’

It hasn’t always been plain-sailing

Liz M has had one too many bad experiences to jump on-board with this trend:

‘We have never leased or rented any of our assets and would be wary of doing so, due to the fact that items lent to family and friends have not been take care of the way we would have done so ourselves.’

It seems for some, the fear is all about who you lend to rather than what you lend. Diesel Taylor seems to rate Which? members, which we feel deserves our Comment of the Week 😉 :

‘As to lending tools out I have considered that Which? members should be the obvious people to lend to other than neighbours and friends.’

On second thoughts, perhaps it’s not for me

But Malcolm R’s enthusiasm for sharing does not spread to his house:

‘I’d be concerned about an unknown occupant of my house if I swapped – securing all my personal possessions for example, and arranging insurance cover.’

And Wavechange forecast some future posts we might feature on Which? Convo in years to come:

‘I wonder how long it will be before the have a Conversation about the perils of car sharing or house swaps.’

Do you think there’s a risk with the sharing economy? And if you do, is it about who you lend to or what you lend? Or do you already share your belongings and are keen for this trend to take-off?



Don’t lend out any power tools to anyone. Without a certificate of safety from a qualified electrician and they electrocute themselves you could be sued and maybe bankrupted.
That’s the reason we cannot get the retailer to mend your drill etc. Even if the carbon brushes (or bushes) are just worn down the retailer would have to have all electric parts checked for safety. Hence it’s not an option – you have to buy a new drill.

There are plenty of repairers that have competent people and the public liability insurance that will carry out small repairs such as changing motor brushes.

Unless you knew that a tool was faulty or dangerous when you lent it to someone (i.e. without charge) than I don’t believe that you would be liable if they were injured. After all, people are allowed to sell their own cars.

I have my projector, computer, extension leads and audio equipment PAT-tested so I can use it in village halls and other venues, some of which insist on this as a condition of hire. If I was going to lend my power tools on a regular basis then I would have them PAT-tested, including chargers for battery drills etc.