There are a multitude of benefits on renting out a room in your own home and taking advantage of the Irish Governments Rent-a-Room scheme, here – after surveying a sample size of our Homeowner members – we try and capture the top 4 benefits.
As we approach the now famous ‘light at the end of the Covid tunnel’ here in Ireland, with the vaccine rollout in full-steam-ahead mode, the number of inquiries regarding room rentals is doubling week on week at Getdigs.ie. In todays rental crisis more and more students and professional long commuters are turning towards digs-style accommodation, rather than house-shares, on-campus housing or hotel/guesthouse accommodation they are finding that the accommodation is of a very high standard and the Homeowners are friendly welcoming people.
So from a potential Homeowners perspective what are the major benefits to renting out a room in your own home?
Without question the number 1 reason, we were given, for renting out a room in your home was for financial reasons. Everyone of our Homeowners surveyed declared the additional funds to be of huge benefit. Availing of the Governments Rent-a-Room Scheme allowed the Homeowners to earn up to €14,000 per annum Tax Free.
Imagine, that is €270 a week or over €1,100 per month Tax Free. The majority (35%) of Homeowners used the extra income to assist with mortgage repayments, this was followed by attending to miscellaneous bill payments (30%) like credit union payments, car payments and college fee payments. Then a high percentage (20%) of our homeowners used the income to complete weekly grocery shopping. The final section of Homeowners (15%) used the additional funds for the niceties in life like weekend-aways or summer holidays. At the end of the day, whatever way they used it, they found it to lessen the day-to-day financial burden.
2. Hybrid Renting
Ok, ok, here comes the latest buzz word – and you heard it first from Getdigs.ie! So hybrid working is a term that has entered our vocabulary with the onset of Covid19. In general, a hybrid work model offers employees flexibility in when and where they work. Hybrid work has many variations. Some companies might allow every employee the flexibility to work on-site and remotely part of the week.
What we are seeing is that, as we approach post Covid, companies are offering employees a 2 & 3 work model. This is where the employee is on site for 3 days of the the week and can work from home for the remaining 2 days. This is a Homeowners rental utopia where they can rent out a room for 4 nights and have the house to themselves for the remaining 3 days and still avail of the hefty rental income that that brings. This is a win-win situation for both Homeowner and Lodger.
3. Company / Security
Some of our Homeowners are retirees and what we affectionately call empty-nesters. This is where their children have grown up and left the home. In a lot of cases this can lead these homeowners having two or three empty rooms just gathering dust. Some of these homeowners may be on their own and the additional company they can have through renting out a room gives them great pleasure. The relationships that have been constructed are not that of Homeowner-Lodger but friends.
Another additional benefit to this is that the Homeowner can feel more secure in knowing that there is another person in the house. This can provide extra safety and someone to look after the property when you’re away. It can also be a great opportunity to expand you friend base and a chance to broaden your horizons, especially if you take in people from other cultures and countries.
4. Vetting a potential Lodger
Our survey did uncover a real concern for nearly all Homeowners and this was “How do I find a Lodger that suits me?”. The answer to this is due diligence and patience. The software we have embedded in our website allows for the initial stages of a very good vetting process. A form of SMS messaging allows the Homeowner to ask the potential Lodger questions to try and get an insight to that person. It’s a great system and is the first step to selecting the right Lodger. This is followed by arranging to meet the Lodger in a public place for that all important chat and if comfortable a viewing of the property/room would follow.
In summary, the Rent-a-Room Scheme is something every Homeowner should consider if they have spare rooms in their home. It’s not for everyone but with more and more Lodgers looking to rent for only part of the week it is certainly something that may suit both parties.