There is a broad spectrum of homeowners who, for various reasons, are now considering whether to become landlords. Whether it is the first time owner looking for lodgers to ease mortgage payments, the “empty nester” with space now that the children have moved away or young families seeking additional income, there is growing interest in the idea of renting out unused bedrooms. There is also a significant incentive for owner-occupiers in that the Government has maintained the rent a room relief which means that the rental income will be exempt from income tax provided that income does not exceed €14,000 in a tax year. In addition, the income is not subject to PRSI or the Universal Social charge and does not affect mortgage interest relief or capital gains tax, if the house is subsequently sold. The Citizens Information website offers a lot of information on this subject under the Homeowners section.
Obviously in the current uncertain economic climate the potential of getting an additional €14,000 income tax free is very attractive. Realistically, to get near this figure, it would require renting out more than one room as typical weekly rents for five days average around €160, based on listings on the www.getdigs.ie website. Regardless that equates to around €8,320 for one room per annum Tax Free which would make a significant financial contribution to any household. And of course more if you rent out a second room.
A homeowner deciding to venture into this area is obviously concerned with attracting suitable lodgers and the impact on their own lives of having a lodger moving into the house. The www.getdigs.ie website was developed specifically for homeowners and lodgers looking to rent a room. One major area of focus is on maintaining the privacy of the homeowner. Lodgers are able to review the offerings in any county of interest, but the homeowner does not need to reveal any specific, or personal information, on the site such as home address or phone number. All communication between the parties is through a secure SMS messaging service on the site and the homeowner can review all lodger details before offering the room. This forms the basis of a very robust vetting process for the Homeowner, and for the Lodger obviously.
Getdigs.ie is also promoting the concept of fractional renting as an alternative to renting the room full-time. The idea behind fractional renting is to let the room during the working week but keep the weekends free for homeowner use. It also opens up the rental opportunities to a broader range of potential lodgers such as contract workers, commercial travellers, students or work placements. While this is obviously attractive for the homeowner, it also has benefits for the lodger. The primary benefit for the latter is that the rent will be less than full-time renting, so it offers cost savings for people who just need to stay in the area during the week. Today many people are commuting long distances in order to work, so in many instances the cost of renting will be equivalent to the current weekly travel costs.
Taking away the hours spent travelling each day will also allow many people to maintain a better life/work balance and reduce travel stress.
With fractional renting it is also possible to look at more frequent, short term renting. In certain counties the potential clients may change from being contract workers, to summer students, to tourists, depending on the season. By broadening the client base a homeowner can maximise their earning potential and have the additional benefit of meeting a range of interesting people.
Of course one of the challenges is how to attract these potential lodgers? The www.getdigs.ie website offers a very low cost, online, site where the homeowner has full control of the room description and promotion, reserved space for reviewing enquiries and a secure communication service. The facility to upload quality photographs to the Homeowners advert is there and is actively encouraged by www.getdigs.ie as it increases the chances of success by 40%. As the site is online the listings are available, globally, 24/7. Once the room is rented the homeowner can either block display of the listing or, if they like the multiple letting approach, they can simply continue to take additional bookings for the room.
Renting a room is a big step for homeowners but, by deciding whether full-time or fractional renting is the preferred approach, availing of a user friendly and secure service such as www.getdigs.ie , and carefully choosing their lodger through our embedded vetting system, it should be a rewarding experience.
For additional information on renting a room or fractional renting go to www.getdigs.ie
Copyright www.getdigs.ie June 5th 2020