The Impact of Covid-19 on the Accommodation sector in Ireland – what does the future hold?

Covid-19 is everywhere, literally! Everyone you talk to the conversation invariably turns to the Coronavirus. The numbers, the statistics, businesses affected, financial implications, recession looming – all bleak and gloomy facts and figures. With respect to accommodation, the narrative surrounds hotels and the hospitality sector and again the clouds are only dark ones. But in terms of the home rental situation i.e. the owner / occupier renting a room out in their own home, what is the current situation and what does the futuCoronavirus room rental Irelandre hold for both Homeowners and Lodgers? have been in discussions recently with stakeholders who have an active interest in the room rental sector. Homeowners (who are availing of the Governments Rent-a-Room Scheme €14,000 p.a. Tax Free exemption), Lodgers (who are looking to rent on a Monday to Friday basis). The current status is that all activity has effectively hit a mechanical stop – nothing is happening. Lodgers who use the Monday to Friday facility have gone back to their own homes as colleges and workplaces have closed. There is also a huge reluctance on the Homeowners part to take in Lodgers due to the infectious nature of the Coronavirus, which is all very understandable. This has also had a very negative impact on the Homeowners finances as they obviously are no longer receiving rental income.

From a corporate perspective what way does the landscape fall? have endeavoured to ascertain what the future holds for the room rental market. We have discussed the issue with multinational companies and Student Accommodation Services in the Universities.

Companies by now have more than dipped their toes into the ‘Working From Home’ scenario and the feedback, to a large extent, is that it is working. People who can work from home are working from home. The question we asked them is ‘What will be the situation be when Coronavirus is gone?’. In a lot of cases the companies have told us that they may engage in a ‘3-days-in and 2-days-at-home’ working scenario. For the room rental clientele this is an ideal situation as they can rent out the room for four days and spend the rest of the week at home, this has obvious cost savings.

With Third Level Institutions it is more uncertain but there are rumours of some courses being presented online, which again may suit students who would only have to physically attend colleges on selected days. Again, this could feed in nicely to renting a room for possibly three of the five days.

So out of the dark clouds there are is a shimmering of light. It’s not all bad!

Share with a friend you may think is interested and keep safe.