Homeowners in Waterford are being encouraged to rent a room to students for the academic year.
People can earn up to €14,000 tax free a year when they rent out a room in their own home.
Homeowners who would like to try out renting a room can give it a go for one semester. There’s a one-week study break in October, and classes finish in early December before exams.
People with a room to rent in Waterford can advertise on WIT’s newly-launched witstudentpad.ie.
Jacqui O’Connor, Senior Accommodation Manager at WIT’s Accommodation office says that fees to advertise a room on the WIT Studentpad website are waived for anyone with a room to rent out to students this September. “We invite both landlords and people with a room to rent to sign up and advertise their properties. Students can also register and get property alerts emailed directly to them whenever accommodation becomes available that matches what they are looking for.”
Darren Malone, Welfare Officer at Waterford Institute of Technology Students’ Union (WITSU) says “The rent a room scheme is a great way for people to raise money in the run up to Christmas – or if they take on a student from January to May it is a way to fund a summer holiday,” he explains.
“Options vary from taking a student for an academic year or a semester. People can choose to rent a room Sunday night to Friday or take on a tenant for just one semester,” he says.
“In recent years, many WIT students stayed in digs and we are seeing a demand again for people wishing to rent a room in a home for a semester or academic year, it’s a win-win for each side – students tend to go home at weekends, or outside of the semester, freeing up the homeowner’s space, and meaning the student isn’t paying for a house they’re not living in for a few weeks,” says WITSU President Marie Sheedy.
Traditionally two thirds of WIT graduates hail from the south east, with many commuting by public transport or by car. Still there is demand from different types of students seeking to rent a room for short periods of time: first years finding their feet, international students studying for a semester in Ireland and apprentices on block study at WIT.
“Many international students are here for just a semester, and this is a great way to introduce your family to different cultures, and make new friends,” adds Sheedy.
“If you let a room in your home, the income you receive may be exempt from tax. The annual exemption limit for 2018 is €14,000. The relief can apply to lettings to students for an academic year or semester, including traditional ‘digs’ lettings,” Malone says.
The next steps for anybody interested are to look at the rent-a-room-relief on the Revenue website and start adding their room/property to the website.