Homeowners urged to rent out spare rooms as 'student digs'

The USI says students have to go look for accommodation "in what is already a crisis"

Homeowners urged to rent out spare rooms as 'student digs'

File photo of a 'To Let' sign | Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Homeowners are being urged to consider letting out their spare room as 'student digs', as part of efforts to tackle the housing crisis.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has launched a campaign to encourage more people to rent out their spare rooms.

According to the USI, digs have become a "real, affordable and viable alternative accommodation" for students amid spiralling rental costs.

Under current rules, homeowners can earn up to €14,000 tax free per year by renting out a room to students.

The room can be offered on either a five-day or seven-day a week basis.

Damien McClean from the USI argues that digs offer a win-win situation for students and homeowners.

He observed: "Students are very worried that they won't be able to find somewhere to live whilst they get into their degree.

"You would think that once you hear your Leaving Cert results or CAO offers, that it would be exciting - but that can actually be quite anxiety-ridden for students, because now they have to go look for accommodation in what is already a crisis."

He added: "For students, [renting a spare room] means they're able to focus on their degrees and studying - which you would think would be the forefront of what they are here to do.

"For homeowners, it's great... it's up to €14,000 tax free per year for a room that may have been empty anyway. It's a great way to meet new students, and it's great for company."

Households in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford are set to receive information about how to 'register their spare room' in the coming days.