Posts Tagged ‘ Rent-a-Room ’

Rent-a-Room: The Solution To Student Housing In Galway?

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With the ever-rising costs of living and the high rates for rent in Galway, students are struggling to find affordable accommodation for the new term. The Rent-a-Room tax relief scheme allows a homeowner to accrue a tax free income of up to €10,000 per annum. Aidan Clifford, technical director of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants promotes the idea, citing that “The Rent-A- Room relief is a good option for Galway home owners with a spare room located near good transport routes”. But is this what is best for both the homeowners and the students? On the surface this wonderful scheme seems ideal, with the homeowners able to earn potentially tax free earnings and students being able to find affordable accommodation, yet there seems little structure or security for the tenant and the homeowner seems to hold all the power unmonitored.

The intrusion of opening your home to a total stranger is daunting at best, especially if that person is a lively, energetic teenager free from the shackles of his/her parents for the first time. Homeowners have earned the right to enjoy the privacy and safety they have worked so hard for and giving that up will not be an easy decision for anyone. The cold hard fact that the cost of living is higher than ever, and that jobs are sparse could cause many who are not prepared for such responsibility to do so out of necessity as opposed to choice. The elderly people touted as ideal for the programme may not be able to cope with the arrival of a young person in their living space. Students are notoriously loud, disruptive and often seen as a nuisance in big college or university towns. How would an elderly person cope with a nineteen year old man bringing home his drunken classmate for a roll in the hay at 3am? They won’t, they can’t. It is as simple as that. The risk to some potential “landlords” in this case seem to be vastly under examined, as are the dangers to the students in question. Continue reading