Published on July 11th, 2017 | by Martin Clancy

Digs for Students, Tax-Free Cash for Homeowners!

Let digs to students and you can earn tax free rental income. Guest post 

Do you have a spare room or two in your house? If you do, you can make up to €14,000 in non-taxable rental income per annum by letting that space to students.

This tax relief comes under the rent-a-room scheme and was introduced with the aim of increasing the availability of rented residential accommodation including student specific housing or “digs”.

There aren’t a lot of bed spaces for rent at the moment so even though you’re not paying tax, you’re doing a social good for Ireland. Research shows that more and more people are deferring college because they can’t find a place to stay during term time.

To list your room on click here.

What are the facts on Rent-A-Room relief for digs?

Firstly, your home must be located in Ireland and you must occupy it as your sole residence.

You qualify for the relief in cases of residential tenancies, not short-term lets. Whomever takes the room, must be using it for a long-term rather than a short-term basis. For instance, renting the room out to a student over the course of a college year is covered, but not taking different people every 3 months.

You’re exempt from paying tax on any rental income earned through letting digs – even multiple rooms in the one house – unless you pass the cap of €14,000 in any one tax year.

Rent-a-room relief will not affect your mortgage interest relief or your exemption from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if you sell your home.

To find out more information on Rent-A-Room Relief check out

To list your room on click here.


Homeowner, CLAIRE GLEESON: I’ve been letting to students for 16 years now. I take students in during term time (Sept-June) and have room for three students at any one time. I actually still keep in contact with most of the students I’ve had over the years through phone, email, letters, or whatever. You really do form a bond with some of them. My last students were 3 girls. We all had dinner together every night. It’s great to have different people around and to learn about a little about them – whether they’re from Cork or places like France or Italy. If it were my children away from home I would hope that someone would take them in and take care of them.


Arts Student, RACHEL HALLY: I can honestly say that I adore living in digs! What is my story you ask? Well, applying to UCD was not necessarily my most thought-out plan – I was 16, from Cork, going to college knowing no-one and had not fully thought about the ‘where would I live’ situation. I had been unaware of the on-campus accommodation until very late, so ultimately I was not accepted. After trying for weeks to find housemates and maybe a house, I lost all hope and was considering deferring the year, until my family found out about digs. Digs has been my saviour for the last few years. Having found an amazing family to live with I was offered my own room, a warm house (a lot harder to come across when you are not in digs) as well breakfast and dinner. All in all, I will live in digs again next year if I come back to UCD and would hope that other homeowners and families would open up their homes to students.

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