Waterford students to give homeowners a dig out with new app
A competitive rental market means that there is once again a demand for ‘digs’ where homeowners rent out rooms to students.
Householders with a room to rent are invited to advertise early on the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) StudentPad platform.
WIT Novus, which runs WIT’s student accommodation has invested in a new website to help connect people who want to rent rooms as well as landlords wishing to advertise directly to students.
Derek Delaney, WIT’s Accommodation Manager says that there is a demand for lodging and digs in Waterford – including students who want a room weeknights while their course runs, international students here for one semester, and apprenticeship students.
While college doesn’t start back until September people are exploring accommodation options ahead of the July 1 CAO deadline.
“We invite both landlords with properties to rent and individuals with a room to rent to sign up and advertise their properties earlier rather than later over the summer.”
He adds that international students like to have accommodation booked before they arrive in Ireland, and returning students often like to have their accommodation confirmed over the summer.
“There will be huge interest by the time of the Leaving Cert results in mid-August,” Darren Malone, Welfare Officer at Waterford Institute of Technology Students' Union (WITSU) says.
“The StudentPad website gives homeowners, landlords, and people looking for a flatmate or housemate a chance to avail of the country’s rent a room scheme which allows people to rent a room in their home and earn €14,000 a year tax-free.”
“It could also be a great way to have company if you’re on your own or have a large, empty house. 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,” Malone explains.
Homeowners who would like to try out renting a room can give it a go for one semester – orientation for first year and international students is from the start of September onwards. There’s a one-week study break in October, and classes traditionally finish in early December before exams. It’s mid-January before semester 2 begins.
People with a room to rent in Waterford can advertise on WIT’s newly-launched website www.witstudentpad.ie.
Students can also register and get property alerts emailed directly to them whenever accommodation becomes available that matches what they are looking for.
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.
“If you let a room in your home, the income you receive may be exempt from tax. The annual exemption limit for 2019 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 www.witstudentpad.ie/Landlords.