Homeowner informational pack – How to rent a spare room in your home

Welcome-Home

You want to rent out a spare room. 

Would you like to rent a spare room in your home but don’t know where to start? The usual process is to advertise your home on a property website. With the shortage of accommodation, you could be overwhelmed with applications. Another challenge is you don’t know much about the applicants, so how do you know who to trust?  Maybe you don’t feel comfortable inviting strangers to view your home.

 

HomeHak’s Tenant Selector allows homeowners to filter, sort, select and contact organised home seekers who could be happy in their home. Make an informed selection about who your property would suit best. If you do decide to advertise your spare room, ask for applicants to submit their HomeHak Tenant CVs so that you can filter, sort and select applicants in a consistent format in one place.

 

Once you have selected someone to view your home, there are many factors to consider and discuss with your potential new resident. This article prompts you to enquire about typical topics and what you may want to agree on at the beginning of any arrangement.

Important

This post focuses on an arrangement where an owner-occupier invites a home seeker to rent a room in their home. This is not considered the same as a landlord-tenant arrangement. Landlord and tenant legislation do not cover you, so the rights and obligations under that legislation do not apply to you. For example, you are not obliged to register as a landlord with the RTB. This also means that residents living in your home live under a licensee agreement, not a tenancy agreement, and are only entitled to reasonable notice if you terminate the arrangement.

 

In this article, we use the terms “homeowner” instead of “landlord” and “resident”, “lodger” or “home seeker” instead of “tenant”.

 

Welcome-Home
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Selecting your resident – some considerations and discussion points

Once you have selected the home seekers and invited them to view your home, there are topics we recommend you discuss with your potential resident before selecting who will move in.

Furthermore, you can also establish a formal agreement between yourself as a homeowner and your future resident. There is an example template linked at the end of this article.

Duration and Nature of the Stay

Discuss the intended length of the accommodation period and whether or not that period could be extended. Enquire about their plans and how long they need accommodation.  You may have future commitments and need the room back after 6 or 12 months or at a certain date. It is fair to manage expectations so your resident can plan accordingly. Communicate openly about the availability of the room, as flexibility is often attractive to residents.

Damage Deposit

If you are operating a damage deposit system, be clear about the conditions relating to the deposit and provide the resident with a receipt. Make it clear that the damage deposit is not rent and will be returned at the end of the accommodation period if all goes well. If any damage does ever occur, discuss the situation immediately. This will be less awkward than introducing it as surprise news at the end of the accommodation period. Return the deposit if no damage has been caused on the resident’s departure.

Utilities

Give the resident sufficient information about the approximate cost of utility bills. Make special considerations for individual situations. If the resident will be working from home, they could maybe contribute a certain percentage of the electricity or gas bill to reflect the extra consumption.

 

Working-from-home
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Rent Payment

Agree on the amount of rent, the day and frequency of payments, the method of payment, and to who it should be paid. Make it clear what is included in the “rent” and if utilities are included, for example. If there are situations when the rent can be increased or decreased in future, make these clear in advance.

Extra services

You may want to offer the resident extra services with the room, such as a secure parking space, cooked meals, laundry services, bed linen changes, etc. If you propose such and agree on additional services with your resident, make sure you factor in the cost of the services into the final agreed rent price for the room. Remember, if services are included in the rent, they must be delivered.

Common Areas

Outline which areas of the home may be considered common areas and which are off-limits to residents. . Generally, a resident would have access to the kitchen, living room, bathroom, back kitchen/utility room, and their bedroom. Still, every household varies, and if you prefer a resident to use a specific toilet, for example, that should be communicated.

Person in the living room with computer
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Time and consumption limits

Inform the resident of any time limits which may apply to the use of amenities such as the shower, the heating, the tumble dryer, etc. Most people can appreciate the rising cost of living, especially concerning utility bills. If you want to set consumption limits, make the residents aware before they move in to avoid potential disputes later.

Other Limitations

To rent a spare room in your home without incidents, you may want to discuss other limitations. For instance,  consider if there will be limitations on visitors, noise, hours of entering and leaving home, use of common areas, etc.

Expectations and Preferences

Discuss any personal expectations, pet peeves or preferences you have regarding your home. It could be related to anything from noise levels to security to cleanliness and so on. Every home and every person is different. If you are accustomed to doing things a certain way, it’s important to remember that people cannot read your mind! Open communication and setting reasonable boundaries early on will help to avoid any frustrations in the future.

Smoking

Many homeowners don’t allow smoking. However, if you permit smoking, discuss the rules for smoking at your home. Outline if there are designated areas, where to dispose of cigarette butts, where to empty ashtrays, etc.

Sharing of Household items

There may be some everyday products that you are comfortable with your resident using. If you are willing to share, we recommend creating a checklist of items to agree on, for example, milk, sugar, tea and coffee, toilet paper, kitchen towels, cleaning products, dish soap or dishwashing tablets, shower gel, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. Discuss with the resident which common products they have permission to use and how such items will be bought. If certain products should not be shared, discuss these in  dvance.

 

Man-cooking-kitchen-at-home
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Scheduling use of common areas

Schedules can be helpful where multiple people are living in the home. Everyone has different day-to-day lives. It’s considerate and useful to compare schedules with the resident. If necessary, agree on times of use for the busiest areas of the house.  For example,  you might schedule the use of the kitchen for cooking meals or the use of the main bathroom for taking showers or baths. The goal is to ensure that everybody’s daily routine can run smoothly. Understanding everybody’s schedule from the start can also avoid disruption if, for example, you or your resident must work awkward shift patterns.

Keys

Discuss the resident’s responsibilities regarding holding keys to your home. Specify any conditions, e.g. don’t make copies or that there is a fee to replace lost keys.

Security

For many homeowners, knowing there is a trusted resident in the home offers added security. Demonstrate to the resident how to properly lock doors and windows and set alarms or any other security equipment in the home. Specify your expectations about locking up when the home is unoccupied or before bed. If you have other people nominated as keyholders for your home, such as neighbours, family members, or a security company, make sure your resident is also in the loop.

Household Services/Contracts

Explain any services you may have contracted related to the home and how the resident should handle them in your absence, e.g. refuse collection, signing for post & packages, allowing access to builders, childminders, window cleaners, etc.

Household Responsibilities

Discuss the sharing of household responsibilities with the resident. This might involve, for example, taking turns each week to clean the common areas of the home, watering the plants/garden or taking out the bins to be collected, etc. Discuss and outline the expectations in advance, so there is no confusion later.

Embracing differences

Maybe your resident comes from a different cultural or ethnic background? If so, it is considerate to gen up in advance so that you can ask thoughtful questions about cultural differences that might affect the experience for both of you. Ask the resident what a typical day in their life looks like. Enquire about food and eating habits, work or study hours. You will possibly discover more similarities than differences and more conveniences than issues. For example, if your resident is from Spain, they may like to cook dinner later in the evening, allowing you full use of the kitchen during Irish dinner time!

Pets

Disclose plenty of information about your pets to the resident in advance. Make sure to introduce your pet to the resident before they move in It is important to avoid issues with allergies or where a resident has a fear of animals. Before agreeing to a property viewing, disclose details like the type of pet, size, temperament, etc. Be clear about any expectations concerning your pet, like ensuring doors, gates and windows be kept shut.

Would like your resident to feed your pets sometimes or keep an eye on them while you are away? Would you be happy to recognise such services with a discount on rent? Mention such expectations in advance. If you agree with a resident that they can bring a pet to your home, obtain the same information about their pet.

 

Dog-owner-at-home
Photo by Evieanna Santiago on Unsplash

Special Requirements

Discuss with your resident if you, any other household member or the resident, have special requirements, such as a potential need for minor medical assistance. For example, if someone has a severe nut allergy, it would be a good idea to inform all household members where they can find Epi-Pen and how to administer it – just in case. Other conditions might include diabetes, epilepsy, low blood pressure etc.

Emergency numbers

In the event of an emergency, discuss with your resident what to do. Maybe you have an accessible list of phone numbers for local emergency services and family members or neighbours. For your resident, it might be a good idea to share contact details for a family member of theirs, a friend or their workplace in case of any unfortunate circumstance.

Notice period

Agree on a reasonable notice period for termination of the agreement in advance. People living in your home as residents are living under a licensee agreement, not a tenancy agreement, and are only entitled to reasonable notice if you choose to terminate the agreement. Should you require the resident to move out of your home, the process is more transparent if you can invoke a previously agreed-upon notice period.

For when your resident wants to leave, outline how your resident must communicate the notice (e.g. email or letter). State how long in advance they should advise you of the leaving date. Make it clear that you will return the damage deposit at the end of the final rent period if everything is satisfactory.  

Sample homeowner-resident agreement

Finally, if you rent a spare room in your home, consider having all the norms in writing. To make it easier, we have created this sample agreement (click here). Feel free to modify this sample agreement outlining living arrangements to your liking. Simply click on the option “File”, and then on “Make a copy” to edit this template.

 

Further reading

If you are considering the option of renting your spare room(s), we recommend you look at the article about benefits of renting a spare bedroom in your home.

The 7 Benefits of Renting a Room in Your Home

Woman-at-home

If you are reading this, you have probably considered or have some experience renting a room in your home. Did you know that Eurostat figures confirmed that Ireland had the third-highest share of people living in under-occupied dwellings in the European Union in 2019? That means that we have more spare rooms than most EU countries. Despite this fact and a recent increase in residential construction, the reported housing shortages in 2019 in Ireland were estimated to range between 32,000 and 50,000 units.

 

While some people may be understandably sceptical about opening their homes to new people, platforms like HomeHak.com are here to relieve the apprehension by offering a solution where landlords can choose a resident for their home by utilising HomeHak Tenant Selector’s detailed filtering system.

 

Woman-at-home
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Gain access to a pool of pre-qualified tenants with HomeHak

Using the HomeHak platform, tenants can take a number of steps to make their Tenant CV desirable to homeowners, landlords and agents seeking to fill available accommodation without the overwhelming response of posting the listing on a public platform. In addition, tenants can verify their ID using Stripe, and invite ID-verified users to write references on their behalf. They can also display rental history, employment history and their available budget.

 

Therefore, you can easily identify candidates who fall into the price range you are expecting for the rooms you are offering. Renting a spare room in your home is now much easier and safer!

 

Here are some of the many benefits of using HomeHak.com to find a tenant for your home:

1. Earn extra income & split the cost of living

The number one reason people around the world rent rooms in their homes is to earn extra cash! You can also save more money by sharing the cost of living with tenants. The Rent-a-Room Relief scheme provides an incentive to homeowners in Ireland who want to rent a room in the house that they occupy as the main resident. Essentially, it is available to live-in landlords. Those benefiting from the scheme can earn up to €14,000 in a single tax year, exempt from income tax, PRSI, and USI. Besides, if you decide to sell your home, the scheme will not affect your capital gains tax.

 

Supplementing your income by renting a room in your home could potentially allow you more freedom. You might choose to work less, take more holidays, pay off debts, grow your savings and more with the extra income.

2. Provide much-needed accommodation for frontline workers and students  

Nurses and other health care providers are frequently travelling inter-county or from overseas to work in hospitals and care facilities in Ireland. Some have faced huge difficulties securing adequate housing in the vicinity of their workplaces.

 

Similarly, students returning to university in September have also been challenged with finding a place to call home for the academic year. Some students are seeking part weekly basis accommodation, which may be a good fit for homeowners who like the idea of renting a room but would also like to have the house to themselves or some family time at the weekend. HomeHak’s Tenant Selector can help to identify students from local universities or staff from local hospitals who may be in need of a home in your area.

 

Doctors-in-a-hospital
Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash

3. Exchange friendship, culture, food and language

People from all over the world have created their Tenant CVs and are looking for places to live on HomeHak. Would you like to learn about new cultures, and foods or learning a new language? Hosting an international resident at your home could be an exciting opportunity! This may allow you to have an immersive experience and meaningful connection with interesting new people.

4. Benefit from the extra security, especially for those living alone

You’ve probably heard the old saying “There’s safety in numbers”. Having an extra person at home will provide you with extra security should you ever be unlucky enough to be a target or victim of a crime or have an accident in your home. You may also feel more at ease when on vacation or on a work trip, knowing that someone is at home taking care of your house. Your residents might even take care of your pets and plants while you’re not home!

5. Combat isolation in older adults

With an ever ageing population, there has been an increasing number of older adults who live alone in Ireland. According to the Loneliness, social isolation, and their discordance among older adults findings from The Irish Longitudinal Study on ageing older adults who lived alone had a higher risk of social isolation than those who lived with others. The study also notes: “Loneliness and social isolation are not a necessary fact of the ageing process and recent efforts to alleviate these potentially damaging phenomena should be encouraged.”

 

Matching the numerous individuals in need of accommodation with older adults who live alone, such as empty nesters whose children have grown up and moved out, could provide a strong and effective relief to the social isolation often experienced by the demographic.

6. Get some extra help around the house

Some residents may have special skills they can offer you. For example, they could be qualified landscape gardeners, chefs or professional care providers. Suppose they are open to carrying out some tasks you have available in the home. In that case, you could propose a once-off or ongoing reciprocal agreement. For example, a reduction in the cost of rent in exchange for specified services provided in the home.

 

Man-and-woman-cooking-in-the-kitchen
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

7. Set out your own terms – Your house rules apply

Since you are the owner of the home, you can set out any rules/guidelines and precedent between yourself and the resident in the form of a written agreement prior to them moving into your home. Deposits, rent, and conditions can all be defined by you as the landlord. Spend some time considering what conditions might be important to you and your lifestyle or living situation. After that, craft an agreement around your needs. This will ensure you find a tenant who is a great fit and agrees to uphold the agreement you propose in exchange for the accommodation provided.

 

Of course, there are also various drawbacks to renting a room in your home. New relationships can be tricky to navigate, and you might not be accustomed to sharing your personal space with others. If you are receiving benefits you should check how the extra income could affect your entitlements.

 

Being a landlord may not be the perfect solution for everyone’s unique situation. However, if you have an urge to rent a room in your home, have good communication skills and are open to new experiences it could be the perfect opportunity to earn substantial extra income with a small amount of work contributed compared to if you were to earn the money at work.

 

Sign up to rent your spare room/son HomeHak today and select a tenant for your home.

6 Reasons to Use A Tenant CV

landlord signing agreement

Struggling to find a home in today’s competitive rental market? In this guide, we will show you why using a Tenant CV will give your a competitive edge over other applicants.

 

Finding a new home can be as important as scoring your dream job. It’s your base where you go to unwind, recharge your batteries and steel yourself to take on the world outside. Your home is your sanctuary where you should feel safe and where memories are made and shared. It is a representation of you. You deserve a big say in where you are going to live! So how can you influence where you live and avoid wasting time on tenant application forms for properties that don’t suit you?

 

Take control with a  Tenant CV that will help you put your best self forward, get noticed and secure the dream home that will suit your lifestyle. 

 

A good Tenant CV is a profile that expresses your attributes when searching for a new home and promotes you as a suitable tenant. A great Tenant CV goes further by including your particular requirements in a home. This takes some frustration out of the rental application process. Providing all useful and essential information for the homeowner upfront. while also outlining your own needs.

 

Many of us are familiar with the famous quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”.  Here are our top 6 reasons to prepare yourself for a competitive rental market with a Tenant CV. One that that best reflects you and what you need in a home.

 

tenant-cv-rental-application-new-home

 

6 Ways A Tenant CV Can Aid Your House-Hunting

1. Define Your Needs

If you don’t want to join the 59% of people that find it difficult to find a suitable home, you can start by reflecting on and defining your needs. By identifying what is most important to you, you can skip the frustration and waste of time on pointless viewings. Ask yourself questions, do you want to be close to work? Do you need a garden? Are there any amenities that are essential to you?; and then make it known on your Tenant CV. If something really is important to you then make it clear. Great homeowners value long term tenancies with good tenants and if they can accommodate you, more often than not they will.

 

2. Express Yourself & Stand Out

Once you have defined your criteria for a home, it’s time to show the agents and homeowners why you are the best candidate. A Tenant CV simply puts more power in your hands. It enables you to present yourself beyond the restraints of a standard tenant application. A profile of yourself with your living objectives will convey your individuality. It helps the reader understand what type of tenant you are likely to be. If you’re comfortable with it and you’re using an online Tenant CV tool, include a short video to showcase your personality. 

 

Homeowners look for evidence they can trust the people renting their property.  An impressive Tenant CV is your best opportunity to present your evidence and separate yourself from the crowd, so you get selected ahead of your competition.

 

3. Demonstrate Trustworthiness & Organisation Skills 

For homeowners and letting agents, the top priority is to find someone who is going to look after the property and pay the rent reliably on time. According to a survey conducted by DKM Consultants in 2014 for the RTB, some primary reasons agents choose not to rent to tenants in Ireland are because they are worried about property damage, rent being paid on time, or they don’t trust the applicant. Selecting the right tenant has a lot to do with human nature and finding reasons to like somebody. 

 

Preparing a great Tenant CV allows you to demonstrate that you are an organised responsible person by answering key questions and providing relevant information. Not only can a resume showcase your ability to care for a property, but it can also demonstrate your ability to pay.  Paying bills on time and maintaining order requires you to be on top of things. What’s more, you can also include any written references in your Tenant CV.

 

4. Address Potential Doubts About Your Tenant Application

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel an explanation will help people to understand you, but you don’t have the chance to get your point across? A Tenant CV is a means to explain things that might otherwise be perceived as negative in your application. Some examples are changing jobs, relocating often, or perhaps being a first-time renter. Being a first-time renter can be a positive thing, as it’s your chance to kick-start an excellent rental history.  The Tenant CV is a great tool to explain peculiarities like this in your objectives to a potential homeowner.

 

5. Save Time

Oftentimes homeowners and agents will invite the first 20 ad respondents to a property Viewing. You need to be fast if a great property pops up on a property website. Having all your key information on hand will help to submit an application ASAP!

 

A Tenant CV prepared in advance greatly simplifies and accelerates this process. Usually, homeowners are happy to accept a good tenant CV, as long as the information is true and the references stack up. You can shine even further by including pre-written references and getting your identity independently verified in advance. This will reduce time on tenant background checks and increase your chances of being selected. Make the landlord or agent job easier when it comes to narrowing down applications and they will look kindly on you.

 

In addition to streamlining the application process, outlining your wants and needs in a home on your Tenant CV means that you can save time viewing unsuitable properties. 

 

6. Turn Competition Into An Opportunity

It’s no secret that house and apartment hunting can be competitive, but considering the above, you can use competition to your advantage! You just need to take the initiative to put yourself on top. Whether you’re a 1st time, or 10th-time renter, being prepared and taking measures to stand out will help establish yourself as an impressive candidate. It’s like applying for that dream job if you’re proactive and go above and beyond; you should validate why you should be chosen. 

 

landlord signing agreement

Tenant CVs: The Key Takeaways

In this guide, we have looked at how rental resumes allow you to define your needs, express yourself, demonstrate trustworthiness, explain doubts, save time and get ahead of the competition. It’s clear that a Tenant CV is a tool that will give you a competitive edge when searching for your new home.

 

Like practising for a job interview, those that are prepared are more likely to succeed than those that aren’t. There’s no doubt that securing viewings or a lease can be challenging; but by having a Tenant CV on hand, you can be more prepared than others. A strong Tenant CV will impress agents and homeowners and ensure you stand out in a pile of applications. 

 

The sooner you find a home that’s right for you, the sooner you can start living and be happy!

 

 

 

References:

Finding Pet-Friendly Rentals in Ireland

grey cat lying on a bed

Looking to move to a new rental property with your cat or dog? Read our helpful guide for advice on how to find pet-friendly rentals in Ireland.

It’s difficult to find pet-friendly rentals. 

Whether you are renting a house or apartment, it is important to find the home that best suits your needs. This often means having to search for a property that will allow you to have pets. Pet owners are forced to live in unsuitable properties or keep their pets without consent from their landlord, risking eviction. 

 

Landlords and tenants should be honest with each other. The relationship is built on trust and honesty. It’s important to stay open about the situation from day one of renting. 

 

Pets are an important part of many households. Here are HomeHak’s top guidelines and tips to make the process easier when looking to rent a home with your pet in tow!

 

pet friendly rentals

Having a pet can give you an edge in the home renting competition. 

With so many people applying to rent homes, it can be difficult to stand out from the multitude of other applications on the letting agents desk. Having a pet presents a practical opportunity to demonstrate how responsible you will be as a tenant. If you go about it in the right way, there’s a better chance you will encourage landlords and letting agencies to allow you to rent with your pet. Think about how your pet can help you can stand out from the crowd; Include a pet-CV with your application and an eye-catching photo of your furry friend

 

References are important for humans, and yet they are often presented as an after-thought and the end of the renting process. Imagine how impressed a landlord or agent will be when your pooch romps up with verifiable pet references from professionals like its vet, previous landlords and neighbours at its old address. 

Be organised with your home-search process

If you’re looking to find a pet-friendly rental home, there are some steps that can make the process easier. 

 

  • Plan ahead. Searching for a pet-friendly property can take more time than the usual house-hunting process. Give yourself plenty of time to find what you want without rushing things – this will help avoid disappointment down the line! In addition, when you have a pet in tow, you need to have your new property available before you must move out of your current home as finding temporary accommodation with a pet is frustratingly hard, and expensive.

 

  • Check the pet policies of each property you’re interested in before attending a viewing. Speak with or email the landlord or letting agent and check if pets like yours are allowed before viewing any properties. Maybe dogs are allowed if they’re below a certain size. 

 

  • Be open-minded about the location or size of the property you are searching for. City centre living might be on your wish list, but it typically means smaller properties and less room for your furry friend to exercise. Pet-friendly properties in popular locations with lots of amenities will typically be more expensive. Pet-friendly homes in suburbs may provide a better value for money overall, including cheaper rent prices and fewer pet restrictions. The downside of suburbia though could be longer commute times and more time for your pet to be on its own, which isn’t ideal. 

 

  • Be proactive and spread the word. Rather than just search endless property ads for the rare mention of “pets allowed” or “pets considered”, take the initiative with your home search. Post your need for a pet-friendly home on your social media pages and message boards. Let your friends look with you in their own networks. Make sure to share and post the link to your tenant CV with your pet-cv section prominently displayed so people with solutions can get in touch. 

How to secure the ideal pet-friendly property when you find one 

Pet-friendly properties are often limited in supply, so it’s important to have your plan for securing it primed well in advance of when one becomes available. 

 

Collate information about your pet in advance so you are prepared. 

  • Pet-friendly properties will often have a pet section on the application form. In these properties, you can be sure every applicant will put their best foot/paw forward and so it’s important to include as much information about your pet that you can. 

Have your Pet CV ready for when pet-friendly rental properties are presented

  • When pets are not mentioned on the property ad, but you love the property, it’s worth checking whether the landlord will consider you and your pet. Rather than just ask the question and inviting an easy “No”, make a polite request by including an impressive Pet-CV with your enquiry. It may cause them to pause and consider inviting you for a property viewing. 

 

  • Presenting a well-organised tenant cv is a must if you want to impress landlords or agents. Moreover, when you want to encourage them to allow your pet to stay, include a section for your Pet’s CV.

 

  • Pet CVs should describe what type of animal they are, where they live now and how long you’ve had them.

 

  • Provide any relevant medical history and vaccination records as well as confirmation about micro-chipping and relevant licenses.

 

  • Tell the story of your pet and communicate a little about your pet’s personality, their good behaviour, any training they have had. 

 

  • Of course, you should include a picture of your pet, on its own or with you. 

 

It all comes back to showing trustworthiness

  • You need the Landlord or agent to like your pet and soften any pre-conceived concerns they might have about potential issues with noise, fouling, or damage to people or property.

 

  • It’s very valuable to include verifiable references for your pet. If you have previous landlords who will vouch for the good behaviour of your pet as well as a vet, neighbours or the dog-kennel, make sure to include written references from all of them. Don’t be overwhelmed by the thought of securing such references as the process has been streamlined by HomeHak.com. 

 

Introduce your dog or pet to any potential landlords 

Introducing your pet at the first opportunity can immediately put any landlord’s mind at ease and dispel their fears. Bring them along for a property viewing so they can see how well behaved it is, but be mindful of other animals that may not want a trip in a carrier!

 

Offer to pay for a professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy.

You have a responsibility to look after a property that you rent. Over the course of time carpets, soft furnishings or walls can get extra grubby after muddy paws or stains from little accidents! In some cases, allergens can be an issue for future tenants who are not comfortable with pets, making the property harder to rent or sell. Check if you can fund your landlords extra cleaning services when it is time to move out. You can offer to agree or pay these costs upfront instead of waiting until the end of the tenancy.

 

Offer to pay a special deposit for damages caused by your pet

To assure your landlord that you’re a responsible pet owner, offer to pay an additional deposit for pets. Even the best cat or dog can get up to mischief and it’s as well to acknowledge the possibility by agreeing on a special damages deposit upfront. 

 

pet friendly rentals cat

Some tips for moving into your new pet-friendly rental home

Moving into a new home is exciting. Moreover, it is easy to get caught up in the euphoria. However take stock of a few important things before moving day.

 

  1. Check your lease for all mention of pets. Also, ensure you are comfortable that it reflects everything you agreed in relation to your pets. Don’t be afraid to mention any omissions or mistakes. A good landlord or agent will be just as keen as you to have everything contractually in good shape before the move-in date. 
  2. Additionally, ensure the contract agrees the amount for special cleaning or pet damage deposit. 
  3. Moving day can be one of the most stressful days for humans. Having to pack and clean. Additionally, the stress for our pets that are going through a big life change. The day will arrive when you’re getting ready to move house with your dog in tow. Take steps now to make it as stress-free as possible! Consider asking friends or family if they would mind taking care of your pet while you get all packed up. 

Honesty is the best policy

To have a successful landlord/tenant relationship, one must be honest about their pet. Be open and upfront with your prospective landlord or property agent. Assure them that you won’t break any trust by sneaking in a pet without permission. Show them you take responsibility for your best friend. You do not want the tenancy agreement terminated due to unauthorized pets.  You may not have an opportunity to live at this location ever again! 

On the other hand, do good preparation and take a proactive approach. This way you can be more assured of finding pet-friendly rental accommodation to suit the whole family. Circumstances will change and you might decide to move home in future. A good relationship with your landlord or agent will auger well for good references on your tenant cv. 

 

For more information about the regulations around private rented accommodation with a pet in Ireland, take a look at this guide from Threshold.

 

pet friendly rentals dog chair

Key Takeaways 

When looking for pet-friendly rentals with your pet, there are a number of steps you can take:

  • Being open and upfront about your pet in advance when enquiring or before signing any tenancy agreement
  • Keeping your pets in accordance with all rules set out in agreements such as not allowing animals on furniture
  • House training, (i.e., providing sufficient litter trays)
  • Taking care not to disturb neighbours during odd working hours. 

 

10 Things to Consider When Moving Out of Home

moving out of home renting tips homehak boxes plant couple

moving out of home renting tips homehak boxes plant couple

Moving out of home is one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever experience. It’s stressful, exciting and can be overwhelming at times.

If you’re about to move out of home for the first time, congratulations! You are one step closer to an exciting chapter in your life. It’s a special moment in life, but becoming a first-time renter comes with its own challenges. Some people may find it more difficult than others to adjust to such big changes. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 things to consider when getting started!

 

1. Get Organised!

It can be hard when you’re on your own for the first time, but by getting organised and having a routine will help keep things on track. Make sure that you establish a daily, weekly and monthly routine and stick to it. Even if it’s something small like organising your clothes every Sunday, it will make sure that things are folded and hung in the right order. Having a sense of routine makes moving out all the more enjoyable!

 

2. Budgeting is a Must

To make sure you can afford all the things you need to get by, you should set yourself a budget. Make sure that you have allocated money for rent, bills, food and socialising. Without a strict budget it can be easy to overspend on impulse purchases which could leave your bank account empty in no time. Using a budget calculator is an amazing way to wrap your head around expenses for the first time.

 

3. Learn to Cook

Learning to cook will not only save you money, but it’s healthier too. If you can’t or don’t want to cook then you should at least learn how to make a few cheap easy meals that won’t cost the earth! These days there are tons of resources to help you learn some basic cooking skills. Start off by searching up one-person recipes like these. This way you can learn how to portion meals properly. You’ll be hosting dinner parties in no time!

 

4. Learn How to Clean your House

It may seem silly, but if you don’t know how to do these things already then now is the time to learn. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your house stays nice and tidy on a regular basis without too much effort on your part! Cleaning can be costly if you hire professionals, so it’s much better to do it yourself if you’re on a budget. Maintaining your rented accommodation will also keep you on good terms with the landlord – they will appreciate you more for taking proper care of the house.

 

5. Keep Up to Date With the News

Moving out for the first time can take up all of your energy. Try to stay in contact with what is happening around you and in the world at large by reading newspapers daily or watching local TV news. This will help you be well informed about the latest issues that are ongoing around you. 

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Photo: Noemi Macavei Katocz

6. Join a Community Group

Community groups provide peer support and social opportunities, which will help you make friends and become more confident as you adjust to life on your own. You don’t have to join one that is specifically for people who live alone – any one of them will do! There may even be neighbourhood social media groups that you can join. These are great for keeping you in the loop of what’s going on in the area – farmers markets, bake sales, charity events etc! Check out our other blog posts that feature local guides.

 

7. Get Out and Meet People

Adjusting to new surroundings can sometimes feel off-putting. You don’t have to go it alone, so get out there and socialise. Try making friends with your neighbours, ask your friends if they want to do things together regularly or pop into a local club to see what’s going on. There are plenty of activities that you can take part in! It’s never too late to take up a new sport, dancing, art classes etc. 

 

8. Be Aware of Safety

You may need to take some precautions when it comes to protecting yourself when moving to a new place. From measures like having good locks and being aware of your surroundings to being able to use a phone properly. Keep important numbers close to hand – local police,  trustworthy friends and neighbours, your doctor – have these to hand for your own peace of mind. You can search for your local Garda Station here. Check out our article on scams to be aware of here

 

9. Go Easy On Yourself 

Moving out for the first time can be very stressful, so try not to do too much at once. All of a sudden you’re faced with huge changes – living with new people, sorting out utilities, getting everything in order, moving all your belongings. It can be a lot! So give yourself some slack.

 

10. Stay in Touch.

Keep in contact with your family and friends . Although you will be out on your own now, that doesn’t mean that your life should change drastically. Make sure that you spend time with the people who love you and who are important to you – it’s much better than spending all of your time alone! Invite your friends around to your new place and start a new tradition of cosy tea and chats. 

 

HomeHak Tenant CV

A Tenant CV is a document you can use when applying for rentals. It shows off  what you’re looking for in a home, and how great a tenant you can be! When moving out for the first time, property searching can be long-winded and overwhelming, but a Tenant CV can help reduce some frustrations. Because it has all your essential information in one place, you can use it over and over again! Not only does it make your life easier, but it also looks great to landlords searching for the perfect tenant. So if you want to simplify the search process, sign up to HomeHak today!

 

How To Ace Your Rental Application So The Landlord Can’t Say No

Couple bought new house

Have you ever spotted an ideal rental that ticks all the boxes, but you can see that thousands of others have also viewed the same property ad? Stand out from the crowd by learning how to ace a great rental application.

 

Even at the best of times, the process of finding your next home can be overwhelming.  For starters, it can be tough just trying to organise all your own information. The renting marketplace is fierce, and the last thing anyone wants is for their application to get lost in a sea of emails amongst other applicants.

 

Learn how to ace your rental application and making sure your rental application stands out from the crowd is essential! It’s just a case of expressing that you’re the ideal tenant for the property.

 

 

Application form and laptop
Photo by Markus Winkler by Unsplash

Boost your chances with a Tenant CV

A Tenant CV is a snapshot of who you are and what you’re interested in, similar to how your professional Job CV works. It lists information that a potential landlord will need to know, like your living preferences, employment history, renting history, landlord and employment references. These are usually requested in the later stages of the application process, but an excellent Tenant CV cuts right to the point.

 

Supplementing your rental application with a Tenant CV is an easy way to express your values and get noticed by landlords. It gives you a chance to tell the landlord how reliable you are, with proof to back it up. Additionally, it streamlines the application process for both of you by cutting to the chase, meaning everyone can reap benefits.

 

How to ace first impressions

First impressions are important, so introduce yourself in a friendly and honest way! Don’t worry about dressing it up with embellishments or fancy words – you just want to show that you’re genuine, which will stand to you throughout the entire application process and how to ace the process.

 

Include some basic information about yourself that you think is important for landlords to know: Where you want to live; what commute options you prefer, and your availability for viewings. Put yourself in the shoes of a property manager; what do you think they’d be hoping to read? What can you say to show them you’re an ideal tenant and they should select you over other applicants?

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Photo by Maria Ziegler on Unsplash

Being noticed for the right reasons

You’re in control of how much information you choose to be visible on your profile, so share as much as you feel is necessary. When you’re creating your Tenant CV, a goal to be mindful of is to establish trust between you and potential landlords. This helps to form a strong relationship further down the line.

 

You can do this by including relevant information on your Tenant CV, such as a bio, supporting documents, and sometimes a photo or video introduction can help (if you’re comfortable sharing them). From a landlord’s perspective, this helps increase the chances of selecting someone who could be happy in the property during the selection process. You’re allowing them to regard you as a person in a way that is just not possible through a regular email enquiry.

 

 

Including references

The addition of references from an independent third party essentially backs you up and increases your credibility! Ideally, your referee’s know you well and/or have an idea of what you would be like as a tenant. A former landlord is a perfect example. Alternatively, choose referees that know you from a professional standpoint.  For example, an employer, professional colleague, career mentor etc. It may even be helpful to include references from previous co-tenants who can vouch for your integrity and attitude.

 

References not only speak to your reliability as a tenant. They also speak to your honesty, accountability, and social matters like your cleanliness and community spirit! A verified reference is one of the most valuable resources during the rental process. This is because it provides evidence of your trustworthiness.

 

Don’t hold back

We know that everyone is different and has a different story to tell. Some people may have changed jobs often, relocated a few times, or perhaps they’re a first-time tenant. Supplementing your rental application with a Tenant CV is a great way to explain things that can often be perceived as negative. For example, being a first-time renter can be seen as a positive thing! It’s an opportunity to begin a great tenant reputation.

 

It may be useful to consider having an open conversation with the landlord at an appropriate time. If necessary, give yourself a chance to explain any previous issues (i.e. rental arrears, damages etc.). Most importantly, explain the actions you are taking to improve your tenancy reputation! Honesty is the best policy, and more often than not, landlords will appreciate you being upfront with them.

 

Following these tips when managing your Tenant CV will undoubtedly give you an advantage in a competitive market. HomeHak gives you the tools to do just that. Have a look at the 6 reasons to use a Tenant CV.

The step-by-step how to ace guide helps you to fill out your first Tenant CV with ease! You can be confident that your information is secure as you decide how much you want to be visible. Check out how you can get started here.

Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHak Top Recommendations!

business people making agreement with pen

Journalists, lawyers, landlords. They are up there with some of the most automatically despised people in society. Yet, there are some incredible investigative journalists who help solve crimes. There are human rights lawyers who work for free. Yes, there are also wonderful homeowners that treat tenants like gold.

 

The funny thing is, these homeowners benefit from doing the right thing. Happy tenants stay longer, meaning less time, lost rent and hassle finding new people to move in. People who treat their rental like a true home also make sure everything is looked after too.

 

So, knowing that happy tenants are better tenants, here are the best ways on how to be a good landlord.

 

1. Be a personable landlord

Those who rent from you are people. You’re a person too. Show it. Here are some of the best ways to deal with your tenants.

 

  • Meet them face to face and show them around the property.
  • Say thanks by buying a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine to celebrate moving in.
  • Be willing to chat through any concerns or questions your tenants have.
  • Simple courtesy has a great way of coming back to you when you give it out.
  • Respect your tenants and they’re more likely to respect you and your property in return. 
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Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

2. Set fair rent, just below market rates

Wait. Below market rates? In this economy? Hear us out. If you set rent at €10 per week below the going rate, you’ll be able to select the very best tenants from the available pool and rent things out sooner. More importantly, if your current tenants know they’ve got a reasonable deal, they’re more likely to be happy where they are and less likely to shop around for somewhere new. Given the average rent in Ireland is over €1,200 per month, that measly €10 discount is covered in just 2 weeks and a lot of hassle is averted. Thanks, maths. 

3. Stay on top of maintenance

According to studies, around 50% of tenants experience poor communication or slow reaction to property issues from landlords. It’s the number one frustration for renters and something we’ve all experienced when dealing with poor customer service.

 

Here is another one of the best ways to act if you want to be a good landlord. If there’s ever an issue with the home you rent out, fix it right away. Be proactive with potential problems as well by patching them up regularly and making sure the tenants are happy with any adjustments.

 

If you want to be a good a good landlord and go the extra mile, ask the tenants if there are any niggling things they don’t like about the place. If they’re easy to fix, just do it. Again, someone that loves where they are is more likely to treat the home better and stay longer. 

 

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Photo by Bence Balla on Unsplash

 

4. Offer rental renewal early

Feeling secure in your home is something that reduces anxiety and helps foster wellbeing. There’s nothing worse than having a lease expiration looming and waiting to see if the homeowner is willing to renew for another year. If you are that homeowner, get on the front foot and let your tenants know 2-3 months beforehand that you’re happy to keep the agreement going. If you’re both willing, even look at extended terms. Less paperwork and hassle for both of you. A sense of security is a must for everyone. 

 

5. Find the right tenant in the first place

It might be easy just to take the first tenant you know will pay the rent each month. While getting paid on time is obviously important, it’s far from the only factor. Better to think long term and match up your home with someone you know will be truly happy there:

 

  • Look for someone who works nearby.
  • See if there are sports facilities, restaurants or other good things you think will be a draw for the tenant.
  • Speak with them about their needs.
  • If things match up and they are a good fit then ensure paying rent won’t be an issue. 

It might sound like a bit of hard work, but really it comes back to being a person. A little thought, some listening and attentive questions, and you’ll find a great tenant who will treat your place like it’s their sanctuary.

 

Have a look at our blog post “Qualities Of Good Tenants – Prospective Tenant Standard For Landlords.”

 

To make finding the right tenant a little easier, HomeHak has set up a community of people looking for their dream home in Ireland. They’ve prepared comprehensive tenant CV’s and their details and references are available in advance. They have outlined the key things they’re looking for in a home, and are easily searchable “meaning you will never make a wrong decision again when it comes to finding a like-minded tenant that you know will stay for longer”.

 

It’s all here at the click of a link!

 

Renting A Home That Has It All – What To Look For

A couple cooking together in the kitchen

Work space, rest space, play space, shared space. A home in this day and age is your office, sanctuary and cafe rolled into one. Having a place that allows for this flexibility in lifestyle is more important than ever in a connected world. So, it’s worth putting some extra thought into renting a home that ticks all the boxes, Maybe it creates a few new ones in our ever-competitive rental market. 

 

The first step is outlining your current situations. Yes, plural. Break your needs out into work, rest, exercise, socialising and eating. While the borders between these are actually fuzzy, it helps to make sure you’re thinking about the important factors for each facet of your life. Consider how they fit in with your ideal home. First, work.

 

Where and how do you work when renting a home?

Work is a massive part of our lives. Think about how this fits into where you live. For example, can you cut down your commute by finding a rental that’s close to the office? Does work allow you to do some days from home? If so, does your rental have a space available to let you get good work done? Does that space have a door to stop your roommate Brian from walking past your Zoom meetings wearing just his underwear? Come on, Brian, no one wants to see that.

 

Asking a few of these key questions will help shape a picture of what your home will need. This ensures to make the work part of your life as seamless as possible. Less stress here means less stress overall.   

Will your rental help you unwind?

According to the Mental Health Foundation, sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. Making sure you have good sleep and relaxation time means you’re happier. You can also enjoy the more exciting times to the full. So, think about whether you’ll be able to get proper rest at home. A room that will be quiet, has blinds to shut out light, and good temperature control are all key for sleep. A comfortable spot to lounge, watch the match or Netflix and chill is also essential these days too. 

 

Are there opportunities to exercise nearby when renting a home?

Getting motivated to get sweaty can be hard enough without putting a 45-minute drive in the way. So, whatever your preferred exercise is, make sure there are facilities near your home to let you do it easily.

 

Yoga and pilates studios? Football or hurling grounds? Tennis courts? Good cycling routes to work? Some extra planning and thought into where your home is could mean you’ll stay fitter and therefore healthier and happier in the long run. It doesn’t hurt to have a good bar in between those places too. Additionally if you want to reward yourself on the way home. 

 

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Will your home let you get social?

There are so many ways to stay social these days. Eat out with friends, eat in with friends, see a movie or go to the pub with friends. Targeting a rental that will allow you to get out and about, but also invite people over is a must when looking for a place to live. Having a place close to friends’ places is also a factor. Nothing better than being able to text a few of the lads or ladies and have a spur of the moment catch up. An adequate dining space is ideal if you can find it, but in lieu of that, great restaurants nearby can also be a social catalyst. 

 

Do you cook, takeout or eat out?

Some people love nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen, making a home-cooked meal to rival mum’s roast dinners. Others prefer the convenience of Deliveroo or JustEat. Others still prefer to get out for some fine dining. Whatever your preference, scoping out your options is a critical element before deciding on the ideal zone for your rental property. 

 

Once you’ve factored in work, rest, exercise, socialising and food, you’ll have a really good indication of the perfect place you want to be. Location isn’t the only factor, obviously. Good internet, cooking facilities and work/play spaces are all things to put in your checklist.

 

The next step then is putting your needs out there and finding the rental that has it all. HomeHak is a platform that helps you do this and more. Check out how you can create a profile here which lists what you’re looking for in a home and guides you through creating a CV that landlords will jump at. 

 

A little thought and the right tools will make it easier to find the right balance between work, rest, play and a social life worth calling friends about.

 

Are you a first-time renter? Check out this blog post for some helpful tips!

How To Rent A Home You Can Love – HomeHak’s Top Tips To Help!

A woman and two babies playing with a tablet

How To Rent A Home You Can Love – HomeHaks Top Tips To Help!

 

Most people looking for a place to rent in Ireland have two big questions looming large in their minds. Can I afford it? and will I get it? While these are important questions, perhaps they’re not quite top of the list, longer term. According to the Good Home Report by the Happiness Research Institute, 73% of people who are happy with their home are also happy in general.

 

It makes sense then that the first things you might be asking instead are: will I love this place? will I thrive here? Just because you’re not in a position to buy (yet!), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be thinking of every place you look at as a potential ‘forever’ home.

 

Why settle if there’s the option to start enjoying a house you love by putting in a little extra thought and effort? You could find the right place where you can be yourself, truly relax, and be happy now. 

 

Here are some things to consider…

 

 

Will you feel proud to live there?

According to the Good Home Report mentioned above, the absolute number one criteria for whether a home helps bring happiness to your life is whether you’re proud to live there. While that might seem a little superficial at first, when you think about it, it makes sense. In a world where your true home is a reflection of your personality, if you’re not happy with your home, you’re not happy with yourself. You want to be able to invite friends and family over for a drink and get a glow when they walk through the door and smile. 

 

Can you make the space your own?

The freedom to make a space your own will help you create a home that you’re proud of. In a rental, that’s not going to mean knocking down walls or doing bathroom renovations. However, it will likely mean hanging art, adding some indoor plants and curating furniture that’s comfortable. When looking for a place, make sure it has enough space to accommodate these prized elements.

 

Having a good relationship with your landlord is a great way to make sure you’re both comfortable in making small cosmetic changes too. Counter to popular belief, most landlords aren’t moustache-twirling villains. They’re people. They want others to be happy in the home they’ve bought, so will often make concessions if they know it will make you more comfortable. They also know that happy tenants are more likely to pay rent on time and stay there long term. Better security for them. A better home for you. 

 

 

Will you feel secure there?

Landlords aren’t the only ones who want a sense of security. When things are stable in our lives, that flows into our mental health. If things are uncertain, that’s when anxiety kicks in. Personal safety obviously is a must for all, as is financial security. Knowing you’re in a place you won’t get kicked out of is another piece to the well-being puzzle.

 

When looking for a place to rent in Ireland, see what options you have for longer than normal term leases (if you’re happy with locking something in). Ask the landlord what they want in a tenant and make sure your needs match up too. Being mindful of the “people” element will help everyone feel better about their choices.

 

Is your rental convenient for your life?

45 minutes. That’s the amount of time that’s ‘bearable’ for any commute. Studies show traveling further than that means you’re much more likely to want to move. To keep things convenient and close, always look at where your rental is in relation to your work.

 

It shouldn’t just stop at the office either. Is it close to places you like to exercise and socialise? Are there supermarkets within easy reach? Are there good takeaway options nearby for when you’re too fried after a long day to cook (or want a special treat)? A bit of thought and foresight here can make a huge difference in finding a rental where you’ll be at peak happiness. Since good coffee = happiness to many, make sure there are at least a couple of great cafes in the area too. 

 

 

Who will live there with you?

Now that you’ve looked at the actual place you’re most likely to be happy in, you’ll want to give some thought into who’s going to live there with you. Hoping you’ll find random strangers to help pay the rent along the way is probably a poor strategy. Same for trawling Tinder for prospective housemates. Maybe you’ve got friends you know you’ll be comfortable living with? Work is another spot where you can match up with people who share at least one key criteria for home choice. The key here is to take the lead, figure out your own criteria for housemates and stick to them. It’s not just about paying the rent. It’s about sharing a vision on what makes a good home that makes all the difference.

 

By now, you might be thinking, this advice is all well and good, but I still need to be able to afford it and still need to get the place over other applicants. The housing market in Ireland is no fairyland. The thing is, we need to make the rental process more about our needs as tenants. We need to stand up for what we want in our ideal home and make them known to the world.

 

Thankfully, platforms like HomeHak are flipping the script when it comes to matching renters with the right locations. HomeHak is even a great place to find other renters to team up with who share similar interests and home values as you. Check out how you can create a profile here which lists what you’re looking for in a home and guides you through creating a CV that potential landlords will jump at. 

 

Beyond that, finding the best rentals is about forming a well thought out plan. Go about about it step-by-step, and persist when things get hard. All worthwhile things in life take time and effort. Finding a rental you love is no exception.

 

Ready to start your new adventure? Have a look at the 10 things to consider when moving out of home!