Why Considering Living in an Owner-Occupied Home in Ireland

Friends at home

If you’re looking for a place to call home in Ireland, you might want to consider living in an owner-occupied home. These types of accommodations – also known as “digs” – are occupied by the homeowner, meaning that the landlord lives on the premises.

 

Living with a “landlord” in their home may not always sound like the most attractive option. However, the many advantages of this type of accommodation make it an alternative worth considering.

 

In fact, owner-occupied homes are becoming increasingly popular among national and international students, interns and professional workers. They tend to be more affordable than student accommodation and offer more freedom and flexibility than traditional living arrangements.

 

Take a look at the advantages of living in an owner-occupied home and discover how to connect with landlords who offer this alternative option on HomeHak.

 

Friends at home
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The 6 Benefits of Living in an Owner-Occupied Home in Ireland

The current housing situation in Ireland is not ideal, to say the least. There is a shortage of places available for rent, and the prices have been on the rise. As a result, many people are considering owner-occupied homes as an alternative.

 

Owner-occupied homes are pretty common in Ireland, especially in places where there is a high demand for rental properties. While it is not without its own set of challenges, there are some definite benefits to this living arrangement:

 

1. More affordable

According to an article published in July of 2022 by the Irish Times, the “cost of renting in Ireland rose 76.7% between 2010 and 2022, 4½ times the EU average.”

 

On top of that, electricity and gas have increased up to 45.2% and 47.11%, respectively, so far this year. Depending on the agreement you reach out with the landlord, you may not even need to worry about utility bills, or can at least split them between the landlord and the other occupants.

 

Digs are also an excellent alternative for students that cannot afford to live in purpose-built student accommodations. An article published in the Irish Independent in 2022 stated that the average cost of the cheapest room in Irish university accommodation is €5,451, for the entire academic year.

 

2. Quality of the property

Living with your “landlord” does have another benefit. Is something broken at home? You can simply notify the homeowner once you are both at home so they have a look at it. It is definitely quicker and simpler than having to wait for them to find the time to come over to the property.

 

Owner-occupied homes tend to be better maintained than rental properties, as the homeowner has a vested interest in keeping the property in good condition. Therefore, it could be expected that they are willing to make minor repairs or at least notice faster any issues that could require a professional to fix. However, this will really depend on the person and how careful they are with their own property.

 

Two-people-in-a-kitchen
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3. An Irish experience

Some international students or working professionals will be attracted to the idea of living with an Irish person or family. Not only because it could be an opportunity to practise their English skills, but because the homeowner may be able to recommend places to visit and local food. For those who would prefer to live in an Irish home instead of sharing a house with other expats, living in an owner-occupied house could be just what they were looking for.

 

4. Safety and location

First-year university students may use a bit of company and help when leaving their homes for the first time. For international students, the need for support and security when moving to an unknown and foreign country is probably even more important. Imagine that, for instance, you are sick. At least you will know someone in the house who can call you a doctor.

 

In addition, digs are often located in desirable neighbourhoods, in nicer and safer areas in the suburbs of the city. Check out this article and find more tips for first-time movers.

 

5. Comfort and cleanliness

Living in an owner-occupied home in Ireland has its advantages, chief among them being comfort and cleanliness. Digs are typically better maintained and more comfortable than rented rooms, which can often be too small and badly isolated. While owner-occupied homes may not always be spotless, they’re usually cleaner than rented houses.

 

Person in the living room with computer
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6. Amenities

It’s no secret that digs tend to have better furniture and amenities than rental properties. For example, owner-occupied homes are more likely to have helpful items such as an ironing board, gardening tools, or household electrical appliances like a dishwasher or a dryer, and more expensive and comfortable furniture and fittings. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule. On the whole, it’s fair to say that owner-occupied homes tend to be better equipped than rentals.

 

7. Freedom and flexibility

Living in an owner-occupied house gives you more freedom and flexibility. For example, some homeowners won’t require you to commit to a certain length of stay. You won’t have to worry about breaking a lease nor sign up for the utility bills in your name either. This can be a huge relief if you’re not planning to stay in one place for a long time.

 

8. Company

Not only do you get the benefit of living in the company of the owner of the property, but in some cases, the remaining spare room/s may also be rented to other international or Irish students. This can be a great way to get to know some new people from all over the world!

 

Housemates
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

 

Setting expectations when living in an owner-occupied home

Having a clear set of house rules is always encouraged when sharing accommodation with others, be it your housemates or the homeowner. Indeed, most homeowners may want you to sign an agreement where both parties commit to respecting specific rules. This is certainly a great tool to set clear expectations in advance and a way to ensure the stay will work for both parties.

 

These are some of the questions that we recommend you clarify with the homeowner to ensure both of you get on well and have similar expectations around cleanliness and other house rules:

 

  • Will you pay bills, or are these included in the price?
  • Are you allowed to invite people to stay over?
  • Will you rent the room only from Monday to Friday or will you also spend the weekends?
  • Can you bring guests to the house?
  • Will you share the living room and some amenities, like the TV?
  • How will you divide the household chores and the cleaning of the communal areas?

 

Of course, owner-occupied homes come with their own responsibilities, but for many people, the pros outweigh the cons. If you’re considering making the switch, be sure to do your research and weigh all of your options before making a decision. In addition, an honest conversation with the homeowner beforehand could prevent conflicts from happening in the long run.

 

 

Get selected to live in an owner-occupied home on HomeHak

Have you decided to look for an owner-occupied property in Ireland? HomeHak can help you with your search!

1.  State this preference on your Tenant CV

  • If you want to be found by homeowners looking for home seekers to share accommodation with, you can include the “dig/owner-occupied” option on your HomeHak Tenant CV.
  • First, click on your profile picture at the top right corner and then on “Settings, Create Profile, Menu.”
  • Under “Create my Tenant CV”, go to the fourth option “My Desired Home”, and click on “Edit.”
  • Choose the option “Property and household type” on the left side of the screen
  • Lastly, in the question “I/We would like to rent”, choose “Shared property with owner occupier”

2.  Look for digs on HomeHak:

Homeowners can also list their spare rooms for rent on HomeHak.

  • Go to the tab “Home for rents”
  • Select “Shared with owner occupier” in the Living arrangement dropdown menu. Remember to use the filters to search for a room suitable to your needs.
  • Once you have found a room you are interested in, you can shortlist it, apply for a viewing or ask the landlord a question.

 

Have you made up your mind about living in an owner-occupied home? You can find more information here:

 

 

 

Some practical ways we can help people get selected for a home in Cork

View-of-Cork-city-at-night

Cork is in the midst of a housing crisis, with rents rising and the availability of rental properties falling. The latest figures released by Daft.ie in its Rental Price Report for Q3 of 2022 showed a price increase in Cork of 12.1% over in the third quarter of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. According to this report, the average price now in Cork City is sitting at €1,708 per month, up 127% from its lowest point.

 

The shortage of housing is also noticeable. On the 29th of November 2022, there were only 83 properties available in Daft.ie to lease across the whole county. On that same day, there were only 40 in the city.

 

According to a Cork Chamber Report, the housing crisis is now not only a social issue but also a significant challenge for businesses because it is causing skills shortages. The accommodation crisis is putting immense pressure on employers in Cork. They try to attract and retain workers in a highly competitive market.

 

Cork has a strong, diverse economy with more than 190 multinational firms employing almost 43,000 people. However, it is just impossible to keep bringing more people than there is accommodation for.

 

View-of-Cork-city-at-night
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Housing crisis impact on Cork’s healthcare

This situation is hurting the overall prosperity of Cork and having a negative impact on Cork’s economy. Many people are finding it difficult to live here even despite having a secure job.

 

For instance, healthcare professionals are struggling to find a home in Cork, many of whom having relocated from overseas. Lacking these essential frontline workers could potentially have tangible effects on the population of Cork. Indeed, according to a study from Cork University Hospital and Cork University Business School in November 2022, the country’s health services would “collapse” without overseas doctors so change is urgently needed.

 

As part of their agreement to work for the State, nurses and midwives hired from overseas are given housing support. However, this benefit will only cover the first six weeks they are in Ireland. Due to the housing situation, these essential workers are often being asked to share bedrooms or, in at least one instance, beds with strangers, the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation (INMO) says.

 

Liam Conway, Cork-based industrial relations officer for the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), explained that rising costs and rents are having serious impacts on the ground: “By failing to address the matter urgently, we are losing our competitiveness to recruit nurses and midwives from overseas and driving nurses and midwives in the current services to consider moving abroad.” Nonetheless, to evidence the need for new recruits , earlier this year, it was announced that more than 500 jobs in the healthcare sector would be created in Cork, Louth and Meath.

 

The risk of losing staff and investment

The increase in accommodation prices, coupled with the cost of living crisis, will also have a knock-on effect on other businesses in Cork city. People have less money to spend on goods and services, such as local shops and restaurants. Furthermore, the lack of affordable and adequate housing may deflect some people away from the city. This could ultimate cause a decline in Cork’s overall economic activity.

 

While at the moment, Cork “contributes 19% of Ireland’s GDP and has the 4th highest disposable income per capita in Ireland”. This situation can also deter employers from setting up businesses in Cork. Companies might not always be able to afford to pay their employees enough to cover their costs. As a result, the city will suffer from a lack of jobs and investment in the long run if no measures are put in place.

 

An urgent call to action

Cork is expected to be the “fastest-growing city in Ireland over the next 20 years with a population that will grow by 50% to 60% in that period.” The housing crisis will hinder Cork from reaching its full potential and urgently needs to be addressed.

 

Maurice Manning, director of housing for Cork County Council, informed the councillors that his department had set a target of 750 new housing units in West Cork for the end of 2022. In the longer term, Project Ireland 2040 will also address this matter by including additional social housing units in Cork City, the City North West area (90 dwellings), Ard Fermoy (52 dwellings), and Kilnagleary Carraigaline (49 dwellings).

 

Street-in-Kinsale-Cork
Photo by Kirsten Drew on Unsplash

The government has been called on to invest in public transport and infrastructure in Cork to make it easier for people to commute to work. Therefore, the 2040 plan also includes investments in public transport in the Cork area.

 

The BusConnects program is expected to deliver a number of sustainable transport projects to improve “traffic management, bus priority and other smarter travel projects along with new urban cycling and walking routes”. The project has an estimated cost of €200m and is foreseen to be completed by 2027.

 

These measures should help alleviate the accommodation crisis in the medium-term. However, something needs to be done in the short term to provide more affordable housing options for existing and prospective employees in Cork.

 

The rent-a-room relief

The rent-a-room relief, for instance, aims to generate more available rooms for rent by providing a tax break for those who rent out a spare bedroom in their home. This scheme allows homeowners to rent out one or several rooms in their home for up to €14,000 per year without having to pay any tax on the income.

 

This can also help offset the increasing cost of living by providing homeowners with an extra source of income. While this incentive may not solve the housing crisis overnight, it can help to provide some much-needed relief. Besides, it is an especially relevant solution for a city like Cork, where there are thousands of unoccupied bedrooms.

 

Employers can do something about the housing crisis

Employers can also get involved with supporting their workers who are struggling to find a home. Their involvement is especially crucial for employees that have relocated to Cork for business reasons. They risk losing skilled and talented workers, wasting time spent recruiting, training and onboarding staff not to mention the decrease in productivity and engagement rates.

 

According to a recent Accenture research, Cork is the top city outside of Dublin for tech talent, with over 10,000 employees that have the in-demand skills that technology companies in Ireland are looking for. This figure shows the need for employers to get involved with alleviating the housing crisis in Cork. However, most of the time, the only role of the employers is just subsidising the cost of temporary accommodation.

 

Conversation-with-HR
Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

How we can all help

Uniquely, with HomeHak.com, employers can now take a more active role in supporting their staff to get selected for a home. Companies can start by ensuring their employees are prepared and well presented during the home search process in Ireland. Employers can sponsor their employees’ HomeHak membership. This will help them with the creation of their HomeHak Tenant CVs. They can include their renting and work history, references, desired home, location, and their needs as tenants.

 

In addition, employers can create a HomeHak Employer page on HomeHak to promote their employees’ Tenant CVs and help them stand out from the crowd. This will generate visibility for employees and networking opportunities. Staff members could share the Employers’ HomeHak page with their landlords when they give notice that they are moving away. The employer can include links to the page on their social media accounts to highlight their employees’ Tenant CVs.

 

Would you like to read more eye-opening data about the housing crisis in Cork and the whole country? Check out the article “Why employers should help their staff find a home”.

Networking can help alleviate housing crisis in Cork

In reality, the key to success in finding affordable accommodation has always been word of mouth. The more people one knows in a new city; the more likely one is to find a place to live. HomeHak’s strengthens home seekers networking power. Anybody can now help home seekers find a home in Cork.

 

With HomeHak, home seekers can share the link, unique code or QR code for their HomeHak Tenant CV with their family, friends and colleagues. As when job seekers share their LinkedIn profiles, sending a HomeHak Tenant CV helps home seekers position themselves at the top of mind of their connections whenever they hear of a home vacancy in Cork.

 

This brings a different and more proactive approach. The person in need of accommodation can proactively search for a home. HomeHak allows people to do something instead of waiting for the next property ad to appear, like everyone else. Their connections (such as coworkers, friends and social media followers) can support them in their home search in a very practical way by simply sharing their Tenant CV.

 

Everybody can share HomeHak Tenant CVs on any social platform, such as Facebook groups or LinkedIn. This shows the  enormous potential for exponential visibility. Considering that 70% of people found their current job through networking, why not expect at least a similar result when searching for a home?

 

Cork can be a great place to live and work, but only if everyone has access to a safe and comfortable home. Waiting for the government to change the current situation is not the only way to go. We can all play a part in using our connections to support home seekers in Cork. Otherwise, we would be risking losing the spirit of this city.

 

References:

Why employers should help their staff find a home

Employees-with-HR-person

Companies looking to hire new employees are significantly impacted by the housing crisis, according to the latest Morgan McKinley quarterly employment monitor: “The lack of housing supply in cities in addition to soaring costs is leading to a rise in emigration, further emptying the talent pool”.

 

Employers are struggling to keep native Irish talent due to the lack of supply in the Irish rental market. Besides, hiring international employees has become a highly complex task. Morgan McKinley’s report claims that “the housing shortage within Dublin is causing companies to struggle with securing overseas talent, leading to a reduction in non-EU professionals and a narrowing of the talent pool”.

 

Shortage of accommodation is not just a Dublin problem, as the figures speak about a nationwide accommodation crisis. According to the Renting and Risk report from the homeless charity Threshold and the Citizens Information Board, on August 1st this year, there were “just 716 homes available to rent in the State in comparison with an average of 9,300 at any one time in the years between 2006 and 2019”.

 

Employees-with-HR-person
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The impact of Ireland’s accommodation crisis on the workforce

 

Ireland’s housing crisis, coupled with the requirement for many employees to return to the workplace and live in or close to the cities after working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, raises the following questions: Are companies doing enough to support their staff to find accommodation? Should employers help their staff find a home?

 

The general support employers provide to new hires relocating to Ireland is to cover the expenses of the trip and several weeks in either a hotel or a room rented from temporary housing providers. However, the problem comes when the employee must leave their provisional home without finding a longer term home.

 

The prospect of lacking something as fundamental as a place to live generates enormous stress for the employee, especially when they are in a foreign country. Unsurprisingly, absenteeism, disengagement, a decrease in productivity and, in some cases, resignation are the most common consequences.

 

According to the Irish company Excel Recruitment, the real cost of employee turnover can range from 33% to a stunning 200% of an employee’s annual income, depending on the complexity and seniority of a role.
The high cost of finding and replacing talent and the hit to productivity are strong enough reasons. This encourages some employers to have a more proactive role in supporting their staff to find a home.

Employers who help their staff find a home will see an increase in productivity

Available and affordable accommodation that fits the needs of the workforce is crucial to attract, keep and grow a skilled and productive workforce. Businesses should advocate and invest in finding suitable housing for their staff, not only to assist their employees but also the local economy.

 

Employees that live in the area near their workplace will have shorter commute times and, therefore, a better quality of life. Long commutes may not only push them to look for another job but also affect their wellbeing and productivity. A Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study carried out with 34,000 workers revealed that those who commute over an hour to go to work are more likely to experience stress, health issues such as obesity and depression, and financial concerns. The study also found that employees commuting less than 30 minutes per day “gain an additional seven days’ worth of productive time each year compared to those with commutes of 60 minutes or more”.

 

The relationship between homes and wellbeing 

This type of data is relevant for Irish employers. As revealed in an Aon survey, ‘work-life’ balance is their top wellbeing concern. Besides, this research also states that “96% of businesses in Ireland have at least one employee wellbeing initiative in place”. This figure is especially high when compared to the average of 86% in European firms.

 

Another piece of research carried out by The Happiness Research Institute, Kingfisher and B&Q shows the impact of accommodation on overall happiness and wellbeing by stating that a home contributes more to happiness than a job or a salary. The findings, gathered from over 13,000 people across Europe, showed that while a happy home accounts for 15% of a person’s total happiness, only 6% and 3% of happiness is based on what we earn and the job we do, respectively. This 2019 survey also unveiled that 73% of people who are happy at home are also content in life.

The link between happiness and the home

Support that goes beyond paying the hotel bill

Employers that don’t help their staff find a home will feel the consequences of an unhappy and disengaged workforce. An unpleasant experience in a new city will make any employee less likely to stay in the company. This could also harm the brand’s reputation.

 

Employee experience begins way before starting the new job.  The Recruitment teams should  set the right expectations about the moving process. A prior-first-day orientation to the new hire should help alleviate the relocation stress. For example, the welcoming package could include a local guide. This resource should incorporate information about public transport and recommendations for local services such as grocery shops, hospitals or gyms. This will help international workers know where they would like to live before getting started with their home search.

 

Employers can create opportunities for their staff to connect and help each other with their house hunting. Getting co-workers to network “reduces the likelihood of turnover by 140%”, increases productivity and, in this particular case, it could help employees find a house through their professional connections.

 

Households formed by like-minded people, such as employees of the same company, are more likely to have good chemistry than those where complete strangers cohabit. Employees who live near or with each other will also enjoy spontaneous get-togethers. This can also enhance the employee experience overall. When employees live together, they can commute to work in groups and share the cost of transportation.

 

Happy talent is productive talent. Hence, the company would ultimately benefit from these types of living arrangements between team members.

 

Girls-at-home-with-dog-laughing
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

 

The company’s duty of care

Another reason a company should support their workers in finding a home is that they owe it to their staff. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 the standard duty of care places an obligation on the businesses to do everything that “is reasonably practicable” to protect the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.

 

Employers are also morally obliged to protect their employees from undue risks when they relocate. Therefore, they should make every effort to protect employees travelling and relocating to a new city for business purposes from any physical or psychological harm.

 

By safeguarding their employees and preventing them from experiencing distressing situations such as not having a place to live, the company will also protect its own image and reputation.

 

Businesses can execute their duty of care by guiding their relocated employees. They should help them avoid accommodation scams, choose safe neighbourhoods for housing, and find reliable and convenient commuting options.

 

The social contract: why employers should help their staff find a home

The social contract between employers and employees has long been established and should not be forgotten. Employers provide stability and fair compensation in exchange for their employee’s dedication, hard work, and skills. Since finding housing is a necessary component of stability, employers should become powerful allies in their staff’s housing search. This behaviour will also help strengthen the relationship between employers and employees, turning them into advocates of the company.

 

All things considered, it seems logical for employers to build as much housing support into the recruitment process as possible. Employers should help their staff find a home and navigate the complicated Irish home market.

References:

  1. The housing crisis is making Ireland’s skills shortage worse, a new report reveals.
  2. Housing Crisis Threatening Job Growth as Vacancies Up 6.9%.
  3. Collapse in number of properties on rental market since pandemic laid bare in new report.
  4. The True Cost of Replacing an Employee. [online] Excel Recruitment.
  5. Long commutes costing firms a week’s worth of staff productivity
  6. Aon survey reveals ‘work-life’ balance is the top wellbeing concern for Irish employers
  7. What makes a happy home?
  8. Networking Statistics: General Stats, Benefits, Face to Face, and More!
  9. Duty of Care

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
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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!

7 reasons to rent your spare room with HomeHak

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.

International Students Coming to Ireland – Everything you Need to Know

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know

Where do they come from?

The biggest increase has been international students from other EU states, jumping from 1,934 in 2017 to 6,383 in 2022.

 

According to the Irish Times, the total number of full-time, non-EEA international students reached nearly 18,500 in 2018. The Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) states that the main non-EEA sending countries for Ireland are the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Canada. Asia sends the largest share of students (43% as of 2017/18), followed by North America (30%), and the EU (20%).

 

As reported by this report, applications from British students increased by 9 per cent this year. In 2021, Ireland was home to 25,000 international students. India is the second-biggest source of international students on the island. 

 

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know
Photo by Javier Trueba on Unsplash

Top tips for International Students arriving to Ireland

Rental scams

September has approached, and students are heading back to college. The rental market has never been busier. With the surge in demand for accommodation, hopeful tenants are being advised to be cautious of a variety of rental scams.  HomeHak has put together some useful information about scams related to renting.

Bank account

One of the first things you should do is open a student bank account. Each university usually has a banking partner on campus.

Budgeting for international students

To enable you to enjoy your university experience to the fullest, you need to learn to manage your money correctly. One of the biggest ways to save money in university is through your grocery shopping. As an international student in Ireland, you can enjoy a range of great discounts and savings. These will make your finances easier to manage.

Shopping and discounts

Ireland has several student discount cards. They range from freebies to money off. Below, we list the cards we recommend adding to your student wallet.

 

iConnect Card

    – You can save up to €450 on MacBook iPad ranges with a valid third-level student card.

>Student Leap Card

    – Ireland’s primary student travel card.

ISIC Card

    – ISIC has been the mainstay discount card for international students for over 50 years. They offer exclusive discounts on a vast range of products and services in over 125 countries.

Affordable Supermarkets

Grocery shopping will eat up a large part of your student budget. It pays to shop around to find the cheapest supermarket in your local area. Here, we list the supermarkets that are the cheapest.

 

SuperValu

Dunnes Stores

Tesco

Lidl

Aldi

Manage your time

As you settle into the swing of things, your time in Ireland is going to fly by. Plan Your Next Adventure with Discover Ireland.

Ireland’s Weather

Ireland is the type of place where you can experience the four seasons in one day. Ensure to pack wisely for cold, warm and wet days.

 

HomeHak International students
Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Student Travel Card

A student travel card will get you discounts on your travel throughout Ireland. Also, giving you great savings is the Student Leap Card.

 

For more information on these tips, check out our article International Students Studying in Irish Universities Top Tips.

Embassies 

Full details of all Diplomatic Missions in Ireland or accredited to Ireland on a non-resident basis can be found in the link below. This has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It includes information on the index of missions and representations accredited to Ireland. Diplomatic List July 2022

Irish Banks

To open an Irish bank account as an international student, you will need:

    • Valid passport/ID card

Certificate of Attendance

These are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank. Each offers a student account with differing service fees and added extras.

Mobile phone

Ireland has a reliable phone network. The country is covered by several major network providers. There are a number of options available to you, depending on your budget and requirements. These include a fixed-term contract, sim-only plan or pay-as-you-go tariff.

 

The main operators we’d recommend in Ireland are

Healthcare

The INIS visa service offers information on the process of finding health insurance in Ireland. On average, health insurance for international students costs around €100 – €120 per annum.

Working in Ireland

Here are the conditions you need to be aware of:

EU Students

    If you’re travelling from the EU, you can work in Ireland without registering for a GNIB card.

Non-EU Students

  • Non-EU students can seek casual work of up to 20 hours a week during term-time, provided they have a card. In June, July, August and September, non-EU students can work up to 40 hours per week.
    You cannot work in Ireland if your course is under six months in length.

 

Start with the university careers portal. These list a range of term-time positions available on and off campus. Then, check job sites such as Monster, Jobs and Irish Jobs. Distribute your CV to local businesses, as not all positions are advertised online.

 

Why use a Tenant CV?

  1. It’s an easy-to-read document.
  2. HomeHak tenant CV shows off information a landlord would need to know.  Head to our article What is a Tenant CV? for more information.
  3. It promotes you as a suitable tenant.
  4. A tenant CV takes some frustration out of the rental application process.
  5. It provides all valuable and essential information for the homeowner upfront. Check out our article on 6 Reasons to Use a Tenant CV.

Landlord References

A landlord recommendation letter (rental reference) is an crucial component of your rental application. In a competitive rental market, a good reference can make a huge difference. Check out our article Importance Of a Reference for Irish University Student Accommodation.

Important links for international students

www.fas.ie

www.job.ie

www.argus.ie

www.myjob.ie

Revenue office

www.revenue.ie

Safety 

www.garda.ie

Irish Newspapers 

www.independent.ie

www.ireland.com

www.irishtimes.com

www.independent.ie

www.irishexaminer.com

Travel in Ireland

www.discoverireland.com/ire

Irish Council for International Students

www.internationalstudents.ie

Link to University websites In Ireland For International Students

Trinity College Of Trinity

University College Dublin

University College Cork

Dublin City University

Technological University Dublin

University Of Limerick

Maynooth University

Galway National University Of Ireland

Athlone Institute Of Technology

Carlow Technology Institute

Dundalk Technology Institute

Limerick Institute Of Technology

Letterkenny Institute Of Technology

Waterford Institute Of Technology

Cork Institute Of Technology

Sligo Technology Institute

Institute Of Technology, Tralee

Dublin Business School

Griffith College Dublin

Useful articles for international students

Study in Ireland: A Guide for International Students

International Students

Student visas to study in Ireland

Study in Ireland

Top recommended websites for international students 

Irish Council for International Students

Irish Universities Association

Citizens Information

Education in Ireland

Embassy World

The Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service

Google Maps

 

Scams related to renting – HomeHaks Tips on how to be careful.

HomeHak - Home search

Scams related to renting – HomeHaks Tips on how to be careful.

September has approached and students are heading back to college. The rental market has never been busier. There is even more competition for accommodation at this time of the year. With the surge in demand for accommodation, hopeful tenants are being advised to be cautious of a variety of rental scams as the market becomes even busier.  Homehak has put together some useful information about scams related to renting.

 

Rise in accommodation fraud and scams.

With the increase in demand for accommodation, so too has there been a rise in accommodation fraud and scams. These tactical scams are catching Irish tenants out. The end of summer (August to October) is a particular target time for criminals as students and families have a clear urgency for new homes. Experienced scammers will be prepared to catch people off guard during this time.

How much money has been stolen in scams?

An average amount of €1,300 is stolen in rental scams. A sum total of €291,452 has been stolen from tenants so far this year. Tenants new to the rental market should familiarise themselves with the law around the renting sector. A good starting point is on the Residential Tenancies Board website. Threshold is another great website. Providing free, confidential advice to anyone in Ireland experiencing tenancy issues.

 

The current competition for rental properties means that landlords can have their pick of tenants. Scammers are taking advantage of this competitive rental market. They hurry victims into making quick decisions.

 

HomeHak - Accommodation Fraud
Image Source Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

Scams related to renting

The scams fall into three broad categories;

  1. The scammer claims to be out of the country. They can’t show you the property and request a deposit.
  2. The scammer is living at the property and shows it to a number of people. They will secure deposits from several before disappearing with the money.
  3. The transaction appears normal. This is until the renter finds that the keys don’t work and the landlord has disappeared.

 

Be Informed

Spend time doing research . What is the current average rent price of accommodation in the area? You can use online maps to verify that the property you are interested in actually exists. You can also check it is at the stated address.

 

Have a look on short term rental websites to ensure any potential fraudsters are not using the property for “viewings”. This might result in the fraudster potentially might taking your deposit.

 

Red flags to look out for when booking accommodation

 

  • If the rent seems too good to be true; then it probably is a scam.
  • The listing contains grammar or spelling mistakes and is on social media
  • All communication is only via WhatsApp or social media.
  • The landlord is away and is unable to meet up to show you the property in person.
  • Property is offered with no questions asked. Payment is demanded immediately before signing the lease.
  • Requested to pay in cash/PayPal/wire transfer/iTunes gift cards or cryptocurrency.
  • The account to pay into is in a different country.

 

HomeHak - Home search
Image Source

 

Follow these three instructions to avoid scams related to renting.

Informed

  • First, establish that the property exists and is available for rent.
  • Check the identity of the landlord / agent. Request a copy of a driver’s licence or Photo identification of landlord or letting agent.
  • It is always better to be safe. Don’t rush into any arrangement that looks too good to be true.
  • Check the URL to ensure it’s a real website. Take note of the privacy and refund policy sections.
  • Do a landlord check through the Residential Tenancies Board website.
  • If booking a holiday rental, use a booking agent or hotel website directly. If it is a third-party website, ensure it is secure.

 

Secure

  • Pay the deposit to the landlord. Do not pay the persons leaving the property or anyone else.
  • Ideally only do business with legitimate well-known established rental agencies. Alternatively deal with people who are bona fida and trusted.
  • Bring a friend or family member with you to view the property.
  • Use cheques or bank drafts to pay the deposit. Keep copies of all receipts of payments.
  • You can check any IBAN bank details supplied for payment using free online checking tools. These will show where the bank account is based.
  • Do not hand over any cash to anyone. This is because you will not have a record or be able to trace your deposit.
  • Only use trusted money transfer systems such as credit cards.
  • Keep track of all correspondence between you and the advertiser e.g. bank details, advertisement etc.

 

Alert 

  • Meet prospective landlord in the accommodation.
  • Ensure the keys of the property fit. Open the door lock and sign a rental contract prior to payment of deposit.
  • Be careful of social media advertisements. Secondly, where a person letting the location will only communicate via messenger or WhatsApp.
  • Push for direct answers and if responses are vague, disengage immediately.
  • Watch out for “unsolicited contacts” or where the contact appears to be based in other jurisdictions. Especially important if there is a sense of urgency like ‘a one-time offer.
  • Ask yourself why a person living in Cork and letting out a property there would have a bank account based in the UK or Holland or anywhere abroad.

 

Do you think you are a victim of accommodation fraud?

Gardaí advised members of the public who believe they are a victim of accommodation fraud to contact any Garda station and report the crime.

 

Use any phone numbers or email addresses to monitor for future activities of criminals. This will hopefully prevent other innocent people falling victim to fraud, said Insp Meighan. Anyone can fall victim to a scam. Ask anyone who finds themselves in this situation to report it to Threshold, as well as to An Garda Síochána.

 

“While Threshold cannot help to recover the lost money, alerting us will help to prevent other people from falling victim,” said Inspector Steven Meighan of the GNECB. Source: ‘The family turned up to move in but the real owners knew nothing about it’ – Garda warning as €500,000 lost to rent scams

 

Check out the resources provided by An Garda to avoid accommodation fraud.

How to avoid accommodation fraud in Ireland
Source: An Garda Síochána

 

Red Flags and Warning Signs Accommodation Fraud
Source: An Garda Síochána

An Garda Síochána's Advice for people who are looking for accommodation

An Garda Síochána's Advice for people looking for accommodation
Source: An Garda Síochána

 

Useful Websites

Residential Tenancies Board

Threshold

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission

 

Interesting Articles

Renters warned of scams amid increase in accommodation fraud

    • – Irish Times

‘The family turned up to move in but the real owners knew nothing about it’ – Garda warning as €500,000 lost to rent scams – Independent

Renters warned of scams amid increase in accommodation fraud – Irish Times

‘Exercise particular caution’: Here’s how to make sure you don’t fall victim to a fake rental scam – The Journal

The clever renting scam that’s catching Irish students out – what you need to watch out for – Irish Mirror

Gardai issue tips to students on how to avoid getting scammed while renting property – Irish Mirror

Checklist for Students Renting for the First Time’ – RTB

Here’s how to make sure you don’t fall victim to a fake rental scam – The Journal

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn in Irish universities

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn is like being on social media and advancing your future career prospects. HomeHak is going to explore why this social network matters as a student. If you are a student, here are some of the reasons why you should be on it.

Getting Job Email Alerts

Firstly, once you have created your professional profile on LinkedIn, you can set email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs. Secondly, students and jobseekers will be able to see the notifications on their homepage as soon as they log into their LinkedIn accounts.

Connecting with Professionals

If you have a look at LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised to find out the large number of professionals who choose to connect here. In fact, you can find your friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates and family members on this platform. Consequently, it’s never a tough job connecting with them all. What’s more, you can even import your email list to find out who among your friends is present on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn in Irish Universities - HomeHak
Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Conducting Company Research   

One of the biggest benefits LinkedIn offers college students and jobseekers is that they can check out the pages of their targeted employers. By visiting company, pages, you can conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about that organization. This kind of company research on LinkedIn can always keep a stay ahead of your competition and increases your employability.

Getting Recommendations

What’s more, LinkedIn also offers a feature through which you can get other people to recommend you. People with a maximum number of recommendations have a great chance of attracting the employers’ attention. College students too can try to get as many recommendations as possible to increase their employability.

Letting Companies Find You

Today, a large number of organizations look for talented candidates on social networking platforms like LinkedIn. If you have created a good and detailed professional profile, chances are you will attract employer’s attention. And it would really be nice to be invited by companies for your job position you always wanted to occupy.

Connecting with Other Students

Furthermore, college students can also use LinkedIn to network with other students. This type of networking gives a wonderful opportunity to find out how other college graduates found a job or got hired by an employer.

Check this article out to learn more about how to stay organised as a student in an Irish University.

To summarise

It’s about time that college students too created their profiles.It is time to start to use this social media platform for connecting with professionals. To conclude, prepare yourself as early as possible. You can easily stay ahead of your competition when it comes to landing a job of your interest. For more reasons to be on LinkedIn, check out this article.

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To.

How to stay organised as a student in Irish university

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To

There are  many reasons as to why you want to stay organised in college. First and foremost, it will drastically reduce your stress levels. And when you’re less stressed, you’ll feel better and perform better on assignments. You’ll also have more time for the things you enjoy doing, and you’ll just be a more pleasant person to be around.

1. Your Calendar

Calendars free up so much space in your head helping you to stay organised. Instead of having to remember appointments, classes, or due dates using post-it notes or scraps of paper in your wallet, you can have everything organized in a convenient, visual format. And if you use a digital calendar, you can automatically get reminders of important events before they sneak up on you.

 

2. Stay Organised with a To-Do List/Task Manager

You could use a whiteboard or a blank notebook if you want. What matters is that you keep an updated list of the tasks you need to accomplish, as well as, you know, actually doing said tasks. To make your to-do list, you should first create a brain dump of everything that you need to do on a regular basis. Here are some tasks that most college students need to do:

  • Homework assignments
  • Cleaning your apartment
  • Preparing meals
  • Club or society tasks
  • Anything you’re learning outside of class
Stay organised in Irish universities
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

3. Your Notes

Taking good notes is key to staying organised, comprehending and retaining any lectures or presentations that your professors give. But taking notes on its own isn’t enough — to get the most value out of your notes, you need to keep them organized. For some people, this could be as simple as having a different notebook for each class and referring back to it when you need to study for an exam.

 

4. Your Class Materials and Files (Digital and Physical)

We recommend you keep all of your class materials organized either in a physical three-ring binder or in some kind of digital system. To stay organised, you could put all of the material in Evernote along with your notes, or you could have dedicated Google Drive folders for each class (other cloud sync apps like Dropbox and OneDrive work here as well, but Drive offers the best value for students unless you specifically need Microsoft Office).

 

5. Your Backpack

Your backpack (or briefcase or purse or whatever you use) is key for keeping all of these materials organized and at the ready. Organizing your backpack isn’t hard — the key step is to remember to fill your backpack with the things you need for the day. After all, there’s nothing worse than showing up in class, only to get that sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that you don’t have the book or paper you need.

 

To summarise

Use a calendar. Make a to-do list. Organise your notes. Keep track of all class materials. Invest in  a comfty bagpack.  Getting organized is the easy part. How to stay organized throughout the semester is the hard part. We hope you enjoyed HomeHaks top tips for staying organised throughout your academic career!

For more college hacks, check out our other articles:

Better Notetaking – How to take the best notes in Irish University

Note taking - HomeHak

Better Notetaking – How to take the best notes in Irish University

 

Your guide to taking effective notes is here. Your days of looking back at what you scribbled down in class and trying to decipher useful information from them before a test are over. In this HomeHak guide, we’ll talk about how to prepare yourself to take good notes in class, introduce some popular techniques for taking notes, and cover the best ways to get the most out of your notes after class to lead you to better notetaking.

 

 

Better notetaking

Structured: The Outline

This is for people who like simplicity. It’s one of the easiest better notetaking ways to take notes, and it comes pretty naturally to most people. When taking your outline notes, start by choosing four or five key points that will be covered in your lecture. Beneath those points write some more in-depth sub-points about each topic as the lecturer covers them.

 

For Review: The Cornell Method

In this method, you divide your paper into three sections: notes, cues, and summary. Your notes section is for the notes you take during class. You can structure them however you like, but most people like to use the outline method. Write your cues section either during or directly after class. This section can be filled out with main points, people, or potential test questions. Use this section to give yourself cues to help you remember larger ideas. You can write your summary section directly after class, or later when you’re reviewing your notes. Use this section to summarize the entire lecture.

In-Depth: The Mind Map

The mind map is a great way of better notetaking for specific types of subjects. Class subjects like chemistry, history, and philosophy that have interlocking topics or complex, abstract ideas are perfect for this method. Use the mind map to get a handle on how certain topics relate, or to go in-depth with one particular idea.

Mindmap - HomeHak
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Expanded: mindmap

Jot down topics, draw arrows, make little doodles and diagrams and graphs. Go crazy. Engage with the material. Try to actively learn as you’re writing. Check out this article on how to create  a mindmap. 

 

Easy: Writing on Slides

Let’s be honest, this is better notetaking for lazy people…and there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s super effective, and it’s easy. If your lecturer is kind enough to provide you with the slides that they’re using in their lectures, go ahead and download the files and print them out at the computer lab. The slides give you a leg up on the outlining process. The professor already did the work for you! All you have to do is take notes and expand on key concepts already presented in the slides.

 

Visual: Bullet Journaling

If you’re super into aesthetics, like to doodle, or are a particularly visual learner, this method might be best for you. When you write in your bullet journal, you turn a blank page into a beautiful representation of your thought process. Try using it to combine different aspects of other note-taking styles.

 

To summarise

We have shown you so many ways to better notetaking such as Structured: The Outline, For Review: The Cornell Method, In-Depth: The Mind Map, Expanded: mindmap, Easy: Writing on Slides and Visual: Bullet Journaling. If you are intersted in more student hacks check out our other articles:

 

Essential Books Every Irish College Student Needs to Read in University

Books university Ireland - HomeHak

Essential Books Every Irish College Student Needs to Read

 

If you enjoy reading then you will love this article on our top Essential Books. This article includes  HomeHaks top essential books that you need to get your hands on now. If you’re looking to create a well-rounded, successful college experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these.

 

Pile of books
Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Essential Books

The Power of Habit

As it turns out, habits shape much more of our behavior than we realize. The habits we do have largely determine the progress (either good or bad) we make in life. Luckily, the way habits are formed can be understood – which means they can be changed – and The Power of Habit is the best overview of how habits work that we have ever read.

 

How to Become a Straight-A Student

This book gives you an in-depth, well thought out method for pulling epic grades in all of your classes. The book is based around that fact that there are many college students who get straight A’s, yet don’t study for more than a couple hours a day and still have plenty of other things going on in their lives. It lays out effective strategies for note-taking, quizzing yourself, writing papers, and more. If you want to be like one of the aforementioned students, get this book.

 

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This is a business and self-help book written by Stephen R. Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.

Confessions of a Recruiting Director

Author Brad Karsh demystifies the job-hunting process and shows you how to most effectively scout out and land that crucial first job out of college. He goes through writing resumes and cover letters and even provides a fairly large index full of completed examples of each.

 

Your Money: The Missing Manual

Learning to effectively manage your money should be priority #1 if you haven’t done it already. You’re most likely in college so you can get a degree and gain access to jobs with greater earning potential; make sure your degree goes as far as it should by learning what to do with the money once you have it. Your Money: The Missing Manual is a fantastic general overview of personal finance, and it’ll show you just how to keep those bills in the bank rather than blowing them on random things.

 

To summarise

The power of habits shows us how our habits shape much more of our behavior than we realize. How to Become a Straight-A Student teaches us how to get great grades in all our classes. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People gives us the tools to achieve our goals. Confessions of a Recruiting Director helps us to land our first job out of college. Finally, Your Money: The Missing Manual explains how to effectively manage your money. We hope you enjoyed our top recommended essential books!

 

Check out our other articles on student hacks: