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.

 

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Photo by 2sometravel on Unsplash

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).

 

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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.

 

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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:

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”.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Photo Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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  advance.

 

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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.

 

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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.

For more information about the Rent-a-room relief, visit Citizensinformation.ie.

The 7 Benefits of Renting a Room in Your Home

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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.

 

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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!

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

Yellow house door

Leasing in Ireland – The True Cost of Being a Landlord

 

Despite public perception and high rents, the bottom line for landlords is rarely as clear-cut as popular opinion supposes. An immense of responsibility, paperwork, and costs is plenty to deter many from participating. For those considering leasing in Ireland, we have comprised an extensive list of costs, helping you provide the best value to your tenant while ensuring your costs are suitably maintained.

 

business people making agreement with pen

 

1. Lost Rent

Keeping costs low can be a priority for many landlords, but a breakeven point must be identified to detect when an empty rental income is operating at a loss. HomeHak’s Lease Calculator is designed to help you keep track of the multiple incomings and outgoings to locate the precise point of profit.

 

2. Mortgage

Unless you own the property in full, one of the highest costs to overcome is a monthly mortgage repayment, with an average interest rate on new mortgages in Ireland amounting to 2.79%, noticeably higher than the European average of 1.29% (D. Cassidy, Why mortgage rates in Ireland are so high, 2021). If every room in the house is leased or not, your mortgage will remain due as standard.

 

3. Pre/Post Letting Expenses

In order to provide the highest value to your tenants, it is necessary to ensure that upkeep expenses are incurred prior to and after a tenant has stayed. Any tenant will demonstrate signs of living, be it marks on painted walls, scrapes on floorboards, or just some well-worn couch cushions.

 

A landlord has the responsibility to provide well insulated and ventilated living conditions that are free from damp, as well as equipping sound structural and electrical integrity. These turnaround times should be kept to a minimum and a timely and efficient electrician, carpenter, or painter will prove invaluable.

 

tenant-cv-rental-application-new-home

4. PRTB Registration

The vast majority of landlords will find it necessary to register with the Private Residents Tenancy Board. Costing €90 per tenancy, this registration allows you listing on the national register of tenancies and is a requirement for any landlord.

 

5. Insurance

Conventional home insurance will not cover you for rental activities and as a landlord, you are legally required to provide insurance for fire and public liability. Similarly to our Tenant’s Guide, you will find investing the time to source the best insurance a worthwhile return.

 

6. Fees

Managing a property is much more than just financially intensive; a significant amount of time is taken up dealing with issues, sourcing the correct tenant and other administrative responsibilities. In order to avoid these, as many as 87% of landlords find it worthwhile to outsource said responsibilities to estate agents…at a small fee of course (HomeLet Landlord Survey, 2015).

 

Estate agents will advertise your property, filter through the countless applications, and identify the best-suited applicants for your final approval. They will also collect rent on your behalf and act as the go-between for any queries big or small. Thus, providing you with a hassle-free experience ranging from 6.5% – 10% of rents (Estate Agents, Let.ie, 2021).

 

In addition to the direct fees mentioned above, there are legal and accounting fees. For every contract, application, and submission there will be a solicitor required to pore over and flag any potential issues, as well as bookkeeping and tax bills to meet.

 

7. Council Charges

Your tenant may directly deal with some fees depending on the agreement including rubbish, recycling, or other services such as gardening. However, if you will be managing these directly you need to consider these costs to appropriately offset them.

 

8. Maintenance & Repairs

Often the area of most debate, maintenance and repair charges can prove costly, just as they can be for any homeowner. Effective pre/post letting care will only provide you with so much cover throughout your tenant’s lease.

 

Ultimately luck plays a factor and a corrupt socket may be as likely as a leaky roof, although both substantially differ in cost. How many tenants you have under your roof will impact these costs and recent data indicates this number is on the rise at 2.8 on average (Savills Ireland., Shifting Ownership in Ireland’s Private Rented Sector., 2017).

 

A close and trusted relationship with plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and general workhorses are worthy investments. A difficult cost to anticipate without the use of hindsight and precedent, it must nonetheless be considered when setting rents.

 

9. Tax

Before profits can be redirected, taxes need to be budgeted for. As with most taxes in Ireland what you pay is dependent on your personal circumstances. Net rental income is taxed at either 20% or 40% and due every year on the 31 October. Planning and organization will prove your best tools in minimizing the amount due. Keep every receipt!

 

Here is a list of expenses that you can offset against your taxable profits:

 

a) PRTB Registration of €90

b) Wear and Tear maintenance is deductible to the point where the property is in a livable standard, including furnishings and fittings, and essential repairs and maintenance

c) Advertising and Management Fees

d) Legal and Accounting Fees

e) Insurance premiums

 

10. Trust

Trust is one of the more critical and intangible considerations. It can either prove to be an invaluable asset or an endless liability. Your tenant will directly impact the costs you will incur, either directly or indirectly. Providing your tenant with the opportunity to invest themselves into their home will make them happier and therefore more likely to remain. Data would indicate that there is a trend towards longer-term tenancies. 25% of agreements now longer than 12 months, up from 15% in 2017 (Residential Tenancies Board., Rent Index., 2018).

 

Besides the exceptional cases of moving country or county, your tenant will continue to provide you with income as long as they are content with their conditions.

 

agent giving keys to tenant

11. Profit

It may seem strange to see profit listed as a cost for landlords. However, when calculating a breakeven point, you must include a cost for the time and stress incurred. It is essential to appropriately research the target market. Guidelines indicate it is inadvisable for renters to pay more than 40% of their income on rent (EY DKM, Rent Affordability in the Irish Residential Market, 2018).

 

To summarise

Being a landlord in Ireland can be a thankless job that is sometimes vilified. However, there is a vital service provided that supports the country and those living in it. Your unseen work and risk-balanced consistently will allow you to maintain a profit. Alongside, also allowing for good people to turn your property into a home.

 

Check out our article Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHaks Top Recommendations!

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Introduction

The job of building a relationship with a tenant begins the first day you show them around. When a renter is choosing a new place to live, how they feel about a potential landlord can count for a lot. It counts for even more when it comes time for tenants to decide whether to stay or go. And if they’ve kept up their end of the bargain by being clean, quiet, and reliable with their payments, you’ll probably want to make sure to keep them around.

Establish a good relationship on move-in day

One of the best times to establish a good rapport with your tenants is on move-in day. Renters will remember the help you offered on that stressful day, and they know they can count on you in the event of a problem and for any questions they might have.

 

Moving Day Tips
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How to help

To come up with ways to welcome incoming tenants, put yourself in their shoes. It’s going to be an exhausting couple of days of unpacking boxes and arranging furniture. What will they need the most during that time that doesn’t involve too much time or effort? Here are a few options for a complete welcome package.

Make sure your tenant is set up for rent payments

This is something you should take care of before move-in day, just to make sure your tenants don’t have too many other arrangements to make. As soon as your tenant has been accepted and paid their deposit, reach out to them to organise if they need to connect their bank account, credit card, or debit card or if it will be cash for quick and easy payments. If they haven’t gotten set up by move-in day, include a friendly reminder in their welcome package outlining how future payments will be made.

Get them familiar with their new neighbourhood

After all, they haven’t just chosen your building – they’ve chosen your part of the city. Your tenant’s welcome package should include a list of nearby banks, grocery stores, post offices, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, haircutters, dry cleaners, petrol stations, childcare and pet care services – anything a tenant might need on a day-to-day basis. With your help, they’ll know where to go in a pinch without spending too much time Googling.

 

This list can go beyond basic services, too. Talk to some popular local restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues about supplying coupons to include in your tenant’s welcome package. This tells your tenant that they can come to you for suggestions about where to go when they have free time.

 

HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants
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Make their first week easy with a few basic supplies

Try and stock your tenant’s kitchen and bathroom with basic necessities. For example: toilet paper, paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, batteries, and light bulbs. This will help your tenants accustom to their new place without having to make a run to the store. They’ll be grateful for your foresight. Check out this article for more information on helping your new tenants on move-in day. 

Connect them with their new neighbors

If you rent a single-family home, make sure to tell new tenants a little bit about their new neighbors and even facilitate an introduction if you know them well. Show tenants that you’re not just operating a building – you’re building a community.

 

Check out this article by HomeHak Best Ways To Be A Great Landlord – HomeHaks Top Recommendations!

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

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.

 

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

We’ve all heard horror stories about first time renters making mistakes that cost them dearly. Whether it’s not having a good understanding of your rights as a tenant or falling prey to scam rental advertisers looking to make a quick buck, there are plenty of pitfalls waiting for you!

 

That’s where our tips come in handy. Moving out involves a lot of organisation, especially for first-time renters. We will walk you through everything from finding the right place to live, how to manage finances and what to watch out for when signing a contract.

 

Location

Location, location. Where you want to live, work, or study has a big impact on your location preferences for the rental search process.

 

When thinking about where to live, don’t just focus on the things you need in an apartment or house; think about what’s around too and how that may impact your commute time. Is there public transportation or cycle routes nearby? How far away are the supermarkets and services? What kind of gym options do locals have at their disposal? These are important questions since they can totally change how much fun living there would be day after day!

Rent Cost

You may already have an idea of how much you would like to spend on rent. There is a general rule of thumb to spend 30% of your annual income on rent. That said, it’s not entirely applicable to everyone. For example, someone who earns €100,000 may not want to spend €30,000 on their rent. Similarly, if you are on a lower salary it might not be feasible to put 30% of that towards rent.

 

Analyse your financial situation for starters, and ask yourself what you can afford. It also doesn’t hurt to compare rent prices with your friends. See what they put towards rent and use that as a guide!

 

Budgeting

When preparing to rent for the first time, it’s important to embrace the concept of budgeting ASAP. It’s unavoidable, but in the long run it’s the best thing we can do to feel financially secure! Setting up a budget is essential for any tenant. Make a list of monthly expenses/regular bills and set aside a personal allowance.

 

This may be the first time that you’re paying the bills yourself, so it’s important to know what they will cost ahead of time to save yourself any worry. Using a rent/ budget calculator is a great way to start figuring out your expenses.

 

Gas, Electricity and Bin Collection

Gas/electricity should come as no surprise since these things exist in every home. Depending on the setup, you may need to register the bin collection unless the landlord has done it for you.

 

If you have no idea what the bills are going to be like, try getting an estimate on sites like Bonkers.ie which compares different suppliers’ rates. These utilities are then shared between all housemates in the house, sometimes monthly or every other month. You can also ask your friends/family what they usually

 

Broadband

Other necessities may include broadband internet service, especially if you’re now working from home! Sometimes broadband may require installation at an additional fee depending on the supplier and/or location restrictions. When choosing how much broadband you’ll need, take into account how many people will be using it.

 

Some areas cannot support every provider, which may affect your budget plan. Talk this over with your landlord if possible – they might already know about some hidden costs or previous issues!

Reading the Contract

You may be racing to put your name on the dotted line, but it’s essential that you read through your contract carefully before signing anything. One thing to keep an eye out for is what type of tenancy agreement you are committing to. It will normally be a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy.

 

Fixed-term, as the name suggests, refers to a fixed period usually about 6-12 months minimum. A periodic tenancy does not have a fixed length of time. There is lots of information about these agreements which can be read about in detail here.

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
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RTB

In Ireland, all private residential properties must be registered with the RTB. The Residential Tenancies Board provides a dispute resolution service to protect both landlords and tenants. They provide “high-quality information and assistance to the public, tenants and landlords on their rights and responsibilities“. It’s advised that first-time renters check that their property has been registered so that your rights are protected.

 

Pet Policies

Depending on the property, it may or may not be permitted to bring pets on site. If you don’t come across any explicit pet policies, just ask the landlord what their feelings are about it!

 

Applying Without a Rental History

Don’t let a lack of a rental history hold you back. Everyone has to start out somewhere! First-time renters can still include character references as part of their application. This helps to establish how reliable you are, and how you will treat another person’s property!

 

Find references from people willing to vouch for you such as previous employers, colleagues, even school principals! The idea is to find someone who knows you well and will speak highly of you.

 

HomeHak Services for first-time renters

Moving out for first-time renters is an exciting adventure, and soon you’ll be obsessing over how to decorate and fill it to make it your own. With a bit of self-determination and positive action you will absolutely find something you love! To do this you just need to express to the landlord that you would be the perfect tenant, i.e., someone reliable, responsible, and punctual.

 

Homehak, a tool for tenants and landlords alike, is a great way to express these traits. With Homehak’s help you can create a Tenant CV that contains all the information a landlord would ever need from you, so they don’t have to search around themselves or get short on time. This makes life easier not only for landlords but also applicants who are trying their best to impress them!

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

 

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
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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: