Published on July 5th, 2017 | by Martin Clancy

Tax free income! Can you dig it?

Let digs to students and earn tax free rental income.

By letting out empty room in their house as college digs, Irish homeowners can put more beds on the market and benefit from an exclusive, associated tax break.

Under the existing legislation, you can do this without bureaucracy. All you need in the way of a contract is a license to reside, we’ve done up a sample for you to download below.

The rental income on student digs is exempt from tax as long as it’s for a lease longer than 6 months and does not exceed €14,000 in a tax year.

The lack of paperwork involved and the financial incentives mean that it’s possible and profitable to put more beds on the market for students. But the scheme suffers from a lack of profile. That’s why students from University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin & the good people of Daft media are working together to advertise the details.

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

To list your room on click here.

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

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

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

You’re now exempt from paying tax on any of that rental income unless you pass the cap of €14,000 in any one tax year.

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

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

To list your room on click here.


Homeowner, Carol Frey: I’ve been taking students in for 32 years now. I’ve two lovely, lovely guys staying with me at the moment, one from Donegal and the other Cork. They are the nicest, loveliest, most respectful two people you could meet. I’ve never had girls- but speaking for the fellas, they’re so easy going. I find I treat the situation as a job. My husband is great, he does all the cooking, and he’s a great cook. We kind of want people to feel our place is a home from home. It’s not about the money and I’ve had nothing but good experiences. The only advice I’d have for other homeowners is to treat the students like you’d like one of your kids to be treated. Have an open attitude and be honest.


Law Student, JEFF WARD: I was 17 when I started at Trinity College so staying in ‘Digs’ was the perfect option for me because it allowed me my first taste of freedom by living away from home in Dublin, but just with all the benefits of living at home! Coming back to a freshly made home-cooked meal everyday was a dream compared to the student food that my friends survived on and it was great not having to worry about paying a whole load of household bills after paying rent. I had a great experience staying in Digs and ended up staying there for two years, and my brother stayed there for four years. I would highly recommend it to any student, in particular those who are moving to Dublin for the first time.

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