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As the leaving Cert comes to a close, homeowners are encouraged to rent their spare rooms to students tax-free

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is urging students going to college next year to consider looking at digs style student accommodation as an affordable option.

Students can visit the free USI website to find suitable digs for next year. The initiative is supported by the Department of Education & Skills.

USI President Michael Kerrigan said: ‘Digs are becoming a real affordable and viable alternative accommodation. The rising cost of living in the private rental sector, and on campuses is pushing students to dropout of college or become burdened with debt. We want to match students with a home to study in, and house as many students as possible in the face of a rental crisis.’

USI is also encouraging homeowners, including parents of students flying the nest next year, to rent any spare rooms to incoming students during the college term. Homeowners can register with and earn up to €14,000 a year which is tax-free under the rent-a-room scheme. Full details of the rent-a-room scheme are available on

Mr Kerrigan went on to say: ‘Putting spare rooms on is a win-win for homeowners, especially for parents whose children have flown the nest, or who are attending college the other side of the country. The average cost of college is €12,500 and leasing out a room to a student will greatly help with this cost because you can avail of up to €14,000 annually tax-free. Signing up takes less than five minutes on, and you can help take the pressure of students trying to find accommodation next year’.

Welcoming the initiative, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: ‘Students and parents have been impacted by housing and accommodation shortages, particularly so in the context of the high demand for accommodation around our colleges, IoTs and Universities– renting a room out not only provides an alternative source of accommodation for students, but also a potential income for parents and others who may have a spare room available.’

The website has housed thousands of students over the past number of years. The initiative has made student digs a viable solution to the accommodation crisis affecting students. The initiative is supported by the Department for Education & Skills and by the Department.


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