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Room in landlords house

  • 05-12-2021 12:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Would you rent a room where the landlord doesn't live in the house but keeps a room for his use but doesn't actually use the room at all? And then he has all the bills in his name, so it looks like he's residing there?

    Is there any downfalls to this situation?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,571 ✭✭✭theteal

    So you would be a licensee and not a tenant. You would effectively be a guest in the house and have no rights whatsoever - "evicted" at a moments notice. Not sure that scenario would stand up if argued in front of RTB but that's definitely what the LL is going for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Would it be reasonable enough to get a copy of the lease before handing over money?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,977 ✭✭✭JoChervil

    It is not necessary a bad thing. Landlord might live with his partner and using rent-a-room scheme to avoid paying tax. Of course you won't have tenants rights but you might sign an agreement with a landlord about any rights you would like to have honoured like the length of notice, or having guests in your place etc.

    I've noticed that in my case any time I signed a contract, it wasn't for my benefit in the end, while simple "hand shake" gave me the best outcome at work and while renting, so I wouldn't rule it out.

    In the first six month into tenancy, you don't have much rights anyway, so you could give it a try and see, if it works for you.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Unless you know the situation then not sure why you are making statements as if they are facts.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    I have stayed in "rent a room" and also rented rooms in a previous life. Normal process with adults is to agree a period and stick to that. That can be easy to arrange with LL and normally a 30 day period. Also 1 month rent deposit would be normal

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭Ramasun

    My personal take on it is if it feels dodgy walk away

    If you really want it, make sure you understand what you're getting into.

    I had situation like that myself though that worked out ok. The guy was living abroad and hardly ever used the place himself, I never actually met him.

    But again be cautious and ask questions if you're not sure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭Thomas

    I was in house share situations several times until I settled down. The LL keeping a room but actually not being there much would have been a dream scenario. Think about it - you have the house to yourself more, more privacy and less likely to have any nonsense with other housemates when there is the possibility of the LL coming back any evening.

    OP positioned it as a negative in the first post but I think an absent housemate is a bonus!

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Anyone else renting in the house?

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  • That’s the scenario that my lodger has. She only rents a room from me, but the reality is that I’m there only a couple of days every couple of weeks. So she effectively rents an apartment with no roommate. She pays a little more than the going rate for a room, but way way less than the cost of renting an apartment. I make sure give her some notice of when I’m going to be there.

    it’s genuinely a win-win.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,566 ✭✭✭mrslancaster

    I don't see what the problem is tbh. What do you mean - it looks like he's residing there and he doesn't use the house/room at all. Did the owner say they are away a lot or is this information in an ad for a room to let?

    Plenty of reasons a house owner might not be there all the time, maybe they work in a different part of the country or abroad or as another poster said, maybe he stays with his partner, maybe he's a carer for elderly parents, lots of possibilities.

    I don't see why any house owner would even consider renting their entire house if it's their home/primary residence especially with the current rules and the more restrictive rules about unlimited tenancies coming soon.

    No tax avoidance for a home owner availing of the rent-a-room scheme - it is perfectly legal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,532 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    There's no lease for licencees.

    This sounds like an ideal test case for the RTB and I know that revenue would be very interested. The OP could be a licencee with zero rights or could be a tenant with their rights illegally with held by the landlord fraudulently availing of the rent a room tax break scheme.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Ok. Apparently, a letting agency is sorting all the business side of things as the landlord does live away. Does that change the situation at all? Am I a licencee as long a room is free for the landlord's use?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    So is it best I stay away from somewhere like this?

  • I think you are conflating two separate things. Just because the owner is not there much, doesn’t mean they can’t rent just a room. Whether they are paying tax on that rent-a-room income is a different question. If not resident then they should. Is whether the LL is tax compliant within the remit of the RTB? (genuine question, I don’t know)

    Personally, I do pay declare and pay tax on the income from renting my spare room - I can’t avail of the tax exemption as is not my primary residence. I am fully within my rights however to rent only that room (and others if I had them), and retain use of the other room for myself. And my tenant therefore be only a licensee. (Wouldn’t rent it at all otherwise…..I’m not risking renting my flat under the current rental framework in this country)

  • Registered Users Posts: 647 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    Ask the letting agent whether you’d be a tenant or a licencee. It sounds as though you *should* be a tenant in those circumstances because the LL isn’t living there but it also sounds like he’s trying to get around the rules (and taxes) by keeping a room for himself.

  • Can you point out the rule that you reference? Not the tax one (I know that one and am compliant)….the one that says that the whole flat must be rented if the owner is not resident

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,091 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    I think just the opposite: it's quite possible that LL is making sure that he has somewhere to sleep when he comes home every so often on leave (some posting type jobs have surprisingly many trips home, and there's also 4 weeks a year of AL) - and also when his overseas job ends. Or even that he just wants to store some stuff within a locked room in the house that housemates don't have access to.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 647 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    I meant the rules around tenant rights. Because tenants have many and licencees have almost none. Of course the LL can keep a room for himself if he wants but it’s not really a ‘rent a room’ situation if it’s not his usual residence. And it may be that the LL isn’t doing that (which is why I said ask the letting agent about it) but I’ve seen that strategy advocated in here more than once.

    ETA: I know it’s common for LLs to rent houses by the room. By ’rent a room’ situation I mean a situation where o/p would be a licencee rather than a tenant

  • Registered Users Posts: 647 ✭✭✭houseyhouse

    Could be the case. I’ve seen people on here suggesting that letting a house by room is a way of avoiding giving tenants their rights and of avoiding tax. May not be what’s happening here, which is why I suggested checking with the agent whether o/p would be a tenant or a licencee

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,532 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    Looks like it's legit.


    What is a licensee?

    A licensee is a person who occupies accommodation under license. Licensees can arise in all sorts of accommodation but most commonly in the following four areas;

    1. persons staying in hotels, guesthouses, hostels, etc.,
    2. persons sharing a house/apartment with its owner e.g. under the ‘rent a room’ scheme or ‘in digs’,
    3. persons occupying accommodation in which the owner is not resident under a formal license arrangement with the owner where the occupants are not entitled to its exclusive use and the owner has continuing access to the accommodation and/or can move around or change the occupants,
    4. persons staying in rented accommodation at the invitation of the tenant.


    Go in with your eyes open. You can be kicked out with minimal notice and have zero rights, so the rent should reflect that. Make sure to carefully read whatever contract they give you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus

    @Del2005 wrote:

    Go in with your eyes open. You can be kicked out with minimal notice and have zero rights, so the rent should reflect that. Make sure to carefully read whatever contract they give you

    This. It's not a "you should walk away" scenario provided that you're aware of what you're going into.

    I think in the situation described, provided that someone isn't an asshole they're unlikely to find themselves out on the street overnight. The most likely scenario is that the landlord will one day signal that he is coming home permanently and wants his house back. In which case everyone will likely get a few weeks' notice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Every rent a room in Ireland is similar which is 100% correct. If you rent out a totally property and the tenants are terrible at least you don't have to live with them. If you rent a room and someone is awful then you should be allowed to move them out. I already posted the link above and most situation a notice period is agreed. Of course the odd time this might be different but how many times has that happened unless the tenant was terrible?

    The person is renting a room, its in a house with the landlord and they are using a letting agency. Seem all above board to me. The fact two other tenants are in the house would mean the tax free for rent a room would already be used up.

    If people also want to shut down rent a room options then you will make a real balls of the Irish market.

  • Registered Users Posts: 544 ✭✭✭agoodpunt

    Have a relative working HSE social services has moved 3 siblings in three houses owned, where let before but since the laws are heading towards indefinite tenancies and pending SF govt they choose to keep them with licencees to protect investment or can sell when they choose as vacant possession its govt policy thats driving this wide spread change.

    If both parties are agreeable and can keep to normal rules it can work out in many cases, the need to expect more than ownership rights while renting is wrong hence the shortage of private accom escecially for family

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,705 ✭✭✭C3PO

    OP - Ive watched your posts over recent months looking for somewhere to live. If the room works in other ways why not take a chance?

  • Registered Users Posts: 547 ✭✭✭Blue4u

    Dont mind what is said here, load of rubbish in the majority from what I have seen. Just because someone rents a room in their house doesn't mean they are the devil or trying to get around tax.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,091 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    If people also want to shut down rent a room options then you will make a real balls of the Irish market.

    As opposed to the half-ar$ed balls it is now.

    Shhh, don't be giving them ideas.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,379 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Thanks. I've decided to take a chance. It can't be all that bad. I pay rent for the room, so I'm not liable for other tenant's rent if they decide to move out. And the landlord is ok with having my pet, so that's all that matters to me at the moment.