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Documents to ask tenant for if renting out a room in my own house

  • 03-01-2022 11:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 34 fireglo2020


    I can't find the correct information so appreciate some help. If I am renting out a room in my own house - what documents can I ask a potential tenant for? I am asking for:

    • Evidence of income (Payslip or redacted bank statements)
    • Reference from previous landlord and/or reference from employer (ideally both)
    • Copy of photo I.D. such as a driving licence or passport 

    Is this acceptable or should I ask for more/less?



Best Answers

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,617 ✭✭✭ Xterminator

    Hi OP

    Asking for intrusive documents is at least as bad as not checking out the tenant before letting them in. Asking for bank statements is OTT. They are not taking out a mortgage. They are not even renting your house as a tenant. You will be there and if you charge them rent weekly you can have them out in a week - if it doesn't work out!

    i recommend you have a clear reason for what you are asking for. Proof they are working & or can afford the rent - sounds reasonable. Show Photo ID so you know they are whom they say they are. Again reasonable.

    Taking a copy of their passport? Why should you retain that - no good reason? A reference for old landlord, maybe. what if its someone leaving home for the 1st time? Are they excluded? Most rentals require this but then landlord is renting out a whole furnished unit to a stranger for a year. You are not in the same situation. you will presumably be in your house too, and keeping any eye on, and able to resolve issues & end licensee arrangement at short notice.

    Its your house, so you do get to set the rules. Demand is such that you should be able to select who you want eg working or non smoker etc. I understand you are new to this but before you ask for something, be clear why you need it & what retention is required of data (if any) and for how long etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 34 fireglo2020

    This thread digressed a lot. The reason I ask for a copy of ID/passport is because I literally don't know the person i.e. they are a perfect stranger. It would make me feel more comfortable that if anything happened I have some concrete information on them but from reading above it may not be neccessary.

    Thanks everyone for their help and you can consider this matter closed on my end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,127 ✭✭✭ whomitconcerns

    Well firstly if you are renting then a room in your home your in, then stop calling them a tenant, they are a licensee, and as such have less rights to cause you problems.

    After that just make yourself happy, you can always kick them out on "reasonable" notice if they stop paying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,356 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    What steps are you taking to ensure that the data you collect is stored securely, and only kept for as long ss it is legitimately required?

    Post edited by Mrs OBumble on

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,292 ✭✭✭ Caranica

    That seems excessive tbh. I've never asked for anything from my lodgers. What I do is only take applications by email, check out Google, social media etc and from that draw up a shortlist.

    Payslip and reference can be forged pretty easily. Copy of ID might be helpful but I've never seen the need, between social media check and in person meeting you can get enough info.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,284 ✭✭✭ brainboru1104

  • Registered Users Posts: 512 ✭✭✭ MakersMark

    Where did the OP say they were keeping any of the documents.

    You and your passive aggressive posting as usual. Cop on to yourself.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,099 ✭✭✭✭ DaCor

    The op didn't say either way and it's a valid point as once you decide you need to keep copies of documents you become beholden to GDPR legislation

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,613 ✭✭✭ dotsman

    Actually, for the OPS sanity, the term they need to use is "housemate". While paying rent/bills on time is obviously a necessity - being able to get on with them and live with them (potentially even becoming friends with them) is just as important.

    OP, not only do I think you don't need to ask for evidence of income or bank statements etc, I think it would really put off good housemates or cause a bone of contention before they have even moved in. Back when I did house-shares, nobody ever asked me that (other than 1 girl who kept asking if I would have a problem with the rent back when I was on a grad's salary, but I simply assured her that it would be no problem). If anybody ever did, I would simply walk away as there is no way I would want to live with someone like that.

    When I bought my own place and rented out a room, I never once dreamed of asking such personal questions. All I cared about was their personality and their work situation. Basically, asking myself things like - "am I happy to be watching TV, making/eating dinner etc with this person, or will it be awkward silences and forced conversations about the weather?", "when they have friends over, will I want to avoid them, or vice versa when my friends are around?" & "do we work similar hours (and thus not be waking each other doing late/early shifts etc)?". You will be able to tell from their job situation as to whether or not they will struggle with rent. Never bothered with a contract either. It's pretty useless when it comes to renting a room anyway.

    As has been said before, you can kick them out at a moment's notice if ever there was a crisis (although that's only if a crisis - in reality, maybe a month's notice for any other issues). So any issues with late rent/bills etc can be easily dealt with.

    Ultimately, I had 5 different housemates while I was owner-occupier. I did have to kick out one after a few months as it turned out he was an alco and I didn't feel comfortable living with him. Of the other 4, all were fine, and 2 I would have become friends with (drinks together and hang out with their friends and vice versa etc).

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,356 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    They said they ask for a copy of the photo ID.

    If they weren't keeping it, they could just ask to see the original, no copying required .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,204 ✭✭✭ 1874

    If they were picked to and agreed to stay, Id tell them beforehand, you would like to see ID and Id get a contact number for them, and then Id privately make note of a vehicle registration/car type, other than I wouldnt suggest keeping records but I would make a point of outlining the house rules from the start, even if you have to make a list. I would ask questions about their work just to see what they say and does it sound legit and also to make sure they wont clash with your hours and disturb you or anyone else who may be paying for a room.

    Not really necessary to put anything in writing (possibly better not to), but Id highlight notice periods and specific rules like guests allowed or not, or whatever your requirements are from the start, I think thats advisable to prevent pisstakers who know no rules or think any apply to them. As you're the owner it wouldnt make much difference because if someone oversteps the mark, you can tell them straight away to stop or not do whatever you decide or if its really bad, you can have them out the door in 30 seconds, nevermimd anyone that says you HAVE to give reasonable notice, if someone didnt stop something you arent happy with, or responds negatively to that (include hostility) you can just tell them to leave. Having let rooms in the past for years, the types of A-holes who will push the limits exist, but usually they are in the minority imo. Dont get into the habit of calling yourself or allowed to be called a landlord (you are the owner) or them your tenant, or use any terminology associated with renting, licensees dont have rights in a persons home like a tenant has in a tenancy, any suggestion otherwise is nonsense.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,288 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster

    IMo, if you are taking a complete stranger into your home, it is sensible to get some kind of ID and references and it's a good idea to get a contact number for a family member/friend/job etc as emergencies do happen occasionally.

    I also wonder about GDPR in a situation like this ie, a private home-owner taking a lodger.

    Article 2 of the GDPR says that GDPR doesn't apply to a purely personal or household activity if it has no connection to a professional or commercial activity.

    Lodgers are not tenants supplying information to a business organisation, ie a letting agent or a commercial landlord. They are paying guests to a private individual who is the home owner and the owner is not collecting personal data for a business/company who supply goods or services.

    Is GDPR even relevant here?

    TIA for any info from posters with knowledge about this.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭ TooTired123

    The best way to look at the concept of a licensee is to view them as a “paying guest”. A guest who is financially contributing to the household. Once you get your head around that then things slip into place. Sit down each candidate at the kitchen table and have a really really thorough chat.