Host Families and the Rent-a-Room exemption

There has been a lot written recently on the issue of income tax when renting rooms out to people booking through websites such as Airbnb. Revenue have confirmed this is additional  taxable income. Since this news hit the headlines, a lot of host families have been asking will this affect them.

It was reported in the Sunday Times on August 16th by Niall Brady, that revenue have now confirmed the situation and concluded that a student is considered to reside in the host’s home for the duration of their stay and therefore the host family can earn up to a current limit of €12,000 per annum without having to pay income tax on the hosting fees. Hosting fees include all payments (bed, food, etc).

More information on the Rent-A-Room scheme can be found at

The following conditions must be fulfilled:

-the room(s) you rent must be part of your main or sole residence
-it must be a residential tenacy, not only a short-term guest accommodation
-occupants must use the room on long-term basis (for example for an academic year)
-rent income must not exceed 12,000€ per year

You do NOT qualify for the Rent-A-Room scheme if you:

-earn more than 12,000€ a year from hosting students
-are renting your room(s) to short-term guests