What is Help4Housing?
Help4Housing is Ireland’s newest, most affordable and safeguarded rental option, brought to you by THE HomeShare, Ireland’s award winning and premier Homeshare programme.
Homeowners rent out a room to a vetted Housemate. They rent they receive is less than market value (typically 2/3rds inclusive of bills) plus 5 hours per week of a helping hand around the home. Each Help4Housing opportunity is bespoke, and expectations will vary.
Help4Housing advertise, shortlist, vet and introduce all accommodation seekers (Housemates). In short, we do everything to ensure you find the best potential Housemate in the safest possible manner. Help4Housing also provide ongoing support for the duration of the arrangement for further reassurance and peace of mind.
The Benefits of Help4Housing
- Person Centred and Values Led
- Offers a lifeline to struggling Renters
- Gain Tax free income up to €14,000 per annum for Homeowners
- This income can be used:
- To fund your loved one’s private care
- To supplement your pension
- To aid with the increasing costs of living
- Receive 5 hours of practical support per week from your housemate.
- Forges Intergenerational relationships enabling people to learn from one other
- Ongoing Monthly Monitoring and Support for the duration of the arrangement
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Homesharing and Help4Housing?
HomeSharers offer 10 hours per week of company and practical support as well as an overnight presence about 6 nights per week. No rent is paid.
Housemates through Help4Housing pay rent, offer 5 hours per week of practical help but crucially, there is no expectation the Housemate will sleep in the house overnight.
Where is Help4Housing offered?
Help4Housing is available throughout the Republic of Ireland, although it may take longer to find a suitable Housemate in more rural locations. In urban areas, it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to find the most suitable Housemate.
What type of 'help' can a Housemate offer?
A Housemate can help with simple jobs such as helping with technology, shopping, light household chores and light gardening.
Can I increase the amount of support offered by a Housemate?
If you find you would like or need more help around the home or company, we suggest you consider our other option, Homesharing, as this would ensure you have more support and company should you want that.
Can a Housemate help me with personal support?
Housemates are not Carers and are not available to assist or support with personal care or medication prompting.
How are the Housemates vetted?
We check a minimum of 3 professional verbal references, ID and bank statement plus confirmation of employment. We also choose Housemates based on their personality and the preferences of the Homeowner. Unfortunately, Housemates through Help4Housing are not Garda Vetted due to the Garda Vetting Bureau's policy. Housemates are also assessed to ensure they have the means to pay the rent each month.
What type of people become Housemates?
Housemates must be over the age of 21 and are usually working professionals or studying full-time. They are responsible, friendly and willing to offer company and a helping hand around the home in exchange for more affordable accommodation.
Will I still have my privacy?
Absolutely. We suggest you find a time each week to discuss with your Housemate when you might need some help or company; apart from those times when you come together, you should both feel free to live your lives.
What if I don’t get on with the Housemate or Homeowner?
It is imperative both parties are happy and feel comfortable with the arrangement. We introduce the potential Housemate to the Homeowner and discuss how the Homeowner would like to utilise the 5 hours each week We also discuss House rules which are all incorporated into the Licence Agreement. On the rare occasion that one or both parties decide that they are incompatible, or the situation isn’t suitable for them, the agreement can be terminated with a minimum of 28 day's notice, or immediately if the rent isn't paid on time or there is a gross breach of conduct. The Help4Housing team are on hand to support with this scenario should it occur.
How is a Help4Housing Housemate different to a lodger?
A lodger pays full market rent and is free to come and go as they please and have guests over; they have no obligation to offer any support or company. A Housemate pays lower-than-market-rent and offers 5 hours a week of low-level practical support and/or company. They are also requested to advise the Homeowner when they are going away. The detailed licence agreement includes “house rules” and expectations.
Why use Help4Housing?
Help4Housing is run by THE HomeShare, Ireland's most experienced Homeshare organisation, run by a team of Healthcare professionals with Consultants in Leinster, Munster and Connaught. We have an excellent track record of making happy matches and are experts on interviewing and carrying out relevant checks including references, We also draw up a comprehensive licence agreement to cover all aspects of the arrangement and are available for ongoing monitoring and support.
Rent a Room Relief Scheme
In line with Irish Revenues, ‘Rent-a-room relief scheme’, Homeowner’s can avail of up to €14,000 tax free rental income per year. Help4Housing works with Homeowners to create bespoke Licence Agreements by using current market value analysis to create a rental fee that not only yields a tax-free income for the Homeowner but also offers weekly practical support.
*please note the amount is dependent on your current tax credits. For more information please click here
Are Housemates allowed visitors and overnight guests?
This is dependent on the Homeowners House Rules. The Homeowners preferences will be noted on our Help4Housing listings and will be discussed during the consultation and introduction stages of our process.
Do you match couples, people with children, or those who have pets?
Typically, we place single individuals as this is predominantly what is requested by Homeowners. In some cases, Homeowners may be open to a couple sharing which will be clearly indicated within our listings.
Placing Housemates with pets can be difficult as animals pose a potential trip hazard however if the Homeowner is happy to share with pets, this will again be clearly indicated within our listings.
Unfortunately, we are unable to place families/children.
How is the rental amount set?
The rental amount is agreed with the Homeowner based on the current market value, incorporating the location, and any additional rooms made available to the Housemate.
What are the fees and charges to the Homeowner?
Onboarding Fee: €550 incl. of VAT
This fee covers the following:
- Shortlisting, Interviewing and Reference checking
- Being present for up to three personal introductions of suitable candidates*
- Creating a bespoke Licence Agreement between both Homeowner and Housemate
A 25% down payment is due prior to advertising with the remaining 75% when your Housemate moves in and signs the Help4Housing Licence Agreement.
*If after three introductions, the Homeowner wishes to continue the search for additional housemate candidates, a further 25% down payment of the placement fee is due.
Monthly support Fee: €65 incl. of VAT
Our monthly support fee ensures the continued support and monitoring by Help4Housing to oversee that the arrangement continues to be beneficial to all parties. This support is crucial to ensure safeguarding in cases of vulnerability. For this fee, a member of the team will call once per month to check in, and the team will be available on the phone 24/7/365 to help resolve any potential issues that might arise.
What are the fees and charges to the Housemate?
H4H Placement Fee: A once off placement fee is payable to Help4Housing on or before the day you move in with your matched Homeowner. This fee is 25% of the value of one month’s rent (e.g., if rent is set at €500 per month, your placement fee is €125 incl. of VAT).
Deposit: The Housemate will provide the homeowner with a deposit equal to one month’s rent payable upon signing the Help4Housing Licence Agreement. This deposit will be held by the Homeowner and returned after your arrangement ends should no damage or missed rental payments occur.
Monthly Rent: The amount of rent varies based on the location, room size and any additional rooms made available (e.g., study/own bathroom). The rent per opportunity will be clearly advertised on each Help4Housing listing and is payable one month in advance The figure listed includes a nominal contribution toward utilities meaning there will be no additional charge for bills.
For example: One Month’s up front €500 + One Month’s Deposit €500 + Placement Fee €125 = €1,125