- 24 Aug 23
Students who avail of the rent-a-room scheme are not protected by the same rights as normal renters.
A landlord with a room near University College Dublin is asking prospective tenants to look after their children in exchange for paying rent and bills.
The ad states that there is also potential for paid “occasional babysitting” over weekends.
“That sounds like a very unorthodox situation to me,” said Minister Simon Harris speaking to The Journal. “I want to see real clarity around the issue of rent-a-room, I think it does work for thousands of students every year.”
Normally, au pairs are protected under the standard employment laws in Ireland, including minimum wage and at least two days off work per week.
Joining @RespondHousing this morning for the launch of their annual report.
— Darragh O'Brien (@DarraghOBrienTD) August 22, 2023
When asked if he thought the arrangement was was exploitive, Harris said: “I don’t think that’s a good thing.”
“Obviously, part-time jobs that people decide to do are a matter for themselves,” he added. “But I think having clarity around what you get in a return for renting a room – what the homeowner can expect, what the student can expect – is good.”
At the time of writing, students who avail of the rent-a-room scheme are not protected by the same rights as normal renters.
Harris added that he plans on publishing draft legislation on guidelines for the scheme in the coming days.