AROUND THE BLOCK:IF YOU WANT to offer tourists the authentic Irish experience, you can rent out your spare room at €45 per night through bedandfed.co.uk, a new web directory which aims to provide accommodation for people who don't like the more impersonal approach of hotels or guest accommodation.
The brain child of 24-year-old Annabella Forbes, who lives in Ranelagh, she says it will also appeal to domestic travellers who prefer to stay somewhere they are treated like “a family friend”.
Properties on the bedfed website offer kitchen supper, bed and a simple non-cooked breakfast for €45 per person with no single supplements. Guests can use the directory for free and there are no booking fees.
If you sign up as a homeowner the first 15 months are free after which it costs €90 per year.
Forbes says people can do it when it suits them without the commitment of a tenant or a full time room-mate and it could be an opportunity to make extra income when there’s a sporting event, conference or music festival on in the area.
What we’re wondering is if there’s anything to stop Wayne and Waynetta Slob letting out their spare room to some unsuspecting person, or a host with lax hygiene standards in the kitchen giving guests a leaving present of salmonella?
Forbes says that everyone is free to post a review and, if a property gets enough bad reviews, it will be taken off the website. She admits that renting the spare room to transient guests isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. “It’s going to appeal to a certain type of person. You wouldn’t sign up unless you were confident you could do it.”
If worried about security, it is recommended that guests hand over some photographic ID when they arrive which the householder can then keep until they leave -as they do in hotels.
Unfortunately, it seems the income isn’t eligible for tax relief under the rent-a-room scheme which allows home owners to earn up to €10,000 a year in rentall income without payint tax. Revenue says that “receipts which derive from bedfed-type activities would be chargeable under Case 1 of Schedule D and would not qualify for the rent-a-room relief”.