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It is very important to arrange for somewhere to stay upon arrival, even if this is temporary (such as staying with family or short-term rentals). We strongly recommend beginning your search for accommodation well in advance of your return—especially in the current housing market. This page lists some things to consider as you begin your search.

Buying a Home

If you are in the position to buy a home when you return to Ireland, read this helpful guide on the Citizens Information website.

Renting in Ireland

Securing rental accommodation in Ireland can take time due to low availability and high rents. Start your search before you return. Check accommodation websites such as and It is also worth looking on social media (especially Facebook) for listings—just search the area you wish to return to and join relevant groups. If you have a network in Ireland, ask friends, family, or colleagues if they know of any options. Often, people find housing in Ireland by word-of-mouth.

While you should begin your search before arriving in Ireland, we advise that you see the property and meet the landlord or letting agent in-person prior to signing a lease.

Most landlords require certain documentation before you sign a lease—organise these documents before you return to Ireland. You will likely need the following documents:

  • Identification (e.g. passport, driving licence)
  • Previous rental (landlord) reference
  • Work or character reference
  • Evidence of employment, income, and/or funds

Familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations as a tenant. Citizens Information and Threshold have helpful resources on this. All private tenancies should be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)—you can check if your tenancy is registered here.

Housing Support

There are various supports available if you need support paying rent, depending on your circumstances. Please be advised that even if deemed eligible for these supports, including social housing, you may have to wait a long time before receiving them. If you are currently receiving housing support or are living in social housing abroad, this is important to consider when deciding whether to return to Ireland. Read Citizens Information’s guide to housing supports for returning Irish emigrants for more information.

Homeless Supports

If you are returning to Ireland and will be homeless on return, you will need to contact to the local authority (city or county council) in the area which you last lived to request emergency accommodation assistance. Most offices are only open on weekdays during office hours. You will usually need to make an application for social housing and have your housing needs assessed as part of this.

If you are offered emergency accommodation, it will usually be in a hostel, hotel, or B&B, though this can vary across regions. You should be aware that due to the current housing crisis in Ireland, there is limited availability of emergency accommodation so there is no guarantee you will be offered accommodation on return.

If you are homeless or at risk of homeless upon return and experiencing difficulties accessing supports, you can contact us at or +353 (0)1 891 3050.

Page last updated on 12 February, 2024

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