Finding somewhere to live on your return to Ireland


You will need to have somewhere to live when you arrive back in Ireland. You may be able to stay with friends or family initially, or you may be in a position to rent or buy a home immediately.

This document provides information about how to find accommodation when you return to Ireland, including how to buy or rent a home, and how to access housing supports if you need them.

Renting a home

You may want to begin your search for rental accommodation before you return to Ireland. You can do this by checking accommodation websites such as,, amongst others. You can search these websites using filters such as price, location and property size to find the accommodation you need. Accommodation agencies or letting agencies can also help you find private rented accommodation, however they may charge a fee for this service.

Before renting a property, you should view the accommodation and meet your potential landlord, if possible. You may need to bring certain documentation from the country you’re leaving, such as references from your current landlord.

As a tenant, you should be aware of your rights and obligations as well as your landlord’s obligations. Threshold is also a useful source of information and advice on landlord and tenant issues.

Read more on renting a flat or a house.

Buying a home

Before you look into buying a home, review your finances and decide what you can afford to spend. Make sure you can cover all the costs involved in buying a home, including legal fees, insurance, stamp duty, deposit and monthly mortgage repayments.

If you are applying for a mortgage, you should get approval in principle before you begin looking at suitable properties. The amount of money you can get as a mortgage loan, and the amount you need as a deposit are governed by Central Bank lending limits - see Taking out a mortgage for details of these rules.

If you’re in a position to buy a home when you return to Ireland, you can begin your search online using accommodation websites like and You can also contact estate agents in the area you would like to live to ask about available properties.

You can read about the steps involved in buying a home.

Housing supports

If you return home to Ireland and have difficulty paying rent or buying suitable accommodation, you can apply for housing support from the State.

If you have a long-term housing need on return, you can apply for social housing support to go on the social housing waiting list and get the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). You will need to satisfy certain criteria before your application is approved.

If you are an older, Irish-born emigrant living abroad, and you want to return to Ireland, but will be unable to provide accommodation for yourself, Safe Home Ireland may be able to help. If you are eligible, they will work to secure accommodation for you before you return. Find out if you can get Safe Home Ireland supports.

If you will be homeless when you return to Ireland, you can get emergency accommodation assistance from the local authority in the area in which you have a local connection. As part of this you will be asked to complete an application for social housing.

For more information, read our page on housing supports for returning emigrants.

Page edited: 10 December 2020