Finding suitable accommodation can be a struggle for students attending college.
There are different things you should do when searching for a property, while renting a property and when vacating a property.
Before moving into your accommodation
- Do some research into the type of accommodation you would like, would you rather a house share or digs.
- Check the location of the property to make sure it is a suitable distance for you from the college.
- Find out what exactly is included in the rent. Are the bills included in the rent? Make sure to ask if bins and TV cable are included, if not, you need to factor this into your budget.
- Does the accommodation meet the minimum requirements as set out in law? For more information on the minimum standards, please see the RTB website rtb.ie.
- Ensure the lease length is suitable for you. Don’t sign a 12-month lease unless you are willing to pay rent and bills for 12 months. Remember an academic year is 9 months.
- Don’t sign a lease unless you have read it through and are happy with everything contained within it. Bring it to your Students’ Union if you have any questions about it.
- Is the lease for your room only or for the property as a whole? If you sign a contract as part of a group or for the property as a whole, you are liable for unpaid rent or damage to the property.
- Check the property for damp and mould. This can occur in areas you would not automatically see so check behind wardrobes, curtains, and beds,
- Ask for the properties energy rating or BER cert. The higher the number, the cheaper the property will be to rent.
- Check that all safety features are working properly. Do the locks on the windows work? Is there an alarm? Are there working smoke alarms?
- Ensure you have contact details for the landlord, including an email address. This will allow you to have a record of communication which is useful if anything goes wrong.
When you have moved into your accommodation
- Ensure to have an inventory list of the items in the property when you move in. Check that it is correct and ask your landlord to sign the document. Record any damage to items within the property on this document before the landlord signs it.
- If you have any concerns about the property or any incidents, occur, email your landlord/agent.
- Take photographs of all the rooms and exterior of the property, make sure they are dated and email them to your landlord. Do not give the landlord the original photographs as you may need them in case a dispute arises.
- Make sure you know your responsibilities as a tenant.
- When paying your rent, bills or handing over any money to your landlord, try to avoid paying in cash. If you have to use cash, ensure you get a receipt.
- Unless there is an agreement to the contrary or it is an emergency, a landlord should not call to the property unannounced or enter the property without your permission.
When you are vacating the property
- If your property is left in an unsatisfactory state, your landlord has the right to take deductions from your deposits to fix any problems. This can be caused by damage or uncleanliness.
- Ensure you have paid any rent or bills in full.
- Refer to your inventory list from when you moved in, is there anything missing or broken? If so, you should replace it, or your landlord can charge you to replace items or repair damage.
- Ensure all rooms are clean when you are leaving. Take photographs of all the rooms when you are leaving, ensure they are dated, and retain for your records.
- Come to a suitable arrangement with your landlord for returning the keys to the property.
If you have any questions about your property or your rights, you can talk to your Welfare & Equality Officer by emailing email@example.com.