7 Things You Should Know Renting as a Student
Guest blog by UCD SU. New to the rental market as a student, or even a first-time renter? With student accommodation in Dublin in short supply, here are 7 things you should know when you go to rent as a student.
1. Your Rights as a Tenant Did you know rented accommodation should contain a four ring hob with grill and oven, a fridge and freezer, microwave and washing machine— all in working order? Or that you can refer a dispute with your landlord to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)? Read up on (online summaries of) the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008.
2. Terms & Conditions of Your Lease
Your rights are guaranteed by law and cannot be overridden by a private contract with your landlord. But it is essential that you read your lease before you sign it so that you’re aware of the length of your tenancy agreement, how and when you are to pay your rent and whether heating, electricity, bin charges, etc. are included.
3. Landlord’s Name, Address, Phone Number & History
You are entitled under law to know the name, address and phone number of the person from whom you are letting. You’re not entitled under law to know their history but it is advisable to search for potential disputes involving previous tenants on the PRTB website. Also, search the PRTB to ensure that the landlord has registered your tenancy as obliged under law.
4. Condition & Inventory of Every Item in Your Rented Accommodation
Check appliances to see that they work before moving in— flag anything that doesn’t immediately with your landlord. Check to see if there’s a fire alarm and fire safety equipment, both are required under law. Check with your landlord for an inventory of all utensils and equipment in the flat. Take and date photographs of your accommodation as documentation in case of later disputes.
5. Your Own Responsibilities as a New Tenant
You have a responsibility under law to pay your rent on time, to maintain the property leased to you, to comply with routine inspections and to give your landlord proper notice before terminating your tenancy agreement.
6. Consequences of Anti-Social Behaviour
Anti-social behaviour is legally defined as a spectrum. It ranges from behaviour which “causes danger, injury, damage or loss, or includes violence, intimidation, coercion, harassment, obstruction or threats” to “persistent behaviour that prevents or interferes with the peaceful occupation of neighbouring dwellings by others in the building or its vicinity”. Engaging in anti-social behaviour will result in your tenancy being terminated. Moreover, it might seriously affect your future prospects as a tenant. A PRTB determination order that ﬁnds a tenant as acting in a manner that is deemed to be anti-social behaviour will be published on the regularly consulted PRTB website.
7. What to do if a dispute arises with your landlord?
If a dispute arises, you should firstly try to sort it out with your landlord directly. If you’ve tried but cannot resolve the problem, and you are living in private rented residential accommodation, you can refer the case to the PRTB for mediation. You can also get advice from Threshold National Housing Organisation: www.threshold.ie
Lastly, with student accommodation in Dublin in short supply, make sure to start your search as early as possible.
Why landlords should let to students – by UCD SU President Marcus O’Halloran.
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Search for student accommodation here.
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