Student Accommodation – Guide to Renting
Now that the exams are nearly finished, and summer holidays are practically here, it’s also time to start thinking about where you’re going to live next year.
You’ll probably want to stay close to other students, your campus, and of course everything else that comes with student life.
When it comes to affordable student accommodation, especially where there is a lot of demand like Dublin or Cork, much like preparing for an exam, a good plan is better than a last minute scram.
Here are our top ten tips for finding the right accommodation to fit your needs and equally importantly, your budget.
1. Where to live
Start as soon as possible. Make sure you’re organised and use the handy Colleges search on Daft.ie to narrow your search area by location, price, bedroom, property type, length of lease and move-in date.
Other things to consider are cycle and walking distances, bus and rail services to your college campus, supermarkets, distance to the city/town centre as well as factoring in how close you are to other students as well as your friends.
Living with friends is always popular, especially for second, third and fourth years. You know what your friends are like, can split bills and it’s a lot cheaper than living alone. Other things to think about when considering housemates include – housework, night owl/early bird, habits (smoking etc.), interests and how sociable or private they are.
If you’d rather go your own way, an alternative way to look for student accommodation is to look at house or apartment share options here. The same thoughts as sharing with your friends apply however – think about who you’ll share with, their likes and dislikes, is it a quiet house or a party house if you need to study.
Be realistic about what you can afford each month. Rent is unlikely to be your only expense each month and you will also have other costs (electricity, food, travel, Internet/TV etc.) that you will need to consider.
Internet scams are not uncommon especially around rental accommodation involving students but by following our guidelines, you can at least equip yourself with some pointers when interacting with people you don’t know personally – especially important when you’re handing over a deposit!
Found your housemates, a price point and an area you like? Next on your list will be organising a viewing. Make sure you view the property before handing over a deposit.. Ensure everyone can view it at the same time to compare thoughts/notes on the property. Take photos – if you’re viewing a few places it’s handy to have a few shots that will jog your memory afterwards.
6. Securing the Property
Once you’ve found your ideal place, and agreed the rent, your landlord will most likely need to take a deposit and a month’s rent in advance. Make sure you are clear on the agreement, the amount that is owed by each tenant each month and the length of the lease.
7. Moving Out
Once your lease is up it will be time to move out. Make sure you return the property to the landlord in the condition you received it to get your full deposit back. Also a good idea is to take photos when you move in, and also when you move out, as a reference point regarding the condition of the property.
College is fun. Enjoy the experience and make sure to get in touch with your students union if you need some advice on the local area or are looking to team up with other students for a house share.
The Union of Students in Ireland site also has some handy Accommodation Advice.