Board produces checklist for students renting for the first time

Students who are moving away from home to go to college are being advised they could end up paying between €600 and €1,500 a month for a flat.

The Residential Tenancies Board says accommodation in Tralee, Athlone, Limerick, Cork and Galway will cost between €600 and €900 a month.

However, Maynooth in Co Kildare and Dublin can cost anything up to €1,500 a month.

They said students can log on to www.rtb.ie, to establish the monthly rent being paid in the first three months of this year for different property types.

Some examples of the rent being paid in various towns and cities in Ireland. Source: Residential Tenancies Board.
Some examples of the rent being paid in various towns and cities in Ireland. Source: Residential Tenancies Board.

The board has also produced a checklist for students renting for the first time to help them make the best possible decisions.

Check List for Students Renting for the First Time

  • Is the rental property close to college or on a convenient transport route? Is the property safe and secure? Is it affordable?
  • What is included in the rent – and what is excluded? Who pays for the heating, electricity, bin charges, internet connection, cable TV? You must consider any extras in your budget.
  • Does the accommodation meet with the minimum legal requirements? For example, in the kitchen, is there a four ring hob with grill and oven, a fridge and freezer, microwave and washing machine. Do they all work? Check for damp and mould? Are there fire blankets, and smoke alarms?
  • Sanitary facilities; is there a self-contained toilet with hot and cold water and a fixed bath or shower?
  • Is the heating adequate? Do you have control over when the heat is on or off? Is there any sign of dampness in the property? Are there smoke alarms? Are there fire extinguishers?
  • Ensure tenancy begins: If you give a deposit and the tenancy does not begin for a number of days and something happens that you do not move into the dwelling, then a tenancy has not been created and this is outside of the Residential Tenancies Boards jurisdiction so you will have to go to court to resolve the dispute.
  • Don’t sign a lease with people you don’t know because if they don’t pay their rent, leave unpaid bills or damage the property, you could be held Joint and several liable for all their bills. Joint and several liability means a landlord can choose to go after one or all of the tenants for the monies owed.
  • Don’t sign a 12 month lease if you’re only staying for the 9 month academic year...you could end up paying the extra three months or losing your Deposit.
  • Was the tenancy registered with the Residential Tenancies Board? Experience shows that good landlords will always abide by the law.
  • What is your agent or landlord’s name, address and phone number? It’s very important to have this information if things go wrong and you are entitled to receive it.
  • Take an inventory and photos of the contents and furniture on arrival and departure.
  • Tenants are responsible for insuring their personal belongings. Landlords are responsible for insuring the structure of the dwelling.
  • Get a receipt! Make sure you have a record (i) of your Deposit and (ii) of every Rent Payment. Renting is a business arrangement – treat it like one. Take pictures at the start and at the end of the tenancy.
  • Don’t engage in anti-social behaviour... parties can get out of hand and it could end up costing you a lot of money.
  • If you’ve paid your rent, given required notice, haven’t breached a fixed term lease, haven’t damaged the property, and paid the bills then you’re entitled to your deposit back!

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