It should be noted right away that the process of finding housing in Ireland is not easy. It is recommended to set an average of two months to find a suitable place. It is possible to find long-term accommodation in two weeks, including cases when people managed to book accommodation from abroad, but we will look at the standard cases of finding housing in Ireland and how to make this process as efficient and minimally painful as possible.
Step 1: prepare essential documents
At first to rent a house in Ireland you need to prepare all the documents that may be requested by the agency or landlord. These documents may include:
- Cover letter (sample provided below)
- ID (passport and visa)
- Reference from work (with annum salary and length of contract are indicated)
- References from previous landlords (landlord references from other countries also work)
- Bank statement confirming your financial situation (bank statement for the last three months)
Step 2: house hunting
When all the documents are ready, you can start looking for suitable housing. The first thing to do for expats unfamiliar with the Irish housing market is to lower expectations regarding value for money. It is worth knowing that the accommodation market in Ireland is a demand market, not a supply market. That is why it is called house hunting! Thousands of responses can come to one ad. It may take a couple of hours from the moment of publication to the removal of the announcement from the site, so it is important to declare yourself the very first, otherwise the application will not even reach the landlord. It is ok when you don’t have replies immediately. It takes time to arrange a first viewing.
There are several types of properties you may rent in Ireland including house, flat or a room. Renting a room you should be aware of how many people live in the same place, is it owner occupied or not and common areas to share with your flatmates. Rooms are usually cheaper than other property kinds whilst the cost for houses and apartments depends on the area and housing condition.
The main website that is recommended to look for an accommodation is daft.ie. There are several other web pages such as myhome.ie, rent.ie, spotahome.ie, hostingpower.ie, however ads here may be repeated.
Decide on the location that suits your needs, taking into account factors such as proximity to work or school, public transportation, and access to amenities.
Tip: set a notification on daft.ie with desirable filters to know about new houses appearing on the website. Thus, you can reply to the ad in a few seconds.
Tip: the cost of rent outside of the big cities is cheaper and easier to find. Accommodation in major cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway are in high demand. If you work remotely or just don’t need to live in a busy place it is better to look for a property in the countryside.
Warning: try to avoid dangerous areas where rent price might seem appealing. You can check what areas are considered as disadvantaged according to the Pobal Deprivation Map [https://www.rte.ie/deprivation/].
It is essential to add a cover letter with your response to an ad. The cover letter should contain the amount of people renting the place, having children and pets. It is useful to mention your income once again to give the landlord all the details by which they choose tenants. Moreover, it is helpful to add references from previous landlords in this letter. A cover letter should be short and clear and contain all the relevant information.
Sample of cover letter
My name is […], I am a [age] year old working professional in the [industry/company] and am interested in viewing your property.
I will be relocating to Dublin due to work commitments in [a month/week] lease. I am a non smoker and have no pets.
Let me know what days you are available to show me your property.
According to the latest information, housing is more likely to be rented to those whose rent price does not exceed 40% of their salary. It is also worth remembering that when you move in, you will need to pay a deposit equal to the amount of the monthly rent. Besides, it is worth considering whether the utility bills are included in the rental price or they are for extra cost. Another thing to note is the accommodation furnished or unfurnished, are the cutlery and linen provided or not because it causes additional expenses.
Tip: students can live in student accommodation available in different cities. Usually, they are all furnished and cutlery provided so students do not need to buy all these things. Student accommodation may be more expensive than private properties but is a safe place to live, close to campus and it is easy to contact other students and meet different cultures.
Step 3: viewing process
The rental process in Ireland is always accompanied by a viewing. It gives you a chance to check the property in real life and also to show yourself to a landlord. It is good to go to the viewing as one of the first. There are some things that you need to review before making a decision on housing such as kitchen equipment works properly, bathroom in good condition, windows open, smoke detectors and fire alarm function well, hot water is available. Check for any signs of dampness, leaks, or other issues that could affect your quality of life. It is important to pay attention to the BER rating of the building because it influences the temperature inside the accommodation thereby influencing the heating bill. Also you can ask an agent or landlord to provide average bills from previous tenants to understand the cost of utility bills you will need to pay.
If this property is suitable for you, you should clearly state that you are interested in renting this accommodation while you are on the viewing. Additionally, you may send a follow-up email that describes you’re ideal and assuring that the house will be in careful and reliable hands.
Step 4: rent payment
Before moving into the property, you will need to pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit. Commonly all the rent payments including deposit are paid via bank transfer. If a landlord asks you to pay in cash immediately this should alert you. When you’re paying via bank transfer clearly mention the purpose of payment in the description to avoid any confusion. After the payment is confirmed by a landlord or agent, you receive keys and documents.
Warning: make sure that you transfer money to an Irish bank account with an Irish IBAN. Usually scammers use foreign banks. So you protect yourself from losing money and property.
Step 5: signing the lease agreement
There is no mistake in the order of the steps! In Ireland you pay a deposit first and then get a rental agreement. When the landlord chooses you and you are ready to sign a contract, make sure you understand the terms of the agreement, including the length of the lease, the amount of rent, notice period, deposit refund terms and any other terms and conditions. If you want to move out earlier than the end of lease date in most common cases you should find a tenant who will replace you.
Step 6: moving in
It is advisable to take photos when you move in regarding the property conditions when the lease ends. Additionally, it is essential to sign an inventory and condition report to note any damage that has been done before your occupancy. All the moving-in checklists as well as information about landlord and tenant rights can be found on the Residential Tenancies Board website https://www.rtb.ie/rights-and-responsibilities. Also you can check RTB databases to make sure that property is registered there. It may help you to avoid the scammers. You should also arrange for utilities, such as electricity and internet, to be set up in your name.
Now you can finally move into your new home in Ireland. In conclusion, renting in Dublin can be a challenging process, but with some research and preparation, you can find a rental property that meets your needs and budget. Remember to take your time, view properties in person, and read rental agreements carefully before signing.