While studying at UCD, you have 4 main options for accommodation:
1. Private Rental (House Share)
3. UCD On-Campus Accommodation
4. Private Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
1. Private Rental (you rent a room in a shared house/flat)
In a private rental, you can rent a room in a shared house or an apartment which is owned by a landlord. The landlord will not live in the house. You can choose to rent a whole house / apartment with friends, or you can search for rooms available in houses / apartments that are already shared, and a room has become available.
Here are a few options that are particularly useful for UCD students to find private rental accommodation:
We worked with Daft.ie on a student accommodation specific search, which searches places near UCD. You can find this here.
www.ucdaccommodationpad.ie/Accommodation￼￼ UCD Accommodation Pad is a purpose-built site, managed by UCD Residences, which carries adverts for rooms to let in the UCD area.
**Warning: We have had reports of students being scammed on this page. Please be aware of scams no matter what platform you are using to search for accommodation.**
On the UCDSU Accommodation Facebook Group local landlords and UCD students advertise available rooms in shared houses etc. This is also a good place to meet other students searching for similar accommodation.
Beware of cowboy landlords who rent out substandard accommodation, who especially target students who may not know their rights or may not be in a position to ask for them considering the high level of competition to find a room in the current climate. You should bring a parent or family member along where possible when viewing rooms.
Digs is where a student rents a room in an owner-occupied house. You’ll be living with your landlord. Every Digs house has its own services and its own vibe. Some digs only want students to stay 5 nights a week (Sunday-Thursday) whereas others will offer 7 nights a week. Some provide meals, laundry, and more. You can search for digs on UCD Accommodation Pad, UCDSU’s Accommodation Facebook page.
Due to the variable nature of what Digs accommodation includes, it is important to discuss in advance arrangements such as:
1. Is this to be a 5 or 7-day rental?
2. Is it a single, double, or twin room?
3. Is there a desk in my room or is there a place I can study in the house?
3. Are bills included in rent?
4. Are there any added benefits, for example, use of a TV room or WiFi?
5. Are any/all meals be included, or will you have kitchen access? Can I store my own food?
6. What are the rules regarding guests?
7. Do I have access to facilities to do my laundry?
In Digs, instead of a Tenancy Agreement, you and your landlord would sign a Right to Reside.
Benefits of Digs:
Can be a home away from home
Often close to campus
You have no tenancy rights
You may be evicted without notice and without reason
3. UCD On-Campus Accommodation
Campus rental accommodation is available to all UCD students. Most rooms are reserved for first year and international students. They have limited space and are an expensive option.
Campus accommodation has become far less affordable in recent years, as rents have increased by 76% over the last decade and it is due to increase by a further 12% over the next three years. UCD Students’ Union has been campaigning to reverse the proposed 12% increases, but we need more students to join the fight if we are to achieve this.
If you have managed to secure a room on campus, you have all the same rights and responsibilities of a tenant in private rental accommodation.
UCD Residences have their own website with more information on https://www.ucd.ie/residences/
4. Private Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
Purpose built student accommodation has been popping up in commutable distance of UCD.
They are very expensive, and they are priced outside of the budget of the average student.
If you can afford to stay here, they often have private ensuite rooms with shared living facilities.
UCD Students’ Union are lobbying the government to stop building luxurious private student accommodation and to only allow the development of student accommodation that will be affordable for the average student.
BEWARE OF SCAMS
Beware of Scams!
Threshold has a great resource for spotting scams available on their website at https://www.threshold.ie/advice/seeking-private-rented-accommodation/be-careful-of-rent-scams/
NEVER sign a lease or hand over money without physically visiting the property. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, it is currently possible to view rentals. You should be allocated a time to view the room, wear a mask to the viewing and keep 2 metres distance from the person showing you the room.
ALWAYS request a RECEIPT for any money, do not hand over cash without a receipt.
ALWAYS make sure the landlord is who they say they are, that they really have the right to rent the property and that the keys work in the door.
If it seems too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS.
If you have been scammed, contact the Gardaí immediately. The closest station to UCD is in Donnybrook:
Donnybrook Garda Station
43, Donnybrook Road,
You can contact this station by phone on: +353 1 666 9200
You can contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation: directly by phone: +353 1 6663777
Or online: https://www.garda.ie/en/Crime/Fraud/
Threshold’s free advice hotline on 1800 454 454 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-9PM).
WHERE SHOULD I LIVE?
Keep in mind that UCD is based in Dublin 4, which has the highest rent in the entire country. Therefore, the closer you live to campus, the more expensive your rent may be.
If you want to walk to class:
Clonskeagh, Donnybrook, Roebuck Road, Mount Merrion, Booterstown.
Milltown, Dundrum, Churchtown, Rathmines, Ranelagh, Stillorgan, Goatstown, Booterstown, Blackrock, Sandymount.
Public transport: Pick a place close to a bus/Luas/DART line that services UCD.
STARTING A TENANCY
There are no legal limits for how much a landlord can request for a deposit, but the norm is the equivalent to one month of rent. You should not pay your deposit until you are happy with the property and have made sure you are not being scammed.
Important tip: Once you move into the property, make sure to take clear photos of all of the rooms and furniture so a landlord can’t withhold your deposit for damage that you didn’t cause.
More info from threshold available here: https://www.threshold.ie/advice/seeking-private-rented-accommodation/paying-a-deposit/
LEASES AND TENANCY
Top two facts about leases:
1. Even if you didn’t sign one, you are entitled to your full rights as a tenant under Irish law. Your lease also cannot infringe upon your rights under Irish law.
2. If you live in Digs, you’re not entitled to most of the rights of a tenant, so it is extra important that you sign some kind of agreement with your landlord, just so you both know where you stand.
That said, please check out threshold’s advice page on leases here: https://www.threshold.ie/advice/seeking-private-rented-accommodation/do-i-have-to-sign-a-lease/
If your landlord doesn’t want to sign a lease: that’s dodgy.
Signing a lease makes life less stressful down the line. You’ll have a document to refer to when you have a disagreement between housemates, or between tenant and landlord.
If you are unsure if what’s in your lease is legal or not, please consult Threshold’s wonderful free advice hotline which you can call on 1800 454 454 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-9PM).
When you live in Digs, what you sign might be called a Right to Reside instead of a Lease or Tenancy Agreement
Doing an Inventory
Much like a lease, an inventory is something simple you can do at the start of a tenancy to make things much easier later. For example, to get your deposit back without hassle.
Ask your landlord if they have an inventory of the property: what furniture and fixtures are included in the lease, what damage is present, etc.
If the landlord does not have a list like this available, make one yourself! The Residential Tenancy’s Board (RTB) has a sample inventory available to download here: https://www.rtb.ie/beginning-a-tenancy/inventory/
RTB also recommends taking pictures of the property on the date you move in and sending a copy of these pictures to your landlord.
Both you and your landlord should sign the inventory, to avoid later disputes.
We’ve all heard stories about housemates from hell. Most of us have experienced a housemate from hell. And maybe, if we’re really honest, one or two of us have probably been that hellish housemate.
Unlike with tenant-landlord disputes, there are no regulations under Irish law to resolve conflicts between housemates. So, the best way to resolve those issues is to set out an agreement amongst yourselves.
A housemate agreement isn’t an airtight legal document, it won’t completely stop disagreements from happening. But it will really help everyone to start off on the same page and resolve issues as they arise.
Things to include in your housemate agreement:
Rules about guests and parties: Do you have to warn ahead? Who cleans up after? What if your guest breaks something?
Food: does everyone have their own cupboard? Is there communal food? Who pays for that?
Cleaning rota for communal areas
Quiet hours: in case you want to get sleep before that Monday morning 9am lecture
Are you responsible for finding someone else to rent your room should you move out early? Are your housemates?
The key thing about a housemate agreement is that everyone has to agree. Have a housemate meeting the first week you move in. Figure out what you want and talk it all through.