FINDING A PLACE (YOU’RE A STUDENT)

Where do I search for accommodation?

So you can’t commute from home. You have 3 basic options:

  1. Purpose built student accommodation – like UCD residences.

  2. Private rental

  3. Digs

1. Campus Accommodation (you let a room with UCD Res)

If you got on campus accommodation, fair play! The great thing about on campus accommodation is that from the first of July, you have all the same rights and responsibilities of a tenant in private rental accommodation.

You can get a great rundown of those rights and responsibilities from RTB here.

UCD Residences have their own website with more information HERE

2. Private Rental (you and your friends rent a house/flat)

The internet is littered with websites hosting rental listings. Here are just a few options that are particularly useful for UCD students.

  • We worked with Daft.ie on a student accommodation specific search, which searches places near UCD. You can find this here.

  • 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.

With Private Renting, you will want to sign a lease or tenancy agreement. This is a legal document outlining your agreement with your landlord. For more top tips on what to do when you’ve got your private rental click HERE

3. Digs

Digs usually means renting 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, generally). Some provide meals, clothes washing, 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. 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?

  6. What are the rules regarding guests?

In Digs, instead of a Tenancy Agreement, you and your landlord would sign a Right to Reside. You can download an example of this here.

Beware Scams!

Threshold has a great resource for spotting scams available on their website here.

For the general top tips:

  1. NEVER sign a lease or hand over money without physically visiting the property.

  2. ALWAYS request a RECEIPT for any money, do not hand over cash without a receipt.

  3. 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 actually work in the door.

  4. If it seems too good to be true, IT PROBABLY IS.

If you have been scammed, contact the Gardaí! The closest station to UCD is in Donnybrook:

Donnybrook Garda Station

43, Donnybrook Road,

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4,

D04 XC78

You can contact this station by phone on: +353 1 666 9200 or send an email here on their website.

You can contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation: directly by phone: +353 1 6663777

Or online: https://www.garda.ie/en/Crime/Fraud/

Once more, Threshold’s free advice hotline on 1800 454 454 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-9PM).

What Areas Should I Look In?

Will, you make it to class when it's raining? When it's raining AND you're in bits from the night before? All aboard the struggle bus!

Walk to class: Clonskeagh, Donnybrook, Roebuck Road, Mount Merrion, Booterstown.

Cycling/skateboarding/scooting: Milltown, Dundrum, Churchtown, Rathmines, Ranelagh, Stillorgan, Goatstown, Booterstown, Blackrock, Sandymount.

Public transport: Check our commuter guide, and pick a place close to a bus/Luas/DART line that services UCD.

 

MOVING IN: STARTING A TENANCY

Deposits

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 part form your deposit unless you are happy with the property and have made sure you are not being scammed!

More info from threshold available here: More information HERE.

Leases and Tenancy Agreements

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 ye both know where you stand!

That said, please check out threshold’s advice page on leases, HERE.

  • If your landlord doesn’t want to sign a lease: that’s dodgy.

  • If you’re a landlord and you don’t want to sign a lease: that’s dodgy.

  • Signing a lease makes life so very much 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

Download our sample Tenancy Agreement HERE

Download our sample Right to Reside HERE

Doing an Inventory

Much like a lease, an inventory is something simple you can do at the start of a tenancy to make things (for example, getting your deposit back) much easier later on.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Housemate Agreements

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 really help in three months’ time when one lad just has not been washing his dishes at all and you’ve completely run out of pots.

Things to include in your housemate agreement:

  • Rules about guests and parties: Do you have to warn ahead? Who cleans up after a gaffer? 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 at least some sleep before that Monday morning 9 am

  • 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. There’s no point one person laying down the law and the rest of ye ignoring them. Have a housemate meeting the first week you move in. Figure out what you want, get a cheeky takeaway, and talk it all through.

Threshold has a guide to house sharing which you can download HERE

Maintenance and Repairs

There is a good rundown of who is responsible for what parts of property maintenance and repair here.

Threshold has further info on what to do if the landlord doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain here.

If you think your housing is substandard in a “this is the landlord’s fault” way, you can contact the relevant local authority to report breaches and arrange an inspection. Around UCD, your local authority is Dublin City Council Customer Services.

Their contact info is:

  • Tel: (01) 2226500

  • Private Rented Unit.

  •  E-mail:  privaterented@dublincity.ie.

  • Twitter:  @dccprivaterent.

 
 

MOVING OUT: WHEN YOU WANT TO END YOUR TENANCY

You can download Threshold’s End of Tenancy Checklist HERE

Threshold also gives some great student specific advice on ending a tenancy on their website here.

Finding Someone to Take Your Place

There are no legal requirements regarding finding someone to fill your place in your rented accommodation if you leave early. This means that instead you need to find an agreement that you, your housemates, and your landlord agree is fair.

However, if you find someone to fill your room and your landlord objects to them, this is not sufficient reason for them to terminate your lease or withhold your deposit.

Getting Your Deposit Back

Now’s time to crack out the inventory and photographs you took at the start of your lease – if your landlord threatens to withhold your deposit, you can use these documents to dispute that decision.

The Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) has a simple checklist about getting your deposit back here.

They also have a has a service which exists to mediate disagreements between landlords and tenants, which is handy if your landlord unlawfully withholds your deposit.

You can find out more about this service HERE

 

GOT A SPARE ROOM?

 

Here's how to connect with a student! 

  1. Join our Accommodation Support Group on Facebook. Click here!

  2. Read our guidelines below 👇 

  3. Put together your ad advertising the room and post it in the Facebook group.

Some things to consider when making your ad…

  • Is it a single, double or twin room?

  • What will the rent be per week/month and will bills be extra on top of this?

  • Is the property landlord occupied (digs)?

  • What will the mealtime arrangements be - will any/all meals be included, or will the student have kitchen access?

  • Is this a 5 or 7 day rental?

  • Where is the property located, and what transport options are there to UCD?

  • Do you have any photos of the room you could attach to the ad?

  • Have you provided a contact number or email address for potential tenants?

Minimum Requirements for posting in the Accommodation Facebook Group:

The property/room on offer must meet the minimum standards as set out in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017.

 

More information can be found HERE

  • Rent must be less than €650 per month for a single occupancy room (exclusive of bills)

  • Rent must be less than €500 per person per month for a shared room (exclusive of bills).

Some useful links:

We strongly encourage both students and landlords to agree to and sign a tenancy and a right to reside agreement. Check out our samples by clicking HERE

For more info on Digs vs. Private Rental, click HERE

Why we might remove your ad: 

  • Your advertisement did not meet the minimum requirements

  • Your advertisement contained discriminatory language

  • Your advertisement appears to be a scam

  • A student requested for your advertisement to be removed

***Please note that UCDSU reserves the right to delete your advertisement without explanation. We are here for the benefit of students; if your advertisement is not beneficial to our students, it will be removed without an explanation.

Landlords must advertise the property directly - UCDSU will not advertise the property on behalf of the landlord. Please note that UCD Students' Union does not take calls or visits from landlords to our offices. 

If you need any further information, please email accommodation@ucdsu.ie.

 

HOMELESSNESS AND THE RISK OF HOMELESSNESS

If you or someone you know is at risk of getting kicked out of their accommodation, the two important things are to:

  1. Get in contact with as many supports as possible.

  2. Know your rights.

Supports

If you are a student who is homeless or at risk of losing your home, you should contact your Student Advisor as soon as you can. UCD has several student advisors, each representing students in a different study area. You can find and contact your student advisor here.

You can also contact the Welfare Officer in the student union to set up a meeting by emailing welfare@ucdsu.ie or calling emailing +353 1 716 3112. The Welfare Officer can talk to you in person about emergency housing options, as well as how to manage the impact of homelessness on your studies.

Threshold is a charity which exists specifically to support people in Ireland who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.

 

They run a free advice hotline, Monday to Friday 9.00am to 9.00pm.

You can call this line at 1800 454 454, or see their website HERE for further information.

Your Rights

No matter how long you have been living in a property, you have a right to a Notice of Termination and at least 28 days’ notice before your landlord can kick you out. The only time this doesn’t apply is when there’s been serious antisocial behaviour or behaviour which “threatens the fabric of the dwelling” (try not to take sledgehammers to the walls, if you can).

Here’s a handy table from Threshold.ie showing how much notice you are entitled to:

Required Period of NoticeRequired Period of Notice

  • Less than 6 months - 28 days

  • At least 6 months, less than 1 year - 90 days

  • 1 year or more but less than 3 years - 120 days

  • 3 years or more but less than 7 years - 180 days

  • 7 years or more but less than 8 years - 196 days

  • 8 or more years - 224 days

If you have been living there at least six months, your landlord must provide grounds for termination (basically, the reason they are ending their agreement with you).

Once you have been living there 6 months, you join the existing lease agreement – which means you have the same rights as the housemate who has been living in the house the longest (see table above).

For more info about your legal rights, call Threshold’s free advice line on 1800 454 454 (Mon-Fri, 9AM-9PM) or have a look at the resources on their website:

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