After you have secured a job, finding accommodation in Ireland is the next big step. Whether you’re looking to rent or to buy, here is some basic information you will need when navigating the Irish housing market and making yourself at home.
Housing in Ireland
There is high demand in Ireland for accommodation currently, especially in the larger cities such as Cork, Galway and Dublin. House shares (renting a private bedroom in a shared house), are a very common option in Ireland, especially for single people in larger cities where demand and rents are high.
Rents and house prices vary widely by location and are higher in cities. Of course, while rent in Dublin is higher than other parts of the country, it also has the widest range of amenities and access to jobs, as well as an excellent transport system. Prepare for a first come, first served approach and be proactive in making enquiries and arranging viewings.
Renting in Ireland
Your lease (or Tenancy Agreement), is a legally binding contract signed by both you and the owner of the property. This lays out the conditions such as the rate of rent, the duration of the lease and what will happen if the terms are broken. A lease is usually for 6 or 12 months.
You can find rentals by searching online, or through visiting a letting agent. Popular websites such as daft.ie, rent.ie and myhome.ie allow you to search by area and list all different types of accommodation. Searching online is also a great way to see your options and get ahead before you move from your home country.
Letting agents can also help you find the perfect home, and may also provide administrative, management and other services for the property, but there will be an added fee. Two of the most widely used lettings agents are Sherry Fitzgerald and Savills. Visit the Residential Tenancies Board to get a full understanding of your rights.
Bills and Utilities
Typical bills are in addition to rental payments and may include electricity, gas or oil, internet, phone, water, and waste. Make sure you know what bills, if any, are included in your rent. Rented houses and apartments in Ireland are usually fully furnished and may come with an inventory list.
When applying to rent accommodation in Ireland, you may be asked for the following documentation:
- Employer reference, including address and telephone number to prove employment.
- Previous landlord reference, including address and telephone number.
- Valid photo ID to confirm your identity.
- Bank details, to show you’re financially secure enough to pay rent.
Renting and Your Rights
Ireland has strong tenant protection laws, and it’s important to be aware of your rights.
At the end of 2016 the government listed specific areas as rent pressure zones (RPZ). These have been extended to 2021. If you are renting in a rent pressure zone, then your landlord can only seek a rent increase of up to 4% per annum.
“The RPZ rules apply if you are moving into tenancy which is located within a rent pressure zone. In this case, upon commencement of the tenancy, the landlord is required to give you written information outlining the amount of rent and date it was last set under a tenancy for the dwelling and a statement as to how the rent set under the tenancy of the dwelling has been calculated having regard to the rent pressure zone formula. If you don’t get this the landlord is in breach and you can take further action through the RTB.”
Renting Outside of a Rent Pressure Zone
The rules for renting in an area outside of an RPZ have also been extended to 2021. If you live outside of an RPZ your landlord cannot charge more than ‘market rent’ when seeking a rent review and it must be at least 24 months from the date of your last review-this is the notification that you received of a rent review and not the date you started paying the new rent.
Following the expiry of the 24-month period your landlord/agent must give at least 90 days written notice of the amount of the new rent and date it is to take effect from. The notice must be in writing, email, text or verbal notice are not valid and it cannot be given before the expiry of the 24-month period.
To determine ‘market rent’ you can check a number of sources including the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index www.rtb.ie, property websites, property agents, to let ads in newspapers etc.
In addition to the contract, you will be asked to pay a security deposit. This fee is returned at the end of the lease unless the terms have been broken. Unlike countries such as the United Kingdom, there is no central repository for these funds and each landlord will retain the deposit for the duration of the contract in his or her bank account.
If you choose to start your search after you arrive, there are lots of options when it comes to temporary accommodation. Besides the usual hotels and hostels, increasingly popular short-term apartment rentals such as Airbnb and HomeAway can be a great way for you to live like a local and experience different neighbourhoods in your new city while you arrange viewings.