A man walks out after viewing a Dublin Apartment. [Photo Credit: Phil Romans/Flickr]

A man walks out after viewing a Dublin Apartment.  Renting in Dublin is currently very difficult.  [Photo Credit: Phil Romans/Flickr]

Finding a place to rent in Dublin can be frustrating as well as quite the challenge.  For students and anyone looking to move to Ireland it can be harder to rent.

“The advice I would have for renters is to start looking early,” said Walaa Ajjawi, Griffith College Student Union President and Welfare Officer.

The minute a person decides they are moving to Ireland they should start looking at houses, Ajjawi says.

“Things get so crazy as the academic year is about to start and they find themselves having to rent an apartment too expensive or too far out because they’re in a hurry,” Ajjawi said.

Ajjawi reminds renters to remember that each landlord has different rules.

“We’ve had incidents where students had to move out because of arguments with landlords so we often advise them to read their contracts carefully and understand their responsibilities.”

Dan Fitzsimmons, owner of Positive Property says all renters, not just students, should be prepared when looking for a place to rent.

“Have landlord references, a letter from the college stating the course that they’re on and maybe the term of the course, and maybe a guarantor to stand over the tenancy in the event that something is not performing to the obligations of the agreement,” Fitzsimmons said.

He says renters need to be aware of what they are signing and what they are agreeing to be responsible for as a tenant.

“Ensure you know what the agreement is that you’re signing, and get detail of that in advance from the agency or the landlord or whichever you are dealing with,”  he said.

When renting it is always good practice to get a copy of your lease agreement so renters understand what their responsibilities are.[Photo Credit: Scot Tanner]

When renting it is always good practice to get a copy of your lease agreement so renters understand what their responsibilities are .  [Photo Credit: Scot Tanner]

Fitzsimmons said renters can always request in advance a copy of the lease agreement.  “Just be sure of what you are getting into before you arrive at a property signing,” he said.

“The contract on the day, you are sort of more in a forced position to go across the line even though you might not be in agreement with some of the clauses that are in the contract.  Be clear what you are signing from the outset,” he also added.

When it comes to protecting yourself as a renter Fitzsimmons says for resolving disputes renters to Threshold or Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).

“On a general one-to-one basis it is always best to approach the landlord first in order to try to resolve any issues or disputes before going down the route of Threshold or PRTB because it is a lot less hassle and a lot less stressful for all parties involved,” Fitzsimmons said.

According to PRTB’s website they are to oversee renting within the private sector and as a statutory agency their functions are set out by law.  “The PRTB replaces the courts for the vast majority of landlord and tenant disputes,” according to PRTB’s online video.

The PRTB’s website has the Good Tenant Guide available on their website, which explains what the rights and responsibilities are as well as the obligations of renters.

Apartments in the North side of Dublin in Smithfield Plaza. [Photo Credit: William Murphy/Flickr]

Renting an apartment in the North side of Dublin in Smithfield Plaza is one of the more trendy districts to live in. [Photo Credit: William Murphy/Flickr]

Fitzsimmons says it is a difficult market at the moment especially for students in Dublin city.

“I think that students have to look at Digs accommodation or sharing, more so than actually taking on apartments or houses by themselves,” he said.

“Either get a group together or be prepared to share because there’s little or nothing in the market in terms of private residences for students,” Fitzsimmons also added.

It is no longer a choice for students, “It’s more the case of finding a place that will fit the need.” Have real expectations of the market says Fitzsimmons.

“While renting, renters shouldn’t be expecting something cheap,” Ajjawi, Griffith SU President, said.  Of course it is dependent on where they’re renting, but since 2009 prices have gone up and have kept going up, says Ajjawi.

Governmental agencies now estimate one fifth of Ireland’s population is living in rentals in the private sector.

“There’s such a heavy demand in the market that students aren’t really getting that much of a look in , that’s the bottom line,” said Ajjawi.