With the new college year just upon us, there are still students finding it difficult to source accommodation. At this stage, students may be tempted to take ‘anything’. However, a rash decision will most certainly lead to regret in the long run.
Here are our top tips for students around the country who are looking for accommodation.
- If you are using a letting agent to source accommodation for you, make sure the agent is registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority. Letting Agents, Estate Agents and Auctioneers in the Republic of Ireland are all required to register with the PSRA. Unfortunately, this time of year usually sees an increase in bogus letting agents, set out to specifically target students. Unlicensed letting agents are breaking the law and do not provide any consumer protection.
- Never pay a deposit or rent online or over the phone without meeting the landlord or agency first.
- After viewing the property and if you are happy to proceed, pay electronically by bank transfer if possible, as cash isn’t traceable. If you have to pay in cash, make sure you always get a receipt.
- Before you move in, create an inventory list of the contents. Take pictures of any damages so that anything that was already broken, chipped, peeled or damaged doesn’t get taken out of your deposit as a penalty.
- Make sure the contract you sign is for the period you intend to stay in the accommodation. For example, if you intend to leave for the summer, the contract should only be for the college term and not for 12 months.
- Don’t just trust your gut instinct. Be vigilant and use the supports available through the Accommodation Office of your college. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.