So you are need a place to stay? Not sure where to start? Well you will be pleased to know there are loads of places that you can find student accommodation, including this very website!
Information for landlords regarding accommodation is found here. If you have any queries, be sure to contact us.
Please read the following important information about choosing an accommodation
Be sure that your accommodation is convenient to your college, shops etc – it’s handy when you need to run to a 9am lecture!
- Make sure the living area is big enough for the amount of people living in the house.
- Check appliances, cookers, vacuums, showers etc to see that they work.
- USI Rent books are available free from your Students’ Union – remember to keep a record of any money that is handed over and record all transactions.
- Check for damp and mould – a cold/damp house in August will be an expensive freezer in December!
- Ask for the energy rating of the house (BER cert) – the higher the number the cheaper the house will be to heat.
- Check locks on windows and doors.
- Do some research on whether you want to live in a house, digs or an apartment complex. There are pros and cons to each one. See below.
- Ensure there’s an inventory of all utensils and equipment in the house kept by both you and the landlord.
- Take photos of all the rooms and the exterior when you move in, make sure they’re dated and e-mail them to the landlord. Keep the photos in case of disputes arising when you’re claiming back your deposit.
- Don’t sign a lease unless you’ve read it and understood all of it- bring it to your Students’ Union if you have any questions.
- Check if there’s a fire alarm and fire safety devices – your landlord is obliged to provide these.
- If you’re paying for your accommodation yourself and paying tax, remember to register for your rent tax credits on http://www.revenue.ie
Below, we explain the differences in purpose built, rented, digs & self-catering.
Useful Accommodation Numbers:
- Students’ Union Office: 042-9370390
- On-Campus Accommodation Caretaker: 085-1423059
- On-Campus Accommodation Managers: DNG Duffy Property 0429351011, email greenpark@DNGDuffy.ie
Purpose Built Student Accommodation & On-Campus Accommodation
Dundalk student village is located on the Dundalk IT campus and approximately 25 minutes walk from Dundalk Clarke Train station. This development consists of 40 purpose built student apartments. Each apartment is finished to high standard and has 5 single bedrooms with single bed and study desk and chair, two bathrooms, fully fitted kitchen and living room with TV and DVD.
The village is accessed only with a fob, has CCTV, night time security and an on-site daytime caretaker. Nearby facilities include college restaurant, shop, gym and campus bar. Dundalk town centre is a 10 minute bus ride away.
The Students’ Union highly recommend that students live in the on-campus accommodation. Not only is it on campus but it is safe and secure with CCTV in operation and a caretaker available any time day or night.
In addition to the purpose built and on-campus accommodation, there are other types of accommodation available to students off-campus. They can be rented, digs or self-catering.
Rented means you are on your own. You are free of landlords living with you and are responsible for making sure you get a contract signed between you and the landlord. Try and get an individual contract as opposed to one on the whole house. You are just renting a room and the common area, not the whole house really. If you must rent the whole house, ask if you can split the rent with other students (they will also need to sign the lease).
This involves living with a host family, you will be provided with bed, breakfast and an evening meal. This accommodation is generally Monday – Friday inclusive but may occasionally include weekends at an additional cost. There will be a study area and a provision for you to watch TV and use Wi-Fi also. Friends are usually not allowed to stay over and privacy will be limited.
N.B. Before you agree to take up digs accommodation, discuss, agree and be comfortable with the terms and conditions set down by your host. Not all digs have the same rules!
This involves sharing a house, flat or apartment with other tenants (likely other students) and/or a possibly the landlord (ask about this). The student is in charge of their own meals. Friends can stay over and you will have to provide your own TV etc.
Landlords are obliged by law to provide you with a rent book or a written contract or lease (these are also available from the Students’ Union office).
It is vitally important to read and understand any written contract or letting agreement BEFORE signing it as it is a legally binding document. If you sign a contract you are legally bound to pay rent and bills until the expiration of that contract. Alternatively you will have to find a replacement tenant that will have to be approved by your landlord.
Always keep a copy of your contract along with the name, address and phone number of your landlord and/or agent in a very safe place for the duration of your tenancy. At the beginning of the college year a list of contents and their condition should be drawn up, agreed and signed by both parties and a copy retained by both landlord and tenant. Meter readings should be taken on gas, electric etc. to prevent disputes later on, or you being billed for past tenants arrears. Where no written contract exists the legal requirement for notice to be given is 4 WEEKS NOTICE IN WRITING served by either the landlord or tenant.
Should you find yourself in difficulty or are unsure about a contract or have any accommodation queries please come to the Students’ Union offices.
Frequently Asked Questions about Accommodation
Where should I rent?
When considering accommodation, look at the area for things like public transport to and from college (remember that the right location can save you money), local services and amenities available. Check that the area is safe, well-lit and that the property is fit to live in. The map with each accommodation details how far the property is from the college.
I am paying over an awful lot of rent, should I not be keeping a written record of this?
- All payments made to the landlord must be recorded either in the rent book or by written statement. In addition the rent book or letting agreement must contain other information about the tenancy, specified by the rent book regulations:
- The address of the rented dwelling.
- The name and address of the landlord and his agent (if any).
- The name of the tenant.
- The term of the tenancy.
- The amount of the rent, when and how it is to be paid (e.g.cash, cheque, standing order).
- Details of other payments (e.g. telephone, TV, Cablelink).
- The amount and purpose of any deposit paid and the conditions under which it will be returned to the tenant.
- A statement of information on basic rights and duties of landlords and tenants.
Rent books are available free from the Students’ Union office or can be purchases from any good newsagent.
If your landlord refuses to supply a rent book you should contact your local council or corporation. They are responsible for ensuring that rent books are provided and, if necessary, will prosecute landlords failing to do so.
What are my rights?
It’s important to know your rights and obligations as a tenant:
- You are entitled to quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home, and the landlord is not allowed to enter without your permission except in an emergency.
- You can have friends to stay overnight or for short periods, but you must tell your landlord if someone extra is moving in on a more full-time basis.
- The landlord has to give you at least 28 days’ notice to leave.
- You have obligations too – to pay your rent on time, keep the accommodation in good condition and not cause damage or nuisance.
- If you rent a room in your landlord’s house, your rights as a renter are more limited. So make sure you agree the rules in advance, such as the rent level, period of the tenancy, notice periods, and any restrictions regarding visitors.
Do I have to pay in cash?
No! Never hand over cash. Pay the deposit and first month’s rent by cheque or bank draft and get the landlord’s bank details for future rent payments. Always get a proper receipt on headed paper – a scrap of paper will not do.
If someone leaves the house what do I do?
If a house is advertised as a unit i.e. €250 per week and a group of tenants sign up for the property together, they are all equally liable for the rent and bills. If someone leaves, the remaining tenants must cover the costs. It is best to get an individual contract for your own room rather than signing one for the whole house if you are moving in with strangers.
However if you do have an empty room in the house you can advertise it.
What if the house gets broken into?
Call the Gardai immediately and try not to touch anything, as you may be disturbing evidence. If you are unsure what to do contact the Students’ Union and we will call the Gardai for you, contact your Landlord also as soon as possible.
TV Licence, who’s responsible?
You are. The tenants of rented properties are required to purchase a television licence themselves. The price is €160 you can pay this at any post office.
How much notice are you required to give by law?
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 you are required to give 28 days notice if you have been living at the property for less than six months. If you have been living at the property for over 6 months you must give an additional 7 days notice and this increases by 7 days for each additional 6 month period.
The ceiling is leaking, what should I do? Will I withhold my rent?
Contact your landlord A.S.A.P. and inform them, do NOT withhold your rent as you loose your tenant’s rights. If your landlord is not forthcoming contact the Students’ Union and we will contact them for you.
The landlord won’t return my deposit?
- Deposits can be deducted or withheld if:
- Proper notice is not given.
- Leaving before the end of your tenancy.
- Causing damage over and above normal wear and tear.
- Leaving rent or bills unpaid.
Some landlords do unfairly withhold deposits if this situation occurs and none of the conditions above exist you can take your landlord to the Small Claims Court. Small claims of up to €1,250 can be dealt with in the Small Claims Court. This process is administered by the Small Claims Registrar. This situation does not involve a solicitor. The cost is €8.00. The Registrar may invite both parties for a meeting to reach an agreement.