The Search is on...
So you’ve decided it’s time to leave the nest, and step into the big bad world of Home Hunting.
In Maynooth we are lucky that no matter where you decide to live you can be sure there’s a fellow Maynoothian not too far away, so although living in a new place can be a little frightening and lonely, remember you’re never alone.
There are a few different options to the kind of accommodation you can seek such as Digs or Student houses or On campus accommodation. We have a specially dedicated Facebook Page where students post about available accommodation and also if they’re seeking accommodation.
Aoife's Top Tips:
1. Check out our Facebook Group page.
A great place to start your search is on our Facebook Group page. This page is administered by us here in Maynooth Students' Union and allows students to post up both vacancies and requests for accommodation. Landlords can also post directly in the group.
2. Live with a host family
Of all the accommodation choices, staying with a host family is the most economical and aften suits first years transitioning from living at home. It will help you to save money but also give you a chance to find your feet in your first year away from home. You can search for this kind of accommodation on Maynooth StudentPad.
3. Staying On Campus
Maynooth has a defined amount of student accommodation available on campus, however this is fully booked for 2017/18. If any rooms free up the next offering of rooms for CAO students will take place on the 24th of August 2017 at 12 noon. Learn more by visiting the Campus Accommodation page.
4. Private rented accommodation
You might prefer to live in a shared property with friends and the best place to search for this type of accommodation is on Homes.USI.ie or Daft.ie. When you find a suitable property make sure you get your landlord to confirm, in writing, the length of your lease, the conditions you must meet to get your deposit back, who to contact if anything goes wrong and how much notice they need before you leave the property. Make sure you get a receipt for all money paid, avoid paying in cash and when you move in take photos of any existing damage, so you don't lose your deposit when you leave.
Beware of Scams
While most landlords and advertised properties are legitimate, there have been reports of Irish students being scammed. Be aware and make sure you follow these tips;
- Do your homework – research a number of rental properties in your desired area so that you have an idea of the average prices being charged. Be cautious if the rent seems unusually low – if it seems too good to be true, it often is!
- Use online maps to double-check that the property being advertised actually exists, and is at the address specified.
- Watch out for patchy contact – if you notice the advertiser has given you incorrect contact details, that the phone keeps ringing out or that emails are bouncing, it might be worth asking for more information from them.
- Keep copies of all correspondence between yourself and the advertiser, including bank details and the advertisement itself.
- Don’t hand over any money until you have seen the property and are happy with its condition. It might be a good idea to bring a friend or family member with you – it can be useful to get a second opinion, especially if this is your first time renting.
- If you pay cash to secure a property and it turns out you have been scammed, you will have little comeback. Paying by cheque ensures that your money is traceable. Always get a receipt for any payments made and keep them safe. You could also consider paying by card. This way, if something goes wrong, you may be able to get the transaction reversed through a chargeback from your card provider.
- Get the landlord to meet you at the property and pay them the deposit when you are face-to-face. Don’t make any payments until you have been given the keys and signed the rental contract. Always check that the keys fit in the lock when you get them.
- Remember, don’t transfer any money online unless you have carried out all the checks described above and you are absolutely sure that the listing is genuine.
Know your Rights!
So you’ve now figured out the kind of Gaff you want, but do you know your rights?
Many get confused on this, it doesn’t matter that you are a student you’re renting the property, which means you have tenant rights! So make sure you keep records of your interactions with your landlord and any requests you may make.
The USI (Union Students of Ireland) Finance and Accommodation Guide covers everything you need to know- you can grab a hard copy from my office our outside the SUHQ reception!
On Campus Accommodation: MaynoothUniversity.ie
MU Accommodation Page: Facebook