NOTE: COVID-19 has made this year's accommodation search different to the usual. We have a specific Q&A News Story that answers some of the most requested topics
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. Nevertheless here are some thing to keep in mind when becoming a tenant:
Know your stuff
Find out the different types of accommodation and which you prefer and research out your tenant rights. Threshold have many resources that you should check out
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.
CHECK OUT MAYNOOTH STUDENTPAD
Maynooth Studentpad is the University's official accommodation listings platform. You can search for all different kinds of accommodation on Maynooth StudentPad.
Consider living IN AN OWNER OCCUPIED PROPERTY
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. Costs can vary, so do your homework and be comfortable with the amount being asked.
Staying On Campus
Providing an on campus community experience the Halls of Residence On Campus are available to all full-time registered students. They are always in high demand, so be sure to check them out early.
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.
Before you move in
Signing a lease? Make sure you read it all comprehensively and understand everything in it.
If your Landlord doesn’t have a lease, request one or at minimum make sure you have a written proof of your rent agreement (how much you pay per week/month, do you have to pay over holidays? How many days can you stay? [e.g.Monday-Friday/7days a week], how many months is your agreement? [6/9/12 months?) and bill agreement (are bins/electricity/gas/heating/wifi included in the rent?)
Look out for mold/mildew- this can happen anywhere in a house but especially in a bathroom.
Pictures – make sure you to take pictures before you move in. This is handy if you get accused for damage you didn’t cause.
Usually one month’s rent is requested before you move in to cover damage you may cause or bills that you leave unpaid. Once you don’t get up to mischief and be sound (i.e. don’t break the place up) you should get your entire deposit back when leaving the premises.
Beware of Scams
While most landlords and advertised properties are legitimate, there have been reports of Irish students being scammed. 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.
Scammers will typically look for a deposit to be paid before a property can be viewed- never pay any money without being absolutely sure the landlord and even the property exists.
The list goes on with tips and tricks for Accommodation so make sure to pick up your copy of the USI Finance and Accommodation guide from the SU Office!
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
Your main legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant derive from landlord and tenant law as well as from any lease or tenancy agreement between you and your landlord.
If you are renting a room in your landlord's home you are not covered by landlord and tenant legislation, though you are covered if you rent a self-contained flat in your landlord’s home.
Digs and on-campus student accommodation are not covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. It is recommended that both the Homeowner and Lodger agree on some basic ground rules in advance in order to avoid any future disputes.
Citizens Information have some great resources about your Rights as a tenant.