You’ve had a long flight to Dublin, sweated through immigration and finally made it to the Bed ‘n’ Breakfast/Hostel where you are lodged. You’ve had to sleep through four nights in the same room as the lanky fellow who snores loudly every night in your 12-bed hostel, and you know its high time you got your own room.
You have heard some horrific stories of housing Dublin and you wonder if you’ll end up on the street…
Don’t panic, here are five tips that will help you get a room within Dublin as soon as possible, particularly as an international student.
Show me the money
You may think landlords in Dublin wouldn’t care so much about money, as they care about the character of the tenant; think twice, money answers all things! The first tip to getting a house in Dublin is evidence of your ability to pay the rent, and this can be in form of a bank statement from an Irish bank, showing some numbers with zeros behind them e.g. €1,300.00 or higher (based on average rent of €550 per month + deposit)
Be a world citizen
If you’re from a troubled region or country, there may be some bias toward your nationality (I only speak from my own experience), so I would probably advise against mentioning same. Some landlords still discriminate against people from certain geographical areas, so I would refrain from including that information except where necessary.
Have an Irish referee
Having an Irish person as a referee would be an excellent boost to increasing the chances of being accepted to rent a room. Preferably getting an official email address + letter from the university would be ideal.
Be at the viewing earlier than scheduled (with cash!)
This method works a lot when there are several people wishing to view the property, and you want to make a good impression before others arrive. You can arrive at the viewing earlier than the schedule time, make a very good impression on the agent/landlord before others arrive and if you’re lucky, you will have paid and sealed the deal before others arrive. This has worked for me personally once and for a colleague at school. Remember, have the rent and deposit with you when going for the viewing!
Never put all your eggs in one basket
Truth be told, you have not gotten the room until you sign the lease and pay the deposit, so even if the agent/landlord sounded so sure that you will get the room, be sure you have a backup plan. Contact as many agents as you can and don’t be “so convinced” that you cancel other viewings because of one agent who promised to find you a room. In the Dublin rental market, there are no true alliances, only business deals. So, yes, you’re dispensable and there are probably half a dozen other tenants waiting to take the same room you’re looking to rent.
Most agents/landlords will probably size you up and try to analyse your person when you go for the viewing, so you might not want to show up for the viewing in your pyjamas or torn jeans.