We have created a helpful guide to renting a property in Ireland in 2021.

#1 Be a persistent searcher. Over at Happy Housing, we like to call those of you who sift endlessly through the property listings as searchers.

As the housing crisis hangs over us all, finding a rental property in Ireland is becoming increasingly difficult for searchers. You need to be persistently scrolling through listings, monitoring and tracking properties in the location you are interested in renting in.

#2 Move quickly. Hesitating could lose you your spot. Once your application has been reviewed and the landlord or agency is ready to move to the next stage, act as quickly as possible to secure your place.

#3 Go to viewings. If the opportunity comes up to view an available property, go to the viewing and check it out. While the advertisement might include photos of the property, it is always a good idea to check it out and get a feel for the place. Read All about Viewings for a useful guide on viewings.

#4 Perseverance is key. Things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes properties fall through, viewings get cancelled, and you are likely to be rejected. But try to stay positive, these things take time.

#5 Be ready! Your application can be accepted at any time to progress to the next stage of the process, so it is important to be readily prepared with everything they ask for from you.

The landlord or property manager might ask you for the below:

  • Reference from your current employer
  • References from your current landlord
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Bank statements
  • Photo ID (Passport, driver’s license, etc.)
  • PPS number
  • First month’s rent and one month deposit

In some instances, they might ask you some questions as to why you are looking for a new place to live.

#6 Keep an open mind. You might have an idea of your dream place but don’t be hasty to rule out properties that come up. Look at the pictures, go to the viewing, ask relevant questions and maybe take a day to explore the area.

#7 Manage your expectations. There are many factors to consider when you’re looking for a new place: rent costs, location, transport system/parking, space, furnishings etc., so it’s important you prioritise what factor is most important for you.

#8 Realistic budgeting. Whether it’s your first time renting or you have been renting for 10 years, budgeting is key. Make sure you have properly thought everything out before signing the lease. You should account for the cost of rent, electricity, bin collection, wifi, insurance, groceries, your personal subscriptions and anything else you might pay for on a weekly/bi-weekly or monthly basis.

Be mindful, you also need to pay for a TV license, even if you don’t own a TV. This is an annual, one-off fee of €160 which is paid by the occupant of the property, not the owner.

Please see the TV license website for more information.

#9 Read and re-read the lease agreement. The lease is a legally binding document and should be read before signing at least twice. Make sure all of your questions or concerns are addressed.

#10 Make sure the property is registered with the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB). The RTB is in place to regulate and support the housing rental sector and ensure that landlords and tenants are aware of their rights and responsibilities.

You can check the register anytime on the RTB website

#11 Photograph everything. As soon as you move in, take electricity and gas readings and photograph them for your records. Take photos of the property on your move-in day to document any existing damage in the property and take record of the original state of the property. Share the photographs with your landlord or property manager or date stamp them for your own records.

#12 Get everything in writing. Document every interaction you have with your landlord or property manager. Keep written records of any issues, arrangements, resolutions etc. discussed, in case you need it in the future.

A lot of the time it is easier to communicate via phone call, in this case, it is no harm to summarise the conversation in a quick email or message to the landlord following the call.

#13 Create an inventory. Create an inventory of everything that is in the property when you first move in and share this with your landlord or property manager.

#14 Get an energy rating. Request the BER rating for the property from your landlord or property manager. They are required to present one.

#15 Consider insurance. You may need content insurance to cover your personal belongings in the house. Check with your landlord or property manager to see if you’re covered under their existing insurance.

#16 Know your rights around rent-raising. Once you begin your tenancy, your rent cannot be raised for two years.

#17 Get receipts. Always make sure to get receipts. You are entitled to a receipt within 72 hours of payment.

It is important you receive a receipt when you pay your deposit, in particular. This might get recorded in the Rent Book, if your landlord or property manager keeps one.

#18 Check your notice periods. Find out how much notice you are entitled to receive if your landlord or property manager wants you to move out, and how much notice you will need to give if you wish to move out.

The notice period is based on how long you have been in the property and should be clarified in the lease agreement.

#19 Moving out. Once you have signed the lease, you can only move out if the landlord or property manager agrees to terminate the lease agreement early or allow you to find a replacement tenant.

Ending your lease early absolves your legal right to your deposit. It is at the discretion of the landlord or property manager to return the deposit to you.

#20 Living with other people. Chances are, you will be sharing a property with other people: friends or strangers. There are helpful tools available to assist with splitting bills, sending money easily etc. Look out for handy apps or websites to help.