Article published by the Galway Advertiser, March 2023.
Finding accommodation can be a daunting task for students and parents alike. Galway and indeed other cities in Ireland have experienced an acute shortage of suitable student accommodation over the past five years. The following are our five tips for sourcing accommodation for the upcoming academic year:
The old adage ‘the early bird catches the worm’ truly is relevant to finding accommodation. Most student residences start accepting applications from 1st February yearly. Bed spaces tend to fill quickly so make sure to apply early and put your name on all waiting lists as spaces will become available as cancellations occur. If you are currently renting and you’re happy with your accommodation, then approach your landlord early to re-book the accommodation for next year. The universities have accommodation offices and can be very helpful in finding accommodation.
When viewing accommodation have your previous landlord references to hand. This will help speed up the application process. Where applying for private accommodation form a group with your friends as landlords tend to prefer renting to groups as opposed to individuals. Groups consisting of 3 to 4 students will find sourcing student accommodation easier than larger or smaller groups. Make sure that you have your deposit ready to be paid. Delays in paying a deposit may result in losing a provisionally reserved property.
Beware of accommodation scams in the private accommodation market. Always view the accommodation in person with the landlord or agency before transferring your deposit. Avoid private landlords who are unwilling to meet in person or show the property prior to you paying a deposit. Check that the agency is registered with the Property Services Regulatory Authority. Always pay your deposit by bank transfer, and only to a bank account registered in Ireland. Request a receipt for your deposit payment.
Know your rights but also your obligations. You are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of your accommodation, but you must pay your rent on time and keep the property in good condition. Remember your current landlord will be able to provide you with a reference at the end of your tenancy. This is a valuable document and may assist you in finding accommodation in the future. Respect your neighbours, do not make excessive noise, or hold large parties. The student code of conduct may apply to your behaviour outside of the university.
Make sure that you can afford the accommodation rent before committing to a lease. Consider sharing a room, this will reduce your costs and assist in your overall budgeting. Ask your landlord if they would be willing to include utilities such as internet and refuse and ensure the full return of your deposit by leaving your house in a clean and tidy condition.
Ocean Property Management was established in 2013 and provides both student residence and private accommodation to the Galway student market. Please visit our website and follow us on social media for up-dates and property advice.