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Finding a room to rent long-term in Dublin can be a tough one. Overall the housing situation here has come to a head. Dublin has made it into the top 5 most expensive cities in Europe to rent. ‘The silicon valley of Europe’ I hear people say, which might not even be that far off considering the settlement of Google and it’s tech friends. But is it impossible to find a place? No, not exactly. Unfortunately there is no magic formula for how to get lucky on the rental market but I tried to come up with a few tips.
Probably the most common thing to do is scrolling through daft.ie. That’s a good start as you can contact the advertisers directly on the page for free. Bear a couple of things in mind though: The people that advertise a room on daft.ie often get – and I am not exaggerating – hundreds of responses. So if they never reply to you, don’t take it personally. Try and write your mail in a way it will stand out. Promote yourself. Why would they want you as a flatmate? I am sure there are loads of reasons. Maybe you love doing the dishes or read out of the newspaper for everyone on a Sunday morning? Let them know! Be as exotic as possible, just not too loud. Some people like it to take a glance at your Facebook profile or your Instagram.
Be open-minded but also – be careful. Because the other thing is to look out for scams! A double room ensuite in the city centre for €550 a month? Not a hope! These ads mostly come with amazing pictures of big and lovely furnished rooms or no pictures at all. The advertiser might ask you for the deposit and one month’s rent upfront before you even get to see the room. They might pressure you to send them the money because there is a huge interest for the place. Needless to say do not go for it.
Since daft.ie is the first place to go for any person looking for a room, try on other platforms as well. Have you heard of RooMigo? If not, go and give it a shot. This site not only helps you to find a room but also matching flatmates – for free! Sign up and set up a profile. Write a little about yourself and add Lifestyle Tags to your Bio such as #social, #Gamer or #NeatFreak. These will allow potential roommates to see common interests at first glance. Make sure to upload a profile picture, it complements your account and people know you are a real person. On RooMigo you are able to look for rooms, list a room or even team up with other users to find a place together, which is a nice feature I haven’t seen on other sites.
There are many more platforms to find online: Roomgo, rent.ie, Gumtree etc. Have a look on Facebook groups like ‘Dublin – Rent, Let, House Hunting – Rooms, Houses, Flats, Apartments‘ or ‘Dublin FlatShare‘. And don’t forget the offline way! Talk to colleagues and friends, they might know someone who knows someone. Check the notice-board at work.
Don’t get stuck on the idea of finding a room in striking distance of your workplace. If you can’t find anything suitable in your preferred area, extend your radius. Don’t be afraid of commutes. You’ll have to get up a little earlier but on the upside you’ll get to know the city with its vibes and quirks. Plus you will figure out where to get the best coffee to start the day.
Be prepared whenever you get invited to a viewing. People will usually tell you in advance if they want to see references of former landlords or work. In the best case you have the deposit and the first month’s rent sitting in your bank account – ready to go. So that if you are really interested in a room there is nothing stopping you from going for it. Also this way you might be ahead of your competitors.
Don’t forget to ask questions! In case things are not exactly clear, don’t be afraid to ask about additional costs e.g. electricity and heating bills, about closest supermarkets or public transport etc.
As I said, there is no ingenious algorithm to speed up your room search and it probably won’t go according to plan. Just be yourself and keep on looking. There will be people embracing you as their new roommate soon enough!
So are you ready to conquer Dublin’s rental market? Still not? That’s okay. Neither is anyone else.
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