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Accommodation

INTRO

Getting the right place to stay for your academic year can be a tough task, but don’t panic! Maynooth is a university town but has fantastic transport links into Dublin and surrounding villages and towns so you won’t be without a roof over your head. You need to be assertive, vigilant, but also don’t wait until September to start looking.

 

To find a house:

1. Log onto NUIM Studentpad, which is run by the University’s Residence office. This service lists landlords with rooms and houses, and often gives detailed descriptions as well as images of the property.

2. Check out daft.ie, where landlords post houses and apartments for rent around the Maynooth area. Make sure to also check out Leixlip and Celbridge, as they are accessible to Maynooth by public transport.

3. Log onto our Facebook Group: ‘Maynooth Accommodation 2014-15’, which is administered by our Welfare officer, and facilitates a room-mate and house-mate finder.

4. Consider ‘Digs’ Accommodation, which means you will live with your landlord, and food may be included. If you are interested in Digs, email the welfare officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Landlords: Have a house or room to let?

If you are a landlord or homeowner and believe you may have a house or room to rent to a Maynooth Student this coming academic year, please get in contact with the NUIM Residence office or the Student Union Welfare officer.

 

BEING A ‘TENANT’: USEFUL INFORMATION

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

If you pay rent to a landlord for the use of accommodation or property you are a tenant. Your legal rights and responsibilities derive from landlord-tenant law as well as from any written or verbal tenancy agreement between you and your landlord.

 

The main legislation governing these rights and obligations is set down in the Landlord and Tenant Acts 1967 to 1994 and the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The following is a general overview of your rights, duties and obligations as a tenant, however, if you are living with your landlord you are not covered by landlord/tenant legislation.

 

Leases or other tenancy agreements cannot take away from your rights under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. However, you and your landlord can agree on matters that are not dealt with in the Act. You should note that the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act only apply to mainstream private rented housing and that local authority tenants and tenants who live in their landlord's home (e.g. under the Rent a Room Scheme  http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/owning_a_home/home_owners/rent_a_room_scheme.html ) are covered by different laws. You can find out more about local authority tenancies here ( http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/local_authority_and_social_housing/ )and about your landlord’s rights and obligations here (http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/landlords_rights_and_obligations.html ).

 

*make these graphics into a checklist on A4 refill pads or something if you can later*

 

MOVING IN:

 

When you first move in, make sure to:

  • Make a list of everything in the rental and note what condition it is in
  • Take pictures of the room(s) of your accommodation as proof of the initial condition to prevent disputes when trying to claim deposits back. Make sure these are dated and e-mailed to your landlord/lady.
  • Locate all fire and safety equipment that your landlord/lady is obliged to provide you with.
  • Register with www.revenue.ie for a rent tax credits if you are paying your own rent and pay tax.
  • Look for all equipment and utensils that is supposed to be provided under the terms of the lease.

 

YOUR TENANT RIGHTS:

  • You are entitled to quiet and exclusive enjoyment of your home
  • You are entitled to certain minimum standards of accommodation
  • You are entitled to a rent book
  • You have the right to contact the landlord or their agent at any reasonable times. You are also entitled to have appropriate contact information (telephone numbers, email addresses, postal addresses, etc.)
  • Your landlord is only allowed to enter your home with your permission. If the landlord needs to carry out repairs or inspect the premises, it should be by prior arrangement, except in an emergency
  • You are entitled to reimbursement for any repairs that you carry out that are the landlord's responsibility
  • You are entitled to have friends to stay overnight or for short periods, unless specifically forbidden in your tenancy agreement. You must tell your landlord if you have an extra person moving in
  • You are entitled to a certain amount of notice of the termination of your tenancy
  • You are entitled to refer any disputes to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) without being penalised for doing so
  • You have the right to a copy of any register entry held by the PRTB dealing with your tenancy
  • All homes for rent must have a Building Energy Rating (BER), stating how energy-efficient the home is. This will help you to make an informed choice when comparing properties to rent.

TENANT RESPONSIBILITIES:

You must:

  • Pay your rent on time
  • Keep the property in good order
  • Inform the landlord if repairs are needed and give the landlord access to the property to carry out repairs
  • Give the landlord access (by appointment) for routine inspections
  • Inform the landlord of who is living in the property
  • Avoid causing damage or nuisance
  • Make sure that you do not cause the landlord to be in breach of the law
  • Comply with any special terms in your tenancy agreement, verbal or written
  • Give the landlord the information required to register with the PRTB and sign the registration form when asked to do so.

You should note that it may be more difficult to assert your rights if you have broken conditions of your tenancy.

 

Deposits

 

Nearly all landlords/ladies will look for a deposit. This will usually be one month’s rent. The purpose of this deposit is for the landlord/ladies security against the tenant breaking the tenancy agreement. You can forfeit some/all of your deposit if you:

a)              Quit before the end of your lease without notice.

b)              Cause damage over and above the normal wear and tear.

c)               Leave rent of bills unpaid.

It is illegal for a landlord/lady to hold tenant’s goods in lieu of money owed. If you feel that your landlord/lady is withholding your deposit unfairly you should contact your MSU Welfare officer  or Threshold for advice.

Rent Books

 

If you are living in rented accommodation in Ireland (this includes dwellings rented by private landlords, voluntary bodies, local authorities and employers), you have certain rights that are set down in law. One of these rights is your entitlement to a “rent book”. A rent book is a document that records details about the tenancy and notes all payments of rent that you have made to the landlord. It is usually in a booklet form but it can come in another form provided it contains all the necessary details. Your right to have a rent book is set down under Section 25 of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings Act), 1982 and in SI 128/1993 Housing (Rent Books) Regulations 1993.

 

MSU will be distributing rent books in September 2014 and they will be available from our Welfare officer.

 

Inventory of contents

 

Your landlord/lady must record in your rent book details of furnishings and appliances provided. It is also recommended that you record their condition as this can help prevent dispute in future reference to damaged or broken items. Dated pictures are an excellent sort of recording content and their condition. Check the inventory list to make sure that it is accurate as this could save trouble later on, in the case of a dispute.

 

 

Repairs

A tenant’s responsibility is to generally maintain the interior of the dwelling and to comply with any other express provisions that may be laid down in a written agreement between the landlord/lady and the tenant.  If at any stage you feel that the statutory minimum standards are not been met, ask the landlord/lady to address the problem. It is his/her responsibility.

 

Services

 

Details of when and how payments for services are to be made must be set out in full detail in your rent book. All payments for bills made to the landlord/lady must be receipted in full in the rent book or by written receipt. Make sure it’s signed and dated.  A landlord/lay is not entitled to disconnect power or water supplies. Local authorities service charges maybe payable by the tenant as the occupier of the premises rather than the landlord/lady. (e.g. bin collection). Make sure you are not billed for arrears for previous tenants or for charges due from other people living in the accommodation.

 

 

Insurance

 

Your landlord/ladies insurance policy is unlikely to cover your personal belongings. There are certain brokers that will provide such insurance quotes. Many companies charge a minimum premium. Contact UCDSU for more details on insurance cover. 

 

Registration

 

A landlord/lady is obliged to register a new tenant within a month of it beginning tenancy with the PRTB. Therefore the landlord/lady will require personal details of the tenant including a PPS no. This registration enables a tenant to register for rent relief for private rented accommodation. It is advised to co-operate with the PRTB.

 

Eviction

A landlord/lady must give you written notice if they want you to leave your home. The amount of notice depends on how long you have been living in the accommodation the minimum notice period is 28 days.

 

Visitors and guests

Provided your lease allows and you get the ok from others you may be sharing with, you are allowed to have guests to stay over occasionally but make sure to keep the others in your rental in mind to avoid disputes. Late night parties and excessive noise can damage relations with your housemates

 

To end a lease agreement:

 

Length of tenancy

Notice by landlord

Less than 6 months

4 weeks (28 days)

6 months to 1 year

5 weeks (35 days)

1 – 2 years

6 weeks (42 days)

2 – 3 years

8 weeks (56 days)

3 – 4 years

12 weeks (84 days)

4 years or more

16 weeks (112 days)

 

Length of tenancy

Notice by tenant

Less than 6 months

4 weeks (28 days)

6 months to 1 year

5 weeks (35 days)

1 – 2 years

6 weeks (42 days)

2 or more years

8 weeks (56 days)

 

 

Disputes with your landlord

 

If you cannot solve a dispute between yourself and your landlord, you should look to the PRTB for help. The Private Residential Tenancies Board deals with:

 

  • The refund and retention of deposits
  • Alleged breaches of tenancy obligations (on the part of either the landlord or tenant)
  • Failure to terminate a tenancy correctly
  • Determining proper notice periods
  • Tenants vacating without a valid notice
  • Claims for costs and damages (from either party)
  • Penalisation of tenants by landlords
  • Claims for rent arrears or other charges

 

If you have any queries, just contact your Welfare Officer.

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