Leaving Cert results are out, and the first round of CAO offers are being issued this Thursday. Bearing this in mind thousands of students across the nation with now find themselves in the situation of looking for student accommodation for the first time ever, for the coming academic year, 2019/20.
It’s no new news that housing for students has become a large issue of late, causing a lot of scams to happen to unsuspecting and hopeful students. NUI Galway SU (students union) urges students to be cautious before committing to a private resident this year.
Before rushing into signing a lease and/or contract it is all too important to make sure the property you are signing your name to fits the needs of all tenants and to be extra cautious of rental scams. There are many properties available, so panicking isn’t necessary. Make sure you keep an eye on all the accommodation websites such as www.nuigstudentpad.ie.
Some tips that the NUIG SU shared with Campus.ie regarding looking for student accommodation around this time of year are.
1. Be aware of the following rental scams: Scammer claims to be out of the country so cannot show you the property but requests a deposit; Scammer is living at the property, and shows a number of people around.. they get a deposit from several people and then flee with the cash.
2. Take your time when viewing properties; Ensure all necessities are there such as washing machine, furnishings etc. Check that the gas and electrical appliances are in good working order.
3. Take photos of the property and make sure to highlight any damages already present such as cigarette burns, stains etc.
4. Be sure to get any repairs that are needed to be done in writing by the landlord that these will be completed before residency begins.
5. Avoid paying the deposit cash in hand, and ensure you get a receipt should any monies be exchanged.
6. Request a viewing prior to the move in date to ensure that all outstanding issues have been resolved.
7. Ensure the house is well ventilated and that the heating source is identified prior before signing the contract.
8. Ensure clarity on the duration of the tenancy. Once you sign a lease you may be bound to pay outstanding rent should you leave prior to the last date on your contract.
9. Make sure it is clearly outlined on your lease which utility bills you are and are not paying.
Speaking on behalf of NUIG SU, President Clare Austick said, ““Findingaccommodation can be extremely stressful, and people tend to rush into it. It is paramount that you follow these guidelines to avoid scams and ensure that the house you live in will be sustainable for you and your friends. Never rush into getting accommodation, be cautious and insist on receipts and any repairs where necessary. This will be where you stay for at least nine months so make sure you have all the necessities before making any commitments. Students still seeking accommodation should check www.nuigstudentpad.ie”