Generally most areas in the city are safe to live in but there may be blackspots in any area. Be particularly careful in considering some inner city areas mostly in Dublin 1 and 8. If you are not sure about an area ask local shop keepers or Gardai for an honest opinion, they’ll generally give you a truthful up to date view on the safety the locality. The majority of Trinity College student living in flats and bedsits live in the Dublin postal districts of 3,7 and 9 on the Northside and 2, 4, 6, 6w and 8 on the Southside.
When you have found a place you are interested in, remember: the early bird catches the worm. Landlords work on a first come first served basis and generally choose the tenant which best serves their interests. Few things will piss you off more than to see a nice apartment with you written all over it go to someone who arrived 5 minutes earlier. When you do view a place, keep a number of things in mind when giving it the once-over. Even though you might be desperate for a place to live, don’t take the first place you can get if it is not suitable. Moving house is a pain so try and get things right the first time. Bear the following in mind when checking out a new place.
Are you looking for a bedsit, flat or house? Will you be sharing? Sharing can be cheap, but make sure you’ll like living with your flatmates.
Is it convenient in relation to College? If not, consider the cost of travel (check out bus routes, Dart lines, taxis and so on).
Is there a late-night shop nearby? Where’s the nearest place to go when you have that midnight craving for cigarettes/chocolate/condoms (well, craving for something you need condoms for!)?
Is it in a reasonably safe area? Is there a safe place to put your bike? (Disregard if you don’t have a bike).
Check all electrical appliances are working (cooker, fridge, etc.) If any repairs need to be made, point this out to the landlord before you move in (otherwise, they’ll probably blame you, and take it out of your deposit. Grrr).
Are there enough electrical sockets? Do they work?
Is there cable TV? Will you be charged for it if you don’t have a TV?
Is there access to a garden? Do you really care?
What are the arrangements for cleaning common areas e.g. halls?
Are there any signs of dampness or mould? Check cupboards, walls, beds etc.
Will it be easy to heat? It may seem warm now but what will it be like in December?
How do you pay for electricity, gas, telephone etc.? Check the setting on the meters. The arrangements of how and when these payments are to be made must be set out in your rent-book. In some areas the ESB will not put the account in your name unless you have a one-year lease.
Is there a written lease? If so, get someone knowledgeable to read it before you sign it and request a copy once the landlord has signed it. You can check in with the Accommodation Advisory Service if you’re not sure.
How much is the deposit? (The normal amount to ask for is one months rent)
Always get contact address/phone no. for the landlord. We mean this. always. There are disastrous stories about people who forgot this rule…