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PRTB advises students going to college for the first time how to avoid paying excessive rents

Aug 21, 2014
  • PRTB Rent Index reveals actual rent levels for different types of accommodation around the country.
  • Hints and Tips for students renting for the first time.

Tuesday August 19th 2013: With offers of Third Level College places being received today by young people around the country, the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) is reminding them there is now authoritative information available on the actual level of rents for different types of accommodation adjacent to all Universities, ITs and other Third Level colleges.

The information is available on the PRTB’s Rent Index, which is the most accurate and authoritative rent data source of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland. Compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), and based on the PRTB’s own register of 300,750 tenancies across the State, the Rent Index (available to view here) reveals the actual rents being paid for rented properties, as distinct from the asking rent which features in other rent reports published by other parties. This can help students and their parents to make informed decisions about the accommodation options open to them and to negotiate the best possible deal on rent.

The PRTB Rent Index reveals the different rent levels across the country for different accommodation. By logging on to www.prtb.ie, prospective renters can establish the monthly rent being paid, for example, for a two-bed apartment in Rathmines (€1,194.43), while a three bed semi in Clonskeagh is renting for €1,642.03. Outside Dublin, rent levels are not as high; a three-bed semi in Maynooth is typically costing €976.94 per month to rent, while a three-bed house in Athlone is costing €596.89. A two-bed apartment close to Tralee Institute of Technology will cost €526.05, while the rent for a similar apartment in Galway city averages €759.53. In Limerick a two-bed apartment is renting for €579.46 per month. 

The PRTB Director, Ms. Anne Marie Caulfield said that while this is an exciting time for young people planning to go to college for the first time, it is also a daunting and expensive time for them and their families. “Students leaving home and renting for the first time tend to be unsure how much they should be paying in rent. Our Rent Index provides them with important benchmark information and is an authoritative guide as to the actual rents being charged by landlords”.

She also advised students to think carefully and consider all that is involved in renting a property and, perhaps, moving in with new flatmates. “We have also published information on protecting deposits and how to ensure it is refunded at the end of the academic year, as well as a list of what students are legally entitled to in terms of the standard of rented accommodation, and their responsibilities as tenants”.

Ms. Caulfield also advises students to choose their house or flat-mates carefully. “You could be held jointly responsible for rent owing by your flatmates or for damage to the property caused by them” she said. “Also, get the landlord’s name, address and phone number in case of emergencies – you’re entitled to that. And don’t sign up to a 12 month lease if you will only be staying for a nine month academic year.”

The PRTB has again teamed up again this year with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to sponsor a booklet of advice on renting which is being distributed to all new students. USI, each college’s students’ union accommodation and welfare officers, Threshold and the PRTB Call Centre all offer free information to students and their parents.

Note: Pictures of the PRTB’s Chairperson, Ms. Catriona Walsh, and Director, Ms. Anne-Marie Caulfield, with USI representatives at the launch of the PRTB-sponsored, USI Student Guide on Renting in Trinity College, Dublin, today will be sent to your picture desk.

For further information:

Michelle Tritschler, MKC Communications, tel. 01 7038600 / 086 3846630

Mike Miley, MKC Communications 01 7038600 / 086 3811203

About the PRTB and the Rented Residential Property Market

The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) was established in 2004 to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. It also provides policy advice to the Government on the private rented sector, and its dispute resolution service replaces the courts in relation to the majority of landlord and tenant disputes.

According to the 2011 Census, of the nearly 1.65 million households in the country 475,000 (29%) are renting their accommodation, and about 65% of that number are in the private sector. There are now 300,750 private tenancies registered with the PRTB.

Check List for Students Renting for the First Time

Is the rental property close to college or on a convenient transport route? Is the property secure and in a safe location?

What is included in the rent – and what is excluded? Who pays for the heating, electricity, bin charges, cable TV? You must consider any extras in your budget.

Does the accommodation meet with the minimum legal requirements? For example,  in the kitchen, is there a four ring hob with grill and oven, a fridge and freezer, microwave and washing machine. Do they all work?

Sanitary facilities; is there a self-contained toilet with hot and cold water and a fixed bath or shower?

Is the heating adequate? Is there any sign of dampness in the property? Are there smoke alarms?

Know who you’re living with because if they don’t pay their rent, leave unpaid bills or damage the property, you could all be held jointly responsible.

Don’t sign a 12 month lease if you’re only staying for the 9 month academic year...you could end up paying the extra three months,  or losing your Deposit.

Is the tenancy registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board.  Experience shows that good landlords will always abide by the law.

What is your landlord’s name, address and phone number? It’s very important to have this information if things go wrong – and you are entitled to get it...

Take an inventory of the contents and furniture on arrival, note any damage, things that don’t work & breakages. Photos are also useful. Get your landlord to sign the inventory along with you.

Get a receipt! Make sure you have a record  (i) of your Deposit and (ii) of every Rent Payment. Renting is a business arrangement – treat it like one.

Don’t engage in anti-social behaviour... parties can get out of hand and it could end up costing you a lot of money.

If you’ve paid your rent, given notice, haven’t damaged the property, and paid the bills then you’re entitled to your deposit back..... just remember to go through your inventory again before you leave, preferably with your landlord, and take more photos. They may be necessary as evidence in a dispute. 

Renting Problems?  Who can help?

  • The Student Union Accommodation Officers
  • Threshold offers free advice to tenants
  • The Money and Budgeting Advice Service provides money advice
  • Private Residential Tenancies Board - You can take a case to the PRTB for €25
  • Need more information on your Rights and Responsibilities? Go to www.prtb.ie
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LATEST DATA FROM PRTB QUARTERLY RENT INDEX: AVERAGE PRIVATE SECTOR RENTS IN DUBLIN ROSE 8.4% IN YEAR TO END OF MARCH 2014

Jun 12, 2014
The latest Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), covering Quarter 1 of 2014, shows that private sector rents in Dublin went up by  8.4% over the previous year (as compared with Q1 2013), with house rents rising by an average of  6.7% and apartment rents up   10.3%.

In contrast, annual growth in rents for the market outside Dublin was more subdued, recording growth of 0.8% over the year, compared to Q1 of 2013. Again the performance differed by property type. Monthly rent for houses outside Dublin increased by just 0.1%, while apartments outside Dublin experienced an increase of 2.1%.

Looking at the monetary level of rents, the average national rent for a house in Q1 2014 was €775; in Dublin, it averaged €1,227 and outside Dublin it was €637. The average apartment rent across the whole country in Q1 2014 was €830; in Dublin, it averaged €1,148, while outside Dublin it was €594.

Compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), the Index showed that, for the country as a whole, including Dublin, rents in Q1 2014 were  3.5% higher than in Q1 of 2013; rents for houses were 1.6% higher, while apartment rents were  5.6% higher than in the same quarter of 2013.

Looking at the shorter quarter on quarter time-span (Q1 2014 compared with Q4 2013), monthly rent levels for the whole country were up by 0.3%. Looking at trends in more detail, monthly rents for houses were up by 0.4 per cent, while rents for apartments were 0.5% higher than in Quarter 4, 2013. 

The sub-indices show that the national increase continues to reflect the stronger Dublin rental market. Rents in Dublin grew by 0.5 per cent when compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. While rents for houses in Dublin increased by 0.8 per cent, rents for Dublin apartments rose by 0.9% quarter on quarter.

The rent indices for properties outside Dublin show rents in the first quarter of 2014, when compared with the fourth quarter of last year, were up by 0.4 per cent. Rents for houses outside Dublin recorded a quarterly increase of 0.3%. The index for apartment rents outside Dublin  increased by 0.2% in the first quarter.

In the first quarter of 2014, monthly rents for the country as a whole were close to 23% lower than their peak in late 2007, with Dublin rents down 16.4 per cent from peak. Rents for houses are 24% lower than they were in the fourth quarter of 2007. Rents for houses outside Dublin are 26.5% lower than their peak, while rents for Dublin houses are 15% lower than in late 2007.

Monthly rents for apartments are nearly 21% lower than they were in the first quarter of 2008. Apartment rents outside Dublin are 24.6% lower than their peak, while rents for Dublin apartments are 15% lower than in late 2007. Dublin apartments account for 22.8% of registrations with the PRTB.

The PRTB/ESRI Rent Index is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland because it reflects the actual rents being paid, according to the PRTB’s records, as distinct from the asking or advertised rent, which is the basis of other rent reports.

 The PRTB website www.prtb.ie (click on “rent index”) also contains an Average Rent Dataset which enables people to check the average rent being paid for five different categories of dwelling types throughout the country, in both urban and rural areas. This enables people to check what is the actual rent being paid for, say, a semi-detached house or a two-bed apartment in their neighbourhood, and in other parts of the country.

Commenting on the Rent Index findings, the Director of the PRTB, Ms. Anne Marie Caulfield, said: “The private rented sector in this country continues to reflect a story of two very different markets. Dublin continues to show a strong year on year growth in rent levels, while in the rest of the country shows only a marginal increase over the year to the end of March this year”.

All landlords are legally obliged to register tenancies with the Board and the number of new registrations with the PRTB in Quarter 1, 2014 was just under 33,000.

The Index is of assistance for a range of Government purposes, including housing policy generally and informing the Department of Social Protection’s Rent Supplement scheme. It is also an important reference document in landlord/tenant disputes on rent.  It was developed in consultation and co-operation with landlord representative groups such as the Irish Property Owners Association, irishlandlord.com, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland, and tenant representative groups such as Threshold and USI (Union of Students in Ireland). 

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