How to rent in Dublin without bursting an artery…

So you’re wondering how to rent in Dublin? Ok be warned it is near impossible, let it be known if you think this will be smooth sailing you are wrong, if you think you’re prepared you are also wrong, if you think it’ll be a great experience, guess again, cause you are wrong.


First things first, if you’ve started this wild adventure with friends please be aware this Everest will test even the strongest of bonds. You see it all starts out very rosie with lavish expectations of you and your two BFF’s living in a quaint shabby chic 3 bed apartment in Ranelagh village – walking distance from work, close to fab little shops and gyms and a short taxi ride home from Harcourt St, but before you know it those dreamy expectations are shattered and the three of you are running like the speed of light out of a 4 story apartment on top of a Subway shop on Wexford St.

So let me just set your expectations if you, like me, are new to renting in Dublin, prepare to be stressed, prepare to gain a few grey hairs, prepare to be disappointed and unless you’re very, very lucky, prepare to lower your expectations.


These are the following points you will need to be aware of to rent in Dublin:

  1. Be prepared to spend HOURS on,,,,, looking for places, you literally need to set up ALL the email notifications and hop on them like a dog in heat.
  2. Expectations: Ok go head and lower them there, now just go on and lower them again, ok rinse and repeat a few more times and you should be good  to go.


  3. Make sure you’re all on the same page, you don’t wanna find out 3 viewings in that your mate was looking to move in her 2 cats and bi-weekly boyfriend, set the requirements including price, location and whether you intend to have a party gaff or an actual home.
  4. Luxury Letting – This is how property websites rationalise the fact that you’re expected to pay three grand a month for a 1 bed, 1 bath, apartment in Rathmines, they just throw this funny little sticker on the side of the images and pass it off as a Luxury Let.


  5. Parking? In the Dublin City Centre region? For your car? Yeh that’ll be €300 a month on top of your €2000 rent, each.


  6. Be prepared. Listen I thought the gals and I were prepared, we are a bunch of very anal, organised, un-chilled individuals, so after creating our in depth colour coded, conditionally formatted (by price AND location) spreadsheet, I thought we were fairly set and organised. We had our references in hand and we we’re right and ready. Oh no, no, no, we were not prepared at all, little did we know we needed to be armed with documents detailing our salary down to the cent, on top of which we were then to provide blood samples and a signed contract owing our first born child to this letting agent, and all for a minuscule ground floor Dublin 2 apartment, without any parking or dishwasher?


  7. Holding Fee’s, holding fee’s everywhere.. “Yeh so that’ll be 500 euro holding fee if you want to get a sniff of the apartment. Oh I mean you’ll get it back if you’re not successful, yeh we issue holding fee refunds on the first full moon of the quarter every 3 years so that’s no issue.”


  8. View everything, EVERYTHING! Spotted a prime location apartment? Big spacious rooms? Great lighting? Nice wooden floors and fairly good decor? Oh and it’s in your budget! But wait, 14,000 people have viewed it since it was listed 3 minutes ago! Aha, at this point you feel the panic set in, you fret, looking for a number and an email to send on your 48 referral documents and a 45 grand holding fee, you don’t even bother sticking it in the colour coded excel sheet because this place is most surely a steal and you need to act now. Woah woah woah, hold the show there don’t even think about not seeing it before you pay a holding fee (Yes some places ask before you’ve even seen) in the case that you are offered the place and don’t take it you don’t get it back at all.


  9. Prepare for disappointment. You’ll have “a really good feeling” about this one, more than once. The letting agent may even fill you with a bubble of confidence and you’ll need to hold yourself back from heading straight to Ikea to pick out those new curtains for the upstairs landing. Nothing is a sure thing when renting in Dublin, until you have signed and paid your deposit you should probably refrain from ordering the Laura Ashley couch and changing your contact details. It is often heart breaking especially when bundled with all the other negative attributes of the renting game but hang in there whats for you won’t pass you.


To put it lightly the Dublin Rental scene is dark and full of terrors and yeh we’re all a bit looney to be renting pouring money down the drain #wealth #celtictiger, but it’s a right of passage every 20 something has to go through so grin and bear it and hopefully at the end of it all you’ll come out with a decent flat that isn’t infested with ants and situated next to a indian takeaway.

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