NUI Galway’s Students’ Union is urging people to exercise caution before committing to renting private accommodation.
With the first round of CAO offers coming out next Monday, thousands of students of students will be looking for a place to live in Galway.
But the SU is urging students to use caution before signing a lease, and to make sure the property fits your needs.
SU President Megan O’Reilly said: “Finding accommodation can be extremely stressful and people tend to rush into it. 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.”
The SU has put together some tips for students renting a private property including making sure the gas, electricity, and all appliances are in good working order.
Take photos of the property and furniture before you move in, making sure to highlight any pre-existing damage.
Make sure that you and your landlord/lady have a clear agreement ahead of time on the length of your stay, and what bills you and your housemates are liable for.
If any repairs are needed to the property, get a written guarantee from the landlord or agency responsible that it will be addressed before you hand over a deposit.
And make sure that you get a signed receipt for that deposit.
“It is paramount that you follow these guidelines and ensure that the house you live in will be sustainable for you and your friends,” said Megan Reilly.
Galway has been going through a serious housing crisis that’s affected student housing as much as anyone else.
This year there have been cases of students continuing to rent through the summer, whether they were staying in Galway or not, to ensure they’d have a room come September.
More disturbing is Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte’s assertion that as many as 50 students could be left homeless come September.
Deputy Rabbitte has said that she knows of 22 students who were sleeping rough in Eyre square at the start of last year because they had nowhere to live.
She warned that the problem will likely be even worse this year with student housing filling up very early in the summer.
There are several major student housing developments in Galway going before An Bord Pleanála including a 394 bed development at the site of the Westwood hotel, and a 471 bed project on NUIG’s campus in Dangan.
However none of those will be completed in time to help with the immediate housing crisis, leaving many students to seek accommodation in the private rental sector.
The NUIG SU provides an online listings for apartment, houses, and digs available to incoming students at www.nuigstudentpad.ie.