Accommodation

Accommodation

One of the big challenges students face when starting college, or even returning to college, is finding accommodation.

It is one of those things you need to be careful with when it comes to finding the right accommodation. There are also things you need to remember when living in college accommodation and when vacating your accommodation at the end of your tenancy.

This section will help you  to make the moving to college transition a little easier  with tips , types of accommodation and a section on your rights as a tenant.

Accommodation this year is difficult to find.  Contact the Accommodation Office in MTU for the most up to date listings or try daft.ie

Accommodation Office

The MTU Accommodation Office assists students in finding a suitable place to live. The service provides information and guidance to students on the accommodation most appropriate to their needs. Students can phone, call into the office or email for up to date lists and information.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am-1.00pm 2.00pm- 4.30pm.

You will find the MTU Accomodation Office on the 1st Floor of the Student Centre (Nexus Building) on the Bishopstown Campus.

Contact:

Deirdre Falvey
Accommodation Officer
Phone: 021 433 5750
Email: accommodationCork@mtu.ie.ie

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Accommodation Tips

Once you have taken up a place on a course in MTU, and have decided to move out of home, you’ll need to organise somewhere to live quickly. Depending on your situation, you might continue living at home or you might have relations that you can stay with. However, for many students this will be their first time living out of home.

Moving Out of Home

Do not go on a shopping spree, you do not need everything brand new. Of course you want to make your room feel like your own so a few throws and picture frames from Penneys are important!! First of all check what is included in the house, and if something isn’t there then raid your own home first for stuff. When you arrive, you probably will have brought the essentials. However, there are a few things that are sometimes forgotten.

If you can’t borrow stuff from home, work out a deal between yourself and your housemates on the things that you can all use so that you can buy in bulk and it will be cheaper for you all.

Things like:

Clingfilm, Tinfoil, Bin Bags, Toilet Roll, Kitchen Roll, Non-Perishables( Pasta, Rice), Tea Towels, Washing Powder, Washing Up Liquid, Cleaning Supplies  and even Tea bags.

Also, Make sure to use the PRTB Checklist when you move in to ensure the landlord does not charge you for missing inventory or damage at the end of the year which was not caused by you.

Take a look at the following links for some advice on moving to college and finding accomodation:

Tenant Rights

When you are renting it is very important to be aware of your tenant rights as well as obligations.

  • Be careful. It is important to have a written contract with your landlord as this will clarify the agreement for both you the tenant and the landlord. Remember that if you sign a contract or lease for a certain amount of time, then you are legally committing yourself to paying rent for that time. So unless you’re completely comfortable and happy with the conditions, don’t sign anything.
  • Legally your landlord must give you a rent book or written legal agreement or lease. The rent book keeps a track of all the payments you make throughout the year, i.e. rent/bills and can be extremely useful if problems arise between you and your landlord. If your landlord doesn’t offer you one, ask them for one.  Rent books are also available, free of charge from the Welfare office.
  • Take photos of the house when you move in. So if something is broken, marked or stained before you move in you cannot be blamed for it.  Also take photos when you’re moving out, this can really help when it comes to looking for your full deposit back.
  • Before you hand over any deposit/rent, make sure you check that the house is secure and that locks/windows/smoke alarms etc. are all in working order. Also check if important appliances such as the cooker, washing machine, television etc. are in good working condition. If not tell your landlord and if you are paying rent they should fix it.
  • You have the right to privacy. Once you are living in your new home, the landlord is only allowed to enter with your permission. This means that if the landlord wants to do repairs or check the accommodation, they should arrange a suitable time with you.
  • Accommodation must be fit to live in. The house should be safe and secure, and rodents of any kind, mice/rats or even ants are totally not acceptable so get on to your landlord as soon as possible if these appear.
  •  Rent can only be increased every 2 years as per the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2015.
  •  If something in the house/apartment breaks and is not your fault, the landlord is obliged to repair/replace the item and pay for it.
  • Prompt return of full deposit should be made to the tenant unless rent is owed or there has been damage to the property.
  • All landlords are required by law to register with the Private Tenancies Board (PRTB) – in order to do this, he/she needs the following information from you: your PPS Number and your signature on the registration form. If you are not asked for this information, it’s likely that your tenancy hasn’t been registered. To check if your landlord is registered visit www.prtb.ie
Tenant Rules

As with all relationships, it works both ways. The tenant also has obligations to the landlord:

  • Respect the landlord and their property. Remember you are only renting the house/apartment, you do not own it.
  • Pay the rent at the agreed time and in full.
  • Pay any charges, e.g. bin/television license payable by the tenant under the terms of the lease.
  • Respect your neighbours. It’s a lot easier and will be more enjoyable in the long term. A party at 3 am may seem like a good idea at the time, but remember your actions do have consequences. Scaring or upsetting elderly neighbours and children is not exactly cool. Aim to be a law abiding neighbour.
  • Allow the landlord to access the property for occasional inspections or if repairs are needed.
  • Ask your landlord for permission before making any alterations to the property. Doing simple things like using white tac instead of blue tac, sticky tape or even nails can save a lot of hassle when it comes to moving out and looking for your full deposit back.
  • Keep the house clean and tidy and take the rubbish out weekly. Leaving dishes until the morning may seem easier at the time, but the leftover food will attract unwanted guests. Trust me on this, plus friends are more likely to visit if you have a nice smelling house/apartment.

For more information on your rights and responsibilities as a tenant can be found on threshold.ie

Also take a look at the PRTB website to see if your landlord is registered.

Residential Tenancies

Legally, you can now pay your rent money!

MTU Cork SU, alongside the USI, lobbied politicians to pass a bill so that students can now pay their rent monthly to help reduce the financial hardship for you all.

Please read the following published by gov.ie for more information on this:

“Under the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Bill 2021 any upfront payment upon the commencement of a tenancy will be restricted to a total value that does not exceed two months’ rent i.e. a deposit and one month rent in advance.

This restriction will apply to all tenancies including for students residing in student specific accommodation. A student can make a larger upfront payment if they so wish, by way of an opt-out option, but they cannot be forced to do so.

The Bill also provides that the notice period to be given by students in respect of student specific accommodation will be limited to a maximum 28 days’ notice.”

(Source: Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage;  Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Published on 9 June 2021, www.gov.ie)

Types of Accommodation

Where to look for accommodation?

There are so many types of accommodation that you can look at when moving to college. So we hope this section will help you to decide which type of accommodation best suits you.

There are three main types of accommodation that are available in the Bishopstown and Cork City area , and it is up to you to choose which best suits you and your budget.

Student Apartment Complexes

There are a number of apartment complexes in close proximity to the Bishopstown Campus and to Cork School of Music and Crawford College of Art and Design. However there are no apartment complexes in a close proximity to the National Maritime College (NMCI) in Ringaskiddy. So take a look at what campus your course is based on when looking for student apartments. Also this type of accommodation tends to book out early so it is advised to enquire early in the intended academic year.

You can find information on Student Apartments by calling into the Accommodation Office on the 1st Floor of the Students Centre in MTU or by clicking here.

Shared houses/flats

You will find a lot of rental houses and flats close to all the MTU campuses. When renting a house two things can happen. The amount of the monthly rent will include bills and utilities, or else it will be solely the rent per occupancy. This is something you will need to check in the lease you sign. When renting a property you can rent a room if you do not know anyone in the house or else you can rent the property as a group of friends and each pay their own agreed share.

There are a few ways of searching for shared houses/flats:

Call to the MTU Accommodation Office and ask for the list of houses/rooms in houses is available throughout the year. This updated regularly and especially during the summer months. As there is a high demand for this type of accommodation, it is advisable to contact the Accommodation Office regularly for an updated list.

There are various websites that are updated every day and are very handy because you can narrow down your search to the location of the house and what exactly you are looking for. These  websites are reputable websites with houses in the Cork area: www.daft.ie  www.property.ie  www.myhome.ie  or http://homes.usi.ie

Lodgings/self catering lodgings/dig

Lodgings/Digs are when you are living in a family home. Most include bills and utilities in the rent you pay. Some will include meals but most are self-catering. There are a lot of lodgings/digs around the Cork Area, and sometimes can be the cheapest option.

They may be the cheapest option and the landlords can be fairly flexible if you only need to stay short term also, but these are not the ideal type of accommodation if you want to have friends around or have a party here and there.

The MTU Accommodation Office provides a register of lodgings for the academic year. This register is updated throughout the year. Many houses are within walking distance of the college.