Renting sucks

OK, so we’ve been renting for a year since selling the gaff last year.

It’s fine. Except we’ve now been turfed out by a landlord who didn’t like the lower (market) rent we offered and now claims she is going to sell. (If she doesn’t put the house on the market, we’ll be taking her before the PRTB lickety-split).

But here’s what sucks about renting. It’s not being turfed out of the house. That’s bad but doesn’t usually happen. What sucks is the absolutely dire quality of the rental stock in Dublin, particularly for families. Pinsters can talk as long as they like about how sensible renting is but if you’re a family and looking for an unfurnished 3-5 bed house in Dublin the pickings are mighty slim, particularly south of the Liffey. And this fact alone is keeping rents for these sorts of property artificially high in my experience.

We eventually found a place for a reasonable rent but it was not easy. The number of absolutely horrendous and horrendously furnished rental houses out there is astounding. You’d think that some of the landlords would cop on to the fact that they can get a better quality tenant (former home-owning families as opposed to students) and probably a higher rent if they’d just chuck out the precious Bargaintown sitting-room suite and the checked mattresses.

Yep. Time to get the IRA* on the job.


*** Irish Renter’s Association**

I hear you! We’ve had to move after landlord sold his house(only rented it for 9 months in the end). It took 3 months to find the place we are now in and we had to pay €200 extra per month than we had been paying. There was a lot of competition for this house. Like you said Ernie, there is a dearth of decent family homes(unfurnished) and this one is less than perfect. We still have to keep the new landlord’s furniture in the house with our own:( Not for the faint-hearted.

Ernie Ball - I agree with you, I was looking in SCD for 6 months for a suitable house at a reasonable price. Getting a good unfurnished house is not easy. Plus moving house is a major deal when you have furniture in tow, it is not something that anyone would want to do on a yearly basis

Why can’t you put the landlord’s rubbish in storage? Wouldn’t they prefer having it away from harm?

That’s an extra monthly cost. Never mind who is going to pay for moving it.

We did try to look at some furnished houses and talk to the letting agents about getting rid of some or all of the furniture. As a rule, landlords won’t hear of it. That knotty pine bedframe is worth its weight in gold!


Not just for families Ernie. The low quality you are seeing is echoed across all classes of property. I was looking for a 1-bed rental last year, somewhere in Dublin 2, 4 or 6, areas that are supposedly prime rental territory. My criteria was simple: a place I could bring a girlfriend back to without being embarrassed the place would look like student digs or something out of Rising Damp. Honestly, even reaching that modest level of quality was near impossible.

I’ll never understand why anybody would want to rent a furnished place with someone else’s carp.

Why is it so hard to find unfurnished houses to rent in Ireland? We too had a very difficult time finding an unfurnished house to rent. I also miss the ability to drill holes in walls at my discretion.

Agreed a thousand times over.

We’re in our 30s with kids, we’ve accumulated our own furniture over the years and have no desire to live among someone else’s hideous curtains, Athena posters and Formica tables. We’re lucky to have a tax-compliant professional landlord rather than some buy to let gombeen – he removed the atrocities from the house when we moved in without complaint - but he really is the exception. Just as it’s difficult to buy decent family homes at an affordable price because of the amount of unsuitable crap that was built during the boom, so is it difficult to rent same. Some friends of ours with kids rent a house where the landlord refused to remove any of the furniture even though some of it was downright dangerous and falling apart – they’ve had to use an entire room to store it.
I wish there was more professionalism among landlords but everything that happened during the last decade pushed the business towards amateurism and short-termism. I’ve seen people here who are sick of renting get some snooty comments but this sort of thing really wears you down if you have a family. You just don’t have as much bargaining power if there aren’t many decent houses to rent.

That just conjures up beautiful images! :mrgreen:

You as a tenant cannot unilaterally lower the rent (even if you think what you are offering is the ‘market’ rate), without a specific term in your lease providing for this. Obviously I don’t know the specifics of your case, however if you refused to keep paying the rent at the agreed rate you were in breach of contract and this presents obvious difficulties if you are bringing a complaint to the PRTB.

Anyway if supply of good properties is so low - maybe ‘market rent’ is higher for good properties???

While I totally sympathise with those feeling that they are being asked to pay too much to rent or buy a house - sometimes people on the pin forget that they cannot force these people to rent or sell to them! Stupid and counterproductive as it may be to ask above market value - this is their problem and you can’t bully them into changing. Remember he who laughs last etc.

Reverse entitlement! :laughing:

Anyhoo, who was moaning the other week that you never get discussions about the downsides of renting on here? :wink:

WTF?! You wouldn’t be making any assumptions there by any chance, would you?

The situation was: the lease was coming to an end and we were negotiating a new lease at a new rent. We made an offer at what we calculated was the market rate for similar properties in the area. After a year we have an entitlement under the law to a review to a market rate which would have certainly involved a reduction of some kind. We were willing to come up from our initial offer. But rather than coming back with a counteroffer, the landlord simply informed us she was going to sell and wanted vacant possession.

We’ve paid the rent scrupulously always.

In short, please save your presumptive scoldings for cases where you actually have some idea of what the situation is.

It’s made artificially high by the number of perfectly adequate properties with immovable Bargaintown furniture. We were nevertheless offering a fair rent taking all of this into account.

Uh, that’s actually false in part. If you are an existing tenant and have been for a year, your landlord, by law cannot charge you an above-market rent. And they can’t turf you out except in a very limited set of circumstances (selling the house being one). And abuse of that particular clause (say by telling the tenants you’re going to sell the place and then turning around and renting it) is also a violation of the law.

Can’t they turf you out at the end of your fixed term lease without needing any explanation?

In which case, that PRTB case you hope to bring may not get very far.

I get this all the time. Upmarket tenants move into expensive property then discover that gobdaw landlord has bought his beds in bargaintown complete with check foam mattresses. Tenants are amazed at how shite the beds are and can’t sleep on them. They call to have them removed. Landlord refuses.

One problem with residential tenancy in Ireland is that both sides take a shitty approach. The landlord want to retain an option to evict the tenant at will citing his ‘family member who wishes to move in’ or redecoration. Meanwhile the tenant wants the landlord to take responsibility for every aspect of house maintenance from minor repairs to the garden and often eventually leaving the landlord to clean the property. There is something unpleasantly Irish in the attempt by both sides to rip each other off to the maximum extent.

In a happier rental arrangement as seen in foreign parts, the tenant takes on a portion of maintenance, thus allowing him to feel more at home having chosen the colours and done some of the work himself. Landlord does not retain the evict option but instead achieves longer tenancies without the expense associated with vacant periods and finding new tenants.

Thats the way I have rented 2 houses, they are allowed, within reason, to change Curtains, paint rooms, etc I’ll “go halfs” with big jobs and provide everything that they need.

I had one tenant who was with me almost 5 years, a new washing machine was needed and bought, he wanted to paint nothing weird… when they left the house was/is spotless.

It was their “home” for those 5 years.

We had to move some time back from a horribly furnished house, and went for an unfurnished one, at a massively increased rent.
The original small 3-bed was put on the market at approx. €500,000, and needless to say didn’t sell.
Within a few months of moving out, new tenants were installed.
I know we could have brought the landlord to PTRB, but on that occasion, I was just happy to have moved.
The new house had been redecorated (i.e. a slap of paint, and varnished floors) and due to lack of properties on the market at the time, we ended up paying over the odds - but the LL did remove his horrible beds, and later agreed to a reduction.
We now want to move again, but same problem as before: lack of suitable properties on the market.
Will keep looking.

No, they cannot. Not since the Residential Tenancies Act of 2004. Once we’ve been in the place for 6 months they have to give a reason (and there are only 5 or 6 valid reasons.

I’m sorry, but you’re uninformed on this matter.