Renting in Ireland: 'If something breaks, I ring the landlord'
Television producer Cara Doyle (32) rents a three- storey, three-bedroom townhouse in Clongriffin, Dublin 13, with her husband Damien. They live there with 12-year-old daughter Ella.
'I moved back from the UK 10 years ago with Ella, just before the recession. We lived in a couple of different places in Dublin 8, where I'm from originally, but as it's a very popular place with renters and buyers alike these days, sadly I couldn't afford to live in the place I was brought up anymore. We were looking for more space, which the place in Clongriffin has lots of.
We really lucked out with our landlord, he's great. He wanted to rent to a family who would look after the place, and we do feel as if it's our home. We knew we were going to be renting for several years, wanted somewhere to make our own, and have had the freedom to do it. We have our own bed and sofa, and over the last three years we've slowly but surely added to the furniture and decor - we painted Ella's room when we moved in.
The original plan was to rent for a couple of years and then buy a house. Damien bought a one-bed property before we met, so that affected what we could buy. Then, when these new rules came in last year, they made it even more unattainable, so we're going to be looking at a few more years at least to save a 20pc mortgage. We both work full time and have good jobs, but can't afford €60,000 for a deposit as well as childcare and rent.
My mindset was always that I would buy, but then I thought, why? There's no rush. Renting is great; if something breaks, I ring my landlord. There's no mortgage worry and if Damien or I had to move for work or something at short notice, we could.
There's an element of freedom that's quite appealing, even though we're very happy where we are.
But saying that, this is Ella's fourth bedroom in 12 years. It doesn't faze her, but if we were to ever have another child, I probably wouldn't consider it until we owned a home of our own.
My top tip for renting? Try and get to know who owns your house, build a relationship with them and, if at all possible, negotiate a contract longer than a year."