Sunday 18 March 2018

Nine things you need to do to successfully find a room to rent in Dublin

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

Many of us are familiar with the painful task of finding a place in Dublin, but if you’re setting off on the journey for the first time prepare yourself for the worst.

It's worth bearing in mind that being yourself is just not an option in this circumstance, if you want a roof over your head by the time winter rolls around.

1) Have an unhealthily close relationship with your parents

Having daddy issues might be the reason your relationships seem to break down on a six month loop but freakishly close parental ties are relished by prospective roomies. 

If you’re so obsessed with Mammy’s dinners that you hop into the car each and every Friday afternoon bound for some far-flung destination (the edge of a cliff in Donegal, for example) not to return until the early hours of Monday morning, you’re probably an ideal candidate for the room.

After all, who would want to live with someone who would have the cheek to stay around and spend the weekend?

2) Be willing to share (and compromise)

If you’re trying to find a place to live in Dublin, don’t be put off by a little thing like sharing a one bedroom flat with three people. It’s all about compromise as you’ll soon find out.

As long as the apartment has two couches and a blow up bed in the sitting room it will be grand. You can each have the bedroom for four months of the year on rotation. It will at the very least build up those team bonding skills.

If you’re questioning it, don’t worry. It’s worth it for €400pm because it’s “just a five minute stroll from O’Connell Street”.

3) Be fit enough to outrun everyone during an open house

Traumatic open houses are regular occurrences on the Dublin house hunting front so it is advised that you hit the gym in preparation to outrun the other 23 competitors fighting it out for the room.

The first person to hand the agent an envelope filled with an obscene amount of cash is the winner but it won’t really feel like that.

4) Have an array of interesting (but unintimidating) hobbies

Every potential housemate appreciates someone who appears to have their own life, and someone who clearly has visible hobbies is always a plus. Despite coughing up the dough for rent, it is noted when you spend as little time in the house as humanly possible.

The trick when it comes to hobbies is to portray ones that will both appear to keep you busy as many evenings as possible but also ones that your housemates could potentially pick up.

For example, Tag Rugby will keep you out of the house for two evenings each week but also might potentially inspire your housemates to get onto a healthier path with you.

In contrast, learning to play the violin might not been looked on favourably and your bad music isn’t likely to instil passion in your housemates.

Don’t be afraid to portray that you’re interested in something when you’re really not. For example turning up with a tennis racket and gear without ever having actually played the sport might work in your favour.

By the time they work out you’re a slob addicted to Keeping Up with the Kardashians it will be way too late.

5) Have every piece of documentation referring to your life thus far

How could your potential roommate ever trust you without photo-copy evidence of your birth certificate, Leaving Cert results, communion photos and car registration, not forgetting the marriage certificates of every couple in your family dating back three generations?

Also you’ll need a personalised letter of recommendation from the CEO of your company as well as a prepared Powerpoint depicting all the times you worked well as a member of a team.

Don’t forget to have stacks of landlord references dated as far back to when you were a foetus.

6) Be prepared for people’s unreachable expectations

It must be noted that some of the ads spotted on a recent Dublin room search included the most unbelievable requirements including ‘vegetarians only’, ‘must love Call of Duty' 'must have a permanent contract' and a demand that any possible housemate must be ‘happy’ to live alongside a 5-month-old-baby. All of these are pretty unachievable goals for the average Joe Soap.

Being ambidextrous, bilingual, and a great cook (but an even better washer-uper) are all perfectly reasonable expectations on the Dublin house scene.

A 1:1 is also worth a tick.

Note: It will be looked on favourably if you get a kick out of paying for Sky but don’t actually like to watch TV.

7) Be prepared to answer harder questions than during Honours Maths Paper II

The thing you have to accept about house-hunting is the inevitably difficult questions you’re bound to be asked at each viewing.

“So why do you think Drumcondra is a good fit for where you’re at in life right now?”

“Would you have a lot of close personal friends in this area?”

"Do you expect to park your car within 7 miles of here?"

Eh... I really don’t know.

It’s also advisable to prepare yourself for intimate questions about the colour of your undies and whether you're sleeping with anyone so don’t be touchy.

Thinly veiled questions about where you like to go on a night out might be a subtle way to suss out whether you might bring home randomers on a regular basis. For example, if you say Coppers it can probably be assumed you might aspire to the odd casual ride.

Note: Answering all questions with a simple yet effective ‘I’m asexual’ should do the trick.

8) Be able to deal with rejection

If you’re an online dater you’ll probably be accustomed to the odd instance of complete rejection but nothing compares to house-hunting.

Your confidence will depreciate with each message that turns you down, but doesn’t pinpoint what actually was wrong with you.

‘Was I too keen?’ ‘Should I have blow-dried my hair?’ ‘Was it because I made a joke about being hungover last weekend?’, ‘You said it was nice to meet me!’ are all thoughts that you will torture yourself with.

The worst is when they tell you “It was so close...”

Thanks for that. *Sob*

9) Be able to settle

This might be a skill most of us learn after the age of 33 but the ability to settle with what’s on offer soon comes naturally when you’re desperate for somewhere to live.

Paying €765 each month for a single-glazed, brown carpeted single room, which formerly featured on an episode of ‘How Clean is Your House’ soon becomes an extremely viable option. Sure, you’d get over the damp corner and storage space the size of a Ryanair carry-on bag now that you have a square foot to call your own.

Towards the end of your search you’ll probably be saying ‘Yes’ before you even meet the six cats who inhabit the building's communal sitting room.

And the sick thing is you’ll just be relieved that the search is over.

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