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‘It’s a bit of a joke’ – Renter who was in queue of 150 people for Dublin property tells of search for a home

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Ben O'Donnell

Ben O'Donnell

Ben O'Donnell

A recent graduate who has just two weeks left to secure accommodation in Dublin has described as “a joke” having to wait in a long winding queue at a recent viewing.

Videos emerged on social media on Tuesday night of dozens of hopeful renters queuing outside a property in Drumcondra for more than an hour.

Ben O’Donnell (22) from Co Waterford recently graduated from Trinity College and is studying to become a trainee solicitor.

Mr O’Donnell has been searching for accommodation with two friends for the last six weeks.

He attended the viewing on Tuesday night for the three-bed terraced property which was advertised for a monthly rent of €1,850.

The group eventually got to view the property at 9.15pm but have no hope of securing it.

He said it was not advertised as an open viewing and there were approximately over 120 people waiting in line.

“I initially got there at about 7.30pm because I misread the time, it was supposed to start at 8pm so we left and came back just after 8pm and there was a big, long queue,” he said.

“You’re talking maybe 150 invited to one letting, it’s a bit of a joke really. Your heart just drops, we’ve been to enough viewings at this stage. I’ve sent over 300 enquiries on Daft and had maybe 30 viewings.

“Most of them are a bit better organised and you think you might have a bit of a chance but this one really just showed how desperate everyone is.

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“I’ve notifications set up on my phone, I have my computer programmed to flash up if ever there’s a listing that meets my criteria and then you’re straight on and sending off an enquiry straight away.”

Mr O’Donnell said he is not sure what he is going to do if he does not secure new accommodation before the end of his current lease at the end of the month.

“My current lease expires at the end of this month, so I’ve another two weeks basically,” he said.

“Living at home or commuting isn’t really an option because I’m working in Ballsbridge at the moment, it’s not really viable to come up and down.

“You’d be pretty disheartened and despondent after sending so many enquiries and hearing back from so few of them and you kind of wonder well what’s going to change in the next two weeks.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do, if it comes to the end of the month and I don’t have a place, I really don’t know. It’s terribly precarious and I should be studying for exams in the evening but instead I’m heading off to viewings.”

He said the long, drawn-out process of searching for rental accommodation in the current climate is very time consuming. 

Mr O'Donnell said there was a mutual feeling of frustration among renters in the queue on Tuesday night.

“It’s just distracting in general, your weekends are taken up and every day you’re checking your phone,” he said.

“I think people were trying to stay in good spirits, one of the neighbours came out and he was amazed at the queue.

“I have friends in the US who are planning to come back, and it hasn’t even hit them how bad the property market is here yet.”


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