First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent

Move-In Day: HomeHaks Top Tips On Ways To Help Your New Tenants

Moving out of home is one of the biggest life changes you’ll ever experience. It’s stressful, exciting and can be overwhelming at times.

 

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
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We’ve all heard horror stories about first time renters making mistakes that cost them dearly. Whether it’s not having a good understanding of your rights as a tenant or falling prey to scam rental advertisers looking to make a quick buck, there are plenty of pitfalls waiting for you!

That’s where our tips come in handy. Moving out involves a lot of organisation, especially for first-time renters. We will walk you through everything from finding the right place to live, how to manage finances and what to watch out for when signing a contract.

 

LOCATION

Location, location. Where you want to live, work, or study has a big impact on your location preferences for the rental search process.

When thinking about where to live, don’t just focus on the things you need in an apartment or house; think about what’s around too and how that may impact your commute time. Is there public transportation or cycle routes nearby? How far away are the supermarkets and services? What kind of gym options do locals have at their disposal? These are important questions since they can totally change how much fun living there would be day after day!

Rent Cost

You may already have an idea of how much you would like to spend on rent. There is a general rule of thumb to spend 30% of your annual income on rent. That said, it’s not entirely applicable to everyone. For example, someone who earns €100,000 may not want to spend €30,000 on their rent. Similarly, if you are on a lower salary it might not be feasible to put 30% of that towards rent. Analyse your financial situation for starters, and ask yourself what you can afford. It also doesn’t hurt to compare rent prices with your friends. See what they put towards rent and use that as a guide!

 

Budgeting

When preparing to rent for the first time, it’s important to embrace the concept of budgeting ASAP. It’s unavoidable, but in the long run it’s the best thing we can do to feel financially secure! Setting up a budget is essential for any tenant. Make a list of monthly expenses/regular bills and set aside a personal allowance. This may be the first time that you’re paying the bills yourself, so it’s important to know what they will cost ahead of time to save yourself any worry. Using a rent/ budget calculator is a great way to start figuring out your expenses.

 

Gas, Electricity & Bin Collection

Gas/electricity should come as no surprise since these things exist in every home. Depending on the setup, you may need to register the bin collection unless the landlord has done it for you. If you have no idea what the bills are going to be like, try getting an estimate on sites like Bonkers.ie which compares different suppliers’ rates. These utilities are then shared between all housemates in the house, sometimes monthly or every other month. You can also ask your friends/family what they usually 

 

Broadband

Other necessities may include broadband internet service, especially if you’re now working from home! Sometimes broadband may require installation at an additional fee depending on the supplier and/or location restrictions. When choosing how much broadband you’ll need, take into account how many people will be using it. Some areas cannot support every provider, which may affect your budget plan. Talk this over with your landlord if possible – they might already know about some hidden costs or previous issues! 

Reading the Contract

You may be racing to put your name on the dotted line, but it’s essential that you read through your contract carefully before signing anything. One thing to keep an eye out for is what type of tenancy agreement you are committing to. It will normally be a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic tenancy. Fixed-term, as the name suggests, refers to a fixed period usually about 6-12 months minimum. A periodic tenancy does not have a fixed length of time. There is lots of information about these agreements which can be read about in detail here.

First-Time Renters: What To Know Before You Rent
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RTB

 

In Ireland, all private residential properties must be registered with the RTB. The Residential Tenancies Board provides a dispute resolution service to protect both landlords and tenants. They provide “high-quality information and assistance to the public, tenants and landlords on their rights and responsibilities“. It’s advised that first-time renters check that their property has been registered so that your rights are protected. 

 

Pet Policies

 

Depending on the property, it may or may not be permitted to bring pets on site. If you don’t come across any explicit pet policies, just ask the landlord what their feelings are about it!

 

Applying Without a Rental History

 

Don’t let a lack of a rental history hold you back. Everyone has to start out somewhere! First-time renters can still include character references as part of their application. This helps to establish how reliable you are, and how you will treat another person’s property! Find references from people willing to vouch for you such as previous employers, colleagues, even school principals! The idea is to find someone who knows you well and will speak highly of you.

 

HomeHak Services for first-time renters

 

Moving out for first-time renters is an exciting adventure, and soon you’ll be obsessing over how to decorate and fill it to make it your own. With a bit of self-determination and positive action you will absolutely find something you love! To do this you just need to express to the landlord that you would be the perfect tenant, i.e., someone reliable, responsible, and punctual.

 

Homehak, a tool for tenants and landlords alike, is a great way to express these traits. With Homehak’s help you can create a Tenant CV that contains all the information a landlord would ever need from you, so they don’t have to search around themselves or get short on time. This makes life easier not only for landlords but also applicants who are trying their best to impress them!

International Students Coming to Ireland – Everything you Need to Know

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know

Where do they come from?

The biggest increase has been international students from other EU states, jumping from 1,934 in 2017 to 6,383 in 2022.

 

According to the Irish Times, the total number of full-time, non-EEA international students reached nearly 18,500 in 2018. The Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) states that the main non-EEA sending countries for Ireland are the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Canada. Asia sends the largest share of students (43% as of 2017/18), followed by North America (30%), and the EU (20%). 

 

As reported by this report, applications from British students increased by 9 per cent this year. In 2021, Ireland was home to 25,000 international students. India is the second-biggest source of international students on the island. 

 

International Students Coming to Ireland:  Everything you Need to Know
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Top tips for International Students arriving to Ireland

Rental scams

September has approached, and students are heading back to college. The rental market has never been busier. With the surge in demand for accommodation, hopeful tenants are being advised to be cautious of a variety of rental scams.  HomeHak has put together some useful information about scams related to renting.

Bank account

One of the first things you should do is open a student bank account. Each university usually has a banking partner on campus.

Budgeting for international students

To enable you to enjoy your university experience to the fullest, you need to learn to manage your money correctly. One of the biggest ways to save money in university is through your grocery shopping. As an international student in Ireland, you can enjoy a range of great discounts and savings. These will make your finances easier to manage. 

Shopping and discounts

Ireland has several student discount cards. They range from freebies to money off. Below, we list the cards we recommend adding to your student wallet.

 

  • iConnect Card – You can save up to €450 on MacBook iPad ranges with a valid third-level student card.
  • ISIC Card – ISIC has been the mainstay discount card for international students for over 50 years. They offer exclusive discounts on a vast range of products and services in over 125 countries.

Affordable Supermarkets

Grocery shopping will eat up a large part of your student budget. It pays to shop around to find the cheapest supermarket in your local area. Here, we list the supermarkets that are the cheapest. 

 

Manage your time

As you settle into the swing of things, your time in Ireland is going to fly by. Plan Your Next Adventure with Discover Ireland.

Ireland’s Weather

Ireland is the type of place where you can experience the four seasons in one day. Ensure to pack wisely for cold, warm and wet days.

HomeHak International students
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Student Travel Card

A student travel card will get you discounts on your travel throughout Ireland. Also, giving you great savings is the Student Leap Card. 

For more information on these tips, check out our article International Students Studying in Irish Universities Top Tips.

Embassies 

Full details of all Diplomatic Missions in Ireland or accredited to Ireland on a non-resident basis can be found in the link below. This has been issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs. It includes information on the index of missions and representations accredited to Ireland. Diplomatic List July 2022

Irish Banks

To open an Irish bank account as an international student, you will need:

  • Valid passport/ID card
  • Certificate of Attendance 

These are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank. Each offers a student account with differing service fees and added extras. 

Mobile phone

Ireland has a reliable phone network. The country is covered by several major network providers. There are a number of options available to you, depending on your budget and requirements. These include a fixed-term contract, sim-only plan or pay-as-you-go tariff.

 

The main operators we’d recommend in Ireland are 

Healthcare

The INIS visa service offers information on the process of finding health insurance in Ireland. On average, health insurance for international students costs around €100 – €120 per annum.

Working in Ireland

Here are the conditions you need to be aware of:

EU Students

  • If you’re travelling from the EU, you can work in Ireland without registering for a GNIB card.

Non-EU Students

  • Non-EU students can seek casual work of up to 20 hours a week during term-time, provided they have a cardIn June, July, August and September, non-EU students can work up to 40 hours per week.
  • You cannot work in Ireland if your course is under six months in length.

Start with the university careers portal. These list a range of term-time positions available on and off campus. Then, check job sites such as Monster, Jobs and Irish Jobs. Distribute your CV to local businesses, as not all positions are advertised online.

 

Why use a Tenant CV?

  1. It’s an easy-to-read document.
  2. HomeHak tenant CV shows off information a landlord would need to know.  Head to our article What is a Tenant CV? for more information.
  3. It promotes you as a suitable tenant.
  4. A tenant CV takes some frustration out of the rental application process.
  5. It provides all valuable and essential information for the homeowner upfront. Check out our article on 6 Reasons to Use a Tenant CV. 

Landlord References

A landlord recommendation letter (rental reference) is an crucial component of your rental application. In a competitive rental market, a good reference can make a huge difference. Check out our article Importance Of a Reference for Irish University Student Accommodation.

Important links for international students

www.fas.ie 

www.job.ie

www.argus.ie

www.myjob.ie

Revenue office

www.revenue.ie

Safety 

www.garda.ie

Irish Newspapers 

www.independent.ie 

www.ireland.com 

www.irishtimes.com

www.independent.ie 

www.irishexaminer.com 

Travel in Ireland

www.discoverireland.com/ire

Irish Council for International Students

www.internationalstudents.ie 

Link to University websites In Ireland For International Students

Trinity College Of Trinity

University College Dublin

University College Cork

Dublin City University

Technological University Dublin

University Of Limerick

Maynooth University

Galway National University Of Ireland

Athlone Institute Of Technology

Carlow Technology Institute

Dundalk Technology Institute

Limerick Institute Of Technology

Letterkenny Institute Of Technology

Waterford Institute Of Technology

Cork Institute Of Technology

Sligo Technology Institute

Institute Of Technology, Tralee

Dublin Business School

Griffith College Dublin

Useful articles for international students

Study in Ireland: A Guide for International Students

International Students

Student visas to study in Ireland

Study in Ireland

Top recommended websites for international students 

Irish Council for International Students

Irish Universities Association

Citizens Information

Education in Ireland

Embassy World

The Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service

Google Maps

 

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn in Irish universities

LinkedIn – Why this is the Key Ingredient for Irish University Students

LinkedIn is like being on social media and advancing your future career prospects. HomeHak is going to explore why this social network matters as a student. If you are a student, here are some of the reasons why you should be on it.

Getting Job Email Alerts

Firstly, once you have created your professional profile on LinkedIn, you can set email alerts to receive notifications of recommended jobs. Secondly, students and jobseekers will be able to see the notifications on their homepage as soon as they log into their LinkedIn accounts.

Connecting with Professionals

If you have a look at LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised to find out the large number of professionals who choose to connect here. In fact, you can find your friends, co-workers, colleagues, classmates and family members on this platform. Consequently, it’s never a tough job connecting with them all. What’s more, you can even import your email list to find out who among your friends is present on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn in Irish Universities - HomeHak
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Conducting Company Research   

One of the biggest benefits LinkedIn offers college students and jobseekers is that they can check out the pages of their targeted employers. By visiting company, pages, you can conduct a research on the whereabouts of the company, the hiring process and what people have to say about that organization. This kind of company research on LinkedIn can always keep a stay ahead of your competition and increases your employability.

Getting Recommendations

What’s more, LinkedIn also offers a feature through which you can get other people to recommend you. People with a maximum number of recommendations have a great chance of attracting the employers’ attention. College students too can try to get as many recommendations as possible to increase their employability.

Letting Companies Find You

Today, a large number of organizations look for talented candidates on social networking platforms like LinkedIn. If you have created a good and detailed professional profile, chances are you will attract employer’s attention. And it would really be nice to be invited by companies for your job position you always wanted to occupy.

Connecting with Other Students

Furthermore, college students can also use LinkedIn to network with other students. This type of networking gives a wonderful opportunity to find out how other college graduates found a job or got hired by an employer.

Check this article out to learn more about how to stay organised as a student in an Irish University.

To summarise

It’s about time that college students too created their profiles.It is time to start to use this social media platform for connecting with professionals. To conclude, prepare yourself as early as possible. You can easily stay ahead of your competition when it comes to landing a job of your interest. For more reasons to be on LinkedIn, check out this article.

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To.

How to stay organised as a student in Irish university

Stay Organised as a Student in Irish University – The Importance and How To

There are  many reasons as to why you want to stay organised in college. First and foremost, it will drastically reduce your stress levels. And when you’re less stressed, you’ll feel better and perform better on assignments. You’ll also have more time for the things you enjoy doing, and you’ll just be a more pleasant person to be around.

1. Your Calendar

Calendars free up so much space in your head helping you to stay organised. Instead of having to remember appointments, classes, or due dates using post-it notes or scraps of paper in your wallet, you can have everything organized in a convenient, visual format. And if you use a digital calendar, you can automatically get reminders of important events before they sneak up on you.

 

2. Stay Organised with a To-Do List/Task Manager

You could use a whiteboard or a blank notebook if you want. What matters is that you keep an updated list of the tasks you need to accomplish, as well as, you know, actually doing said tasks. To make your to-do list, you should first create a brain dump of everything that you need to do on a regular basis. Here are some tasks that most college students need to do:

  • Homework assignments
  • Cleaning your apartment
  • Preparing meals
  • Club or society tasks
  • Anything you’re learning outside of class
Stay organised in Irish universities
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3. Your Notes

Taking good notes is key to staying organised, comprehending and retaining any lectures or presentations that your professors give. But taking notes on its own isn’t enough — to get the most value out of your notes, you need to keep them organized. For some people, this could be as simple as having a different notebook for each class and referring back to it when you need to study for an exam.

 

4. Your Class Materials and Files (Digital and Physical)

We recommend you keep all of your class materials organized either in a physical three-ring binder or in some kind of digital system. To stay organised, you could put all of the material in Evernote along with your notes, or you could have dedicated Google Drive folders for each class (other cloud sync apps like Dropbox and OneDrive work here as well, but Drive offers the best value for students unless you specifically need Microsoft Office).

 

5. Your Backpack

Your backpack (or briefcase or purse or whatever you use) is key for keeping all of these materials organized and at the ready. Organizing your backpack isn’t hard — the key step is to remember to fill your backpack with the things you need for the day. After all, there’s nothing worse than showing up in class, only to get that sinking feeling in your stomach as you realize that you don’t have the book or paper you need.

 

To summarise

Use a calendar. Make a to-do list. Organise your notes. Keep track of all class materials. Invest in  a comfty bagpack.  Getting organized is the easy part. How to stay organized throughout the semester is the hard part. We hope you enjoyed HomeHaks top tips for staying organised throughout your academic career!

For more college hacks, check out our other articles:

Useful Informative Websites for Irish University Students to Follow

Trinity College, Dublin

As a new student, you’ll need to learn a lot of new information fast. If you dont do this, you will risk being confused about independent student life. HomeHak has put together some useful informative websites. All university students need to follow!

 

We have put together a realm of student resources. These are full of information about everything. A place where you can learn the things your parents never taught you. These include how to budget your money. As well as how to arrange an overdraft with your bank. Additonally how to iron your clothes without leaving an iron-shaped pattern. 

 

 

Useful informative general websites for students

Spunout.ie is Ireland’s youth information website. This was created by young people, for young people.

Secondly, LifeHacker.co.uk aims to help its users out with life in the modern world.

Thirdly, UnplugTheTV.com is a student resource. This offers an alternative to TV hosting randomized videos on interesting scientific topics.

Furthermore, Sleepyti.me site tells you the best times to go to bed. Great if you have to be up at a certain hour. KeepMeOut.com is used to block certain distracting websites, additonally.

 

People pointing to a laptop screen
Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

Useful informative educational websites for students

EdX.org is one of the world’s leading MOOC platforms. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are offered for free. Specifically for anyone wishing to learn additionally.

Further Coursera.org covers a wide range of academic learning. 

Useful informative cooking websites for students

StudentRecipes.com has recipes for 4,000 quick and easy student meals. As well Recipepuppy.com allows you to search for recipes. Based on the ingredients you already have at home.

Instructables.com is one of the most useful online student resources. Preferably if you like making and fixing things yourself moreover.

Useful informative Health websites for students

The Ultimate Health Food Guide – Have a health problem? Visit this resource. You can find out what foods to eat to build your immunity back up. What’s more WebMD.com allows you to check your current health status. This is done by using its symptom checker.

Shopping & selling websites for students

Ebay.com allows you to buy, sell or auction off almost anything. This includes clothing, electronic devices and antiques, moreover.

Next Amazon.com sells everything under the sun. Firstly, whatever you need Amazon has it. Secondly, you can get books, e-books and textbooks that you may need for your program.

Also Freecycle.org is an online platform. That resource allows you to give away your unwanted things. This provides the options of getting your hands on what other people are giving away. It is handy for furniture and general bric-a-brac.

Useful informative Money-saving websites for students

Groupon.com offers daily deals. These things include spa days, fancy restaurants and city breaks.

Along with Mint.com which is free to use. Mint can help you organize your finances.

One can also track their spending, most importantly. As well as UniDays.com which lists thousands of student discounts and offers around the globe.  Wisebread.com is dedicated to living well on a tight budget in addition. This website if for both students or if you are just trying to get more for your money. 

Other useful informative websites for students

Genius.com poetry is an offshoot of Rap Genius. Lit Genius is a place where scholars have formed a community. This annotates poetry and literature. These can be both classic or recent.

Furthermore TED.com hosts thought-provoking talks given at events all over the world. The talks are on core topics of technology, entertainment and design. It covers pretty much every aspect of human experience. 

Wikipedia.org is a collaboratively edited encyclopaedia project moreover. This can be a very useful tool for early-stage research into your assignment or project.

Plus Bartleby.com publishes classic literature, poetry, non-fiction and reference. These texts free of charge. What’s more Gutenberg.org provides free online access to texts whose copyright has expired.

 

 

To summarise

We hope you enjoyed HomeHak’s useful informative websites for university students. These will be sure to come in handy in your time in university. Covering every aspect you could need for your third level education experience.

Here are some other useful study hacks articles for students:

Study Tips for Irish University Students – How to Study Effectively

Girl studying on her bed

Alternating study locations. Resisting the urge to cram the night before an exam. There are simple changes you can make in your study routine that will help you learn and retain material faster. Here are some of HomeHaks most effective study tips.

 

Take good notes 

Taking good notes involves dating each entry and keeping notes for different classes separate from each other. In addition, write down anything your lecturer writes on the board. If the lecturer took the time to write it out, he or she considers it important. Check out this article on notetaking hacks.

 

Review your notes every day 

Spend 30 minutes each evening going over notes from each class. Research shows that reviewing new material within 24 hours after hearing it increases your retention of that material significantly. 

 

Study tips recommend alternating study locations 

Alternating study spaces is a more effective way to retain information. Although you may have a favourite spot to study, research suggests that it is better to change locations. Memory is influenced by location, so changing your study locale increases the likelihood of remembering what you learned.

 

Girl picking books on a library
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Get enough sleep 

Sleep is essential when it comes to effective study habits. When you’re tired, you think more slowly and tend not to retain as much information. If you want to get the most out of your study sessions, make sure you get enough sleep.

 

Use flash cards 

Writing notes and definitions more than once will help imprint information in your memory. Write down important facts for a test and quiz yourself each day until you have mastered the material. Flash cards are convenient because they allow you to condense material and eliminate irrelevant information, allowing you to focus on only the most important details.

 

Join a study group 

When working through a difficult problem set or assignment, a study group can prove very valuable. Dividing the work amongst your peers is also an effective method for reducing your workload and ensuring that you understand the material.

 

Don’t immerse yourself in subject matter 

Contrary to popular belief, immersing yourself in a subject for long periods of time is less effective when it comes to memory retention than switching between topics. Take a break from each topic after 30 minutes and move on to another topic. You can come back to the topic after you have spent some time studying other topics. When you do revisit the topic, you will feel refreshed and ready to pick up where you left off.

 

Don’t wait until the night before an exam to study

Waiting until the night before an exam to study can lead to cramming which is not an effective studying technique. Cramming before an exam will increase the feeling of desperation which can lead to test anxiety. Instead, jot down a few ideas or facts that you want to have fresh in your mind when you begin the exam. Read through your list a few times when you get up in the morning and just before you take the exam, then put it away. This kind of memory reinforcement not only improves your performance on the test, it also improves your long-term memory of the material.

 

To summarise

Take good notes. Alternate study locations. Review your notes each day. Get enough sleep. Use flash cards. Join a study group. These are just a few examples as to how you can ace your college education. HomeHaks top tips made easy!

Here are some other useful study hacks articles for students: