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
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

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. 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!



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 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 



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
Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash



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!

Daily Activities of Successful Students in Irish Universities

Daily Activities of Successful Students in Irish Universities


There is a common opinion that if you study hard and struggle you will get a good result in the exam. But the reality is different. So how can a student be successful and phenomenal in every step of life? HomeHak has put together some daily activities of successful students.


Wake up early

The first daily activities of successful students is getting up early. People who tend to be more organised, wake up early in the morning, so they have more time to get all their tasks completed. This is going to give you more free time during your busy day as well. 


daily activities


Workouts or Exercise

Waking up early in the morning and moving your body is a must as part of your daily activities. Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of exercising early in the morning.

  • Morning Workouts Enhance Your Metabolism
  • A Good Morning Workout Routine Will Help Cultivate Consistency
  • Morning Exercise Improves Your Physical and Mental Energy
  • Early Morning Workouts Help You Develop Strong Self-Discipline
  • A Morning Exercise Routine Will Help You Get Better Sleep

daily activities


Plan Routine in your daily activities

During the morning, make sure to plan out your own routine that’s going to help you do and finish everything on time. A well-constructed routine will not only make you feel fulfilled and like you’re doing the things you’re supposed to, but you will also be on time with everything and will contribute to your overall well-being. Organize the routine based on things you enjoy doing, and it will become second nature to you.


Learn Something New every day

Do you learn something new every day and add to your knowledge? Try to throw information to your brains in every second of the day. No matter how much you accomplish but try to learn something every day. You feel a lot better about the things you do learn because you’re actually backing them up with actions.  So every day was the day to learn something new.


Clean Up

Disciplined students always keep clean and organized everything. They take a bath every day because taking a bath has many pros. It can improve heart health, help you to breathe easier and your brain and nervous system can benefit from bathing. Moreover, having a clean space and home will improve the quality of the indoor air, improves mental clarity and deters stress, and housekeeping kills germs.


Read Books Every day

Reading books has many significant benefits and pros. The more you read books, the more you will realize your ignorance and see the better views of life. In addition, it reduces your stress, improves your knowledge, gives stronger analytical thinking skills, and gives you better writing skills.


daily activities


Use the Internet in your Daily Activities

Successful students always research on the internet, because it internet innovate our daily life, also the positive use of the Internet makes their lives easy and simple. The Internet provides them useful data, information, and knowledge for personal, social, and economic development and make them aware of the world.


Complete Your Assignments on Time

Whether it’s your environment or time management skills, it’s easy for things to discourage you from finishing your homework but finishing homework for organized students are approachable. Because they set aside a specific time to do their homework and create a schedule that will help them to remember their homework. Check out this article for tips to manage time and tasks.


Prepare Overnight

It’s always good to even prepare certain things overnight. Whether it is your outfit or homework or whatever else, don’t leave anything you can get done today for tomorrow or any other day for that matter.


To summarise

Most position holders at school, college or university get a good result and they successfully pass the exam. Although, despite having good grades, when they graduate, the only thing that matters a lot is their knowledge and the ability to operate within the system. We hope you enjoyed HomeHaks daily activities of successful university students and got some inspiration to implement!

For more articles on student hacks, check out our other articles:

A Guide to Cork City for Students – Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Brunches


The bustling city is bursting with independent coffee shops, artisan produce, live music and an impressive dining scene. Keep reading to find out some of the best places to eat and drink as a student in our guide to Cork City. 




A Guide to Cork City for Students – Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Brunches



Studying in Cork? Cork has a reputation as the food capital of Ireland and finding out why should be at the top of your list during your time here at university. Not only are there countless top restaurants and vibrant pubs but also some excellent produce markets where you can taste some of the finest morsels made right here in this great city. 


Starting off with Captain Americas. Captain Americas offers some of the best student rates around. Here you can enjoy a main menu item of your choice, fries and a soft drink for only 9.95 monday-friday! Make sure you have your student ID on you as this is required to get the deals. 


Next up is The Linen Weaver – JD Wetherspoon. This pub/restaurant famously sells drinks for far less than the average in other establishments across Cork. You will find pints for as cheap as €3. Their food menu matches the drink prices with meals cheaply priced and perfect for students on a budget. 


Want a more diverse selection of places to eat? Check out this article.





If you think that Irish food is largely based around spuds then you are in for a rude awakening. Or a tasty one, at least! Cork City has long been dubbed the “food capital” of Ireland, partly due to having one of the world’s largest natural harbours and partly thanks to its very long history of trading exports and imports. Brunch in Cork City is a thing of beauty, if you know where to look! 


We recommend that you check out Liberty Grill or The SpitJack Cork. Feeling thirsty with your brunch? Check out Dwyers Of Cork, Clancy’s Cork, Brick Lane and Crawford & Co to name a few.





Cork is in the midst of a pizza boom with a number of exciting new makers joining an already impressive roster of top class cafes, takeaways and restaurants. And as always on Leeside, Some of these restaurants named below are really showing the depth of talent and creativity we have when it comes to top class food. Bring a taste of Italy to you and check out Franciscan Well Brewery & Brewpub. Home to delicious craft beers as well as their atmospheric outdoor seating area. Another tasty place is Fionnbarra.This is a hidden gem of a bar with a cosy charm and delicious pizza. Want some more inspiration? Check out some more here




Funky hot spots

Looking for something a bit funkier? We recommend that you check out Arthur Mayne’s Pharmacy. This cosy candle-lit bar is set in a Victorian chemist shop. Mutton Lane is one of the oldest drinking establishments in Cork City and has a beautiful ultra-candlelit interior



Fancy great pints, craic and a traditional music session? The Rock is always a hit on a Wednesday night and always has student drink deals. The pub also has a pool table and darts board for the students who like to play some pub games. If you want to watch any sporting match, go to Reardon’s. It always has a great atmosphere for a game. During the daytime they also do great food. Check out this link for the top 10 best student pubs in Cork. UCC student ambassador gives a great recap of her favourite bars in Cork in this article also. 




To summarise

Money is tight. As a student, it is all about finding the best places to eat and drink that your pocket can afford. We hope that you can check out some of these hot spots and get yourself a bargain. We hope you enjoyed reading A Guide to Cork for Students – Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Brunches!

For more information on Cork City, check out our articles:

10 Reasons to Live in the South of Cork City

Thinking about making a move to Cork’s South Side? Homes in this area enjoy close proximity to every amenity a person could want while also providing easy access to the City Centre and beautiful countryside. Here are our reasons to live in the south of Cork City.


Take a look at our guide below to discover more about what it’s like to live in the areas of Douglas, Rochestown, Togher, The Lough and Ballyphehane.

10 Reasons to Live on the South Side of Cork City



Reasons to Live

1. Shopping 

There are plenty of options for retail therapy in the South Cork area. For homewares and electronics, the Kinsale Road has an unbeatable range of stores including Homestore + More, Woodies, Harvey Norman and Smiths Toys. 


Boasting two large shopping centres, Douglas is another good spot for shopping. Douglas Village Shopping Centre has a plethora of popular stores and cafés including Starbucks, TK Maxx, Born Clothing and Tesco. Just a short walk away, you will find Douglas Court Shopping Centre – a very well equipped facility with a diverse array of stores including Vera Moda, Boots, Arts & Hobby and Dunnes Stores. One of the many great reasons to live in the south of Cork city.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Douglas Village (@douglas_village)


2. Nature Spots 


One of the most popular walking spots in the city, the Lough is one of Ireland’s oldest protected wildlife refuges. The Lough is a small freshwater lake that is home to a wide array of waterfowl and fish. The Lough Loop walk is just shy of 1km and is ideal for jogging, walking the dog or even just enjoying a casual stroll with a coffee. Our advice? Make sure to pop by in the late spring to see all the cute little ducklings!



Known locally as “The Mangala”, Ballybrack Woods in Douglas offers a pleasant 1.2km looped trail for walkers and cyclists. This once dilapidated glen was recently brought back to glory by the local community. Renovations are ongoing and planned improvements include the creation of a wildlife meadow. During your visit, be sure to keep an eye out for herons and bats!


Blackrock, Co Cork Reasons to Live


For a more substantial walk, why not try the Greenway from Harty’s Quay in Rochestown to Blackrock Castle? Clocking in at almost 5.5km, this scenic route will allow you to take in the sights of Cork Harbour as well as the Douglas Estuary. After your walk, do yourself a favour and take a well-deserved break at the beautiful Castle Café Restaurant. More over, the surrouding scenery is a another of the main reasons to live in the south of the city.


3. Ease of Travel 


One of the key benefits of living south of Cork City is the ease with which you can get around. 


The N40, or South Ring Road, is a useful route that takes you from the Dunkettle Interchange outside Mahon all the way to Ballincollig. The road connects you to many towns including Ballincollig, Bishopstown, Wilton, Turner’s Cross, and Douglas. 


Another major advantage of moving to Cork’s South-Side is the proximity to the Cork International Airport. While many airports are a long commute from the closest city, Cork Airport is conveniently located close to the Kinsale Road Roundabout and is just a ten-minute drive away from the city centre. As such, this makes the area a great home base for frequent travellers. 


Recent years have seen major improvements to the bus network in the area. As such, Cork’s Southern suburbs now enjoy a frequent, cheap and reliable bus network. One particularly handy service is the 220 – Cork’s only 24-hour bus route – that takes you from Crosshaven to Ovens via Carrigaline, Douglas, Cork City, UCC, and Bishopstown. 


4. Food 


Highlights in Douglas include On Pig’s Back Café/Deli which serves up a tasty array of farmhouse cheeses, award-winning pates, charcuterie, and French specialities. Another local favourite is Haveli Indian Restaurant which offers up some of the finest Indian food in Cork. 


Lovers of Italian food must make a point of stopping by Sicilian Delights – a small deli tucked away on Magazine Road that serves up classic Sicilian fare including pasta, paninis, cakes and (this writer’s all-time favourite) cannoli. 


Another gem worth mentioning is the Cinnamon Cottage which is located in a charming Edwardian cottage on the Rochestown Road. Since its arrival in 1994, Cinnamon Cottage has developed a strong reputation for its mouth-watering baked goods and ready-made dinners. Also, included in the numerous great reasons to live in the South of City!


5. Nightlife 


October 22 will hopefully see the lifting of remaining social distancing restrictions – meaning that nightclubs will be allowed to reopen their doors and that pubs and restaurants can remain open after 11.30 pm. With nights out back on the cards, you may want to learn more about your local options. 


Douglas is one of the liveliest spots outside of the City Centre. The village boasts many different pubs and bars. Local favourites include O’Sullivans (affectionately dubbed ‘Johnnos’ by locals), East Village and Barrys. What’s more, Douglas is on the 24-hour 220 bus route so you can cheaply and easily travel in and out of Cork City. 


For those seeking spots for post-match celebrations/commiserations, Turner’s Cross is the place to go. This area features several popular watering holes including the Turner’s Cross Tavern and The Beer Garden.


6. Access the Coast


If you have the day off and are looking to do some exploration, why not go further south and discover some of Cork Harbour’s most scenic spots? 


For a relaxed day by the seaside, we recommend heading out to Crosshaven. In this writer’s opinion, there’s simply no better spot on a sunny day! Be sure to take in panoramas of the harbour from Camden Fort Meagher – a 400-year old coastal fort boasting a rich history.


You can also take the bikes and cycle alongside the river on the picturesque Carrigaline – Crosshaven Greenway. Swimmers can take a dip in the local beaches – Fountainstown and Myrtleville. 


If you wish to go further afield, you can follow the Kinsale Road to Kinsale. A popular spot with locals and tourists alike, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied here. History-buffs can discover local lore at Charles Fort and the Old Head of Kinsale. Keen hikers can tackle the 6km Scilly Walk Loop which offers many pretty vistas of the town. You can also travel out to the nearby beaches at the Dock or Garrettstown to partake in a diverse array of water sports, including sailing, kayaking, surfing and more. And of course, the food! Kinsale is widely known as Ireland’s Gourmet capital for its staggering range of top-quality restaurants, takeaways, cafés and stores. 


Kinsale, Co. Cork Reasons to Live


7. Sports/Fitness


Sports and fitness enthusiasts will be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of activities in the area. 


Dennehy’s Health & Fitness in Douglas offers a state-of-the-art gym, personal training and fitness classes. Alternatively, you can check out Obodo – a CrossFit gym located on the South Douglas Road. 


If you’re looking to watch a match, then Turner’s Cross is your spot. This area boasts two of the largest stadiums in the City – the Turner’s Cross Stadium (home of Cork City FC) and Musgrave Park (home to Dolphin RFC and Sundays Well RFC).  


Those living in the Togher/Pouladuff area can test their mettle and develop killer skills at the Krav Maga Institute Cork. Togher is also home to Olympian Rob Heffernan’s Athletics Club which offers training to people of all ages. 


Sports fans living in the Maryborough/Rochestown area are lucky to have the Garyduff Sports Centre on their doorstep. One of the best-equipped facilities in the county, Garyduff features hockey and football pitches, tennis and badminton courts, as well as a Pitch and Putt course and a Bowling Green. This is a key factor in reasons to live in the South of the City.


8. Beauty & Wellness 


The Maryborough House Hotel boasts one of the most luxurious spas in all of Cork. The spa is well-equipped with a vitality pool, rock sauna, steam room, ice fountain, lifestyle showers and laconium. The treatment menu has something for everyone including facials, massages, wraps, and more. 


If you fancy treating yourself to a trip to the Nail salon, then we highly recommend New York Nails on the South Douglas Road. Modelled after US-style nail bars, this stylish salon provides a range of services including manicures, pedicures, and brow styling. 



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by New York Nails (@newyorknailscork)

Need to sort out your lockdown locks? If so, book an appointment at Amy Michelle Hairdressing – one of the best hair salons in the South Side. This salon is particularly well-known for specialising in extensions and even has its own range of products – Refine Hair Extensions. The salon is owned by Amy Shanahan, an award-winning stylist who has extensive industry experience including working backstage at London Fashion Week, styling the stars on X Factor, as well as many different celebrities.


9. Schools


The South Side of Cork is a popular choice for families due to the wide range of high-quality primary and secondary school options. Schools in the area include single-sex/mixed schools, religious/non-denominational schools, English-speaking/Irish-speaking schools. To learn more about schools in the region, visit the Department of Education’s website. See below for a comprehensive map detailing all of the primary and secondary schools in Cork’s South Side region. 


10. Cost of Renting 


Cork’s southern suburbs have a lower cost of rent than in the City Centre. Plus, lower housing density means that you are more likely to find a larger property with a garden. Cork’s suburbs have excellent amenities and strong transport links, meaning that you will enjoy all the benefits of city-centre living without the eye-watering cost.  To explore more rental properties in the area, visit Are you looking for a house in Cork? We hope you enjoyed our top reasons to live in the South of Cork City!


Create your Tenant CV today and stand out from the crowd!