One of the big changes we’ve noticed this year with Covid is the number of students who are staying with us, where they’re only in classes a couple of times a week and they don’t think it’s worth their while renting an apartment or room for the semester. Speaking to them we can see that a lot of students find themselves lost on what is the best option for them so we’ve decided to give some tips on the process.
Overall, the reputation of student housing in Waterford is broadly ok compared to other Irish cities. While we hear the odd horror story, in general the stories that abound about Dublin aren’t repeated in Waterford. And generally the poorer quality places are identifiable by their lower prices.
We do recommend doing lots of research about what’s out there (we have had ex-guests who have stayed on in their student houses after graduating as they found them great and the landlords very easy to deal with but we’ve also had those battling to have deposits returned despite unlivable conditions).
Below we’ll look at the options for students in Waterford under 4 categories:
-short term accommodation
Properties like Portree have started catering more to students since the onset of Covid as for most students, unless they are in college at least 4 days a week, it works out cheaper to rent a room in a guesthouse than pay rent, a deposit and bills.
Since we have a kitchen and laundry facilities some students find us an easier option than entering into a longer term rental situation.
Cheaper for students not wishing to move full time
Flexible – booked weekly so not stuck paying rent if lectures end suddenly
Clean – cleaning is done by the property
Privacy – private room
Missing the student experience (hosting parties etc.)
Have to pack up everything at the end of every week
We offer reduced rates for students. Call us on 051-874 574 for details.
The most popular option for students is to rent a room in a house or apartment.
Cheapest option if staying full time and know how long you need room for
More independence – you can have your friends over and have more freedom in what you do
Tied to longer term contract
Uncertainty as regards how your housemates will impact you
Uncertainty as to how issues will be resolved with the property
It’s very important to be clear with your landlord what is included (Bins / Wifi etc) and how many people will be sharing bathrooms and other facilities. You really want to meet your other housemates to get an idea if you’ll be able to live with them. Some students might want only to live with other students while others don’t want to risk moving into a party house so will seek older students or workers. So, if you’re arranging a viewing, you can ask the landlord if the other tenants will be there. They can tell you if the heating works, if the kitchen is big enough etc.
As regards deposits, make sure it’s clear how and why money will be deducted from your deposit. Some landlords won’t return the deposit as there are standard charges like repainting (so no matter how well you look after the place they’ll still hold onto your deposit). Make everything clear and take photos of EVERYTHING on the day you move in – ceilings, furniture, mould spots etc and email them to yourself for timestamped proof in case an issue arises when you move out.
Make sure to get a receipt for your deposit and a rent book (There is currently a scam where deposits are requested for rooms that don’t exist so never pay a deposit without first viewing the property). In particular, students coming from overseas should never sign up for accommodation in a house with a private landlord, without first viewing the property.
Don’t take the first place you look at.
Railway square, Aylesbury Manor, Riverwalk are popular options that cater very heavily to students (Riverwalk https://www.riverwalkwaterford.com/ is in fact provided by WIT).
Templars Hall has in previous years been synonymous with students but we have had a number of guests tell us that some landlords are refusing to take students any more due to a reputation that was developing for house parties.
Some of the options available for students looking for accommodation
The first port of call to check out is the WIT student accommodation webpage:
Notice boards on campus would usually be a good option but will probably be less effective during Covid.
There are a number of Facebook groups that advise students on finding accommodation. The most popular is below and gives lots of good information and links on the page for students looking for a place:
Like with any accommodation search, it’s always worth checking out the general accommodation sites:
Many students would prefer to go through an agency. We have heard complaints from tenants about some agencies in Waterford ignoring their queries and leaving issues unresolved but mostly they are good and they do give some degree of certainty over and above dealing directly with landlords as regards fraud.
3 popular agencies are:
This option isn’t as popular in Waterford as other Irish cities but it involves staying with a family who prepare your meals.
It is a good option for parents of first years who are worried about the uncertainty of renting
Cooking and cleaning are generally done by the host
Safety net of having a responsible adult in the house
Certainty of costs as bills are usually included.
Less freedom than other options
Usually more expensive than other options.
In Portree, we’ve had thousands of students stay with us in the early weeks of September and January as they look for accommodation over the years so can give plenty of advice on what to look out for. This year is a very different one as regards what we are seeing from students but we are happy to help in any way we can with advice or anything else.