Expat Guide: Renting in Dublin

Moving to Ireland - Renting in Dublin

Fallen in love with the Emerald Isle? You can count yourself amongst the ever-increasing number of expats who have found a new life for themselves in Ireland. While there are countless success stories from the Irish capital, there is one common dilemma that all residents share: Renting in Dublin. Although things have eased a little during the COVID-Pandemic, Renting in Dublin is a still a struggle, especially if you are new to the city. 

In fact, Dublin has been rated as the worst city in the world for housing – but don’t let that stop you! With the right strategy, you can find a place to call home in the heart of Ireland’s best region. 

Here’s your expat’s guide to renting in Dublin.

Start with Temporary Accommodation

It is crucial to find temporary housing before you arrive. If you can find an option that is available by the week like a hotel, Airbnb, or other short let option, your search will be safer and easier.

From ex-pat Facebook groups to short term lets on the popular rental website, Daft, you will find a range of choices.

Ideally, look to get a place for around two to four weeks. As you plan, keep in mind that most rentals in Dublin are available immediately. When you finally find the place you want to rent, it is typical to discover that you are expected to start paying rent the same day that you sign the contract. To avoid paying rent for more than one place, be careful to not commit to temporary accommodation for longer than necessary.

Choosing the Best Place to Live in Dublin

Budget is a key consideration in choosing the best place to rent in Dubin. The average rent in Dubin is €2,044. As a general rule, the prices increase as you travel from the north metro to the south metro. While northern suburban areas cost around €1,700 per month, they will increase to €1,950 per month, on average, as soon as you enter into the northern edge of the city centre.

In the core of Dublin, there are little to no housing options for under €2,000. If you are looking in the southern part of the city, the prices will increase to €2,160 and, finally, up to €2,225 in the southern metro.

As you are budgeting, be aware that gas, electricity, water, and TV licence fees are not usually included in the rent. Make note of the insulation and type of heating in each place as winter heating costs can get expensive.

Another key factor is the home size. If you are a single ex-pat, renting in Dublin city centre can be a great choice. In the heart of the city centre, options are commonly for small one-bedroom apartments and flats. For that reason, you will find that many ex-pats in Dublin who live in the city centre tend to be single or part of a couple with no kids. 

If you have a family, you may find it easier to look farther outside of the city. The average Dublin home is 68 sq m but you can find larger spaces if you look in the wider area.

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What are the rental prices in Dublin?

Renting in Dublin means you will be paying one of the highest rates of residential rent in the whole of Europe. It is more expensive to rent in Dublin than Copenhagen or Paris. However, for the first time since 2008 rental prices have begun to drop. The Coronavirus has meant an increased number of empty properties and rents have dropped throughout Dublin to the tune of at least 10% (table below represents average rent paid in various areas of Dublin). It remains to be seen how rental prices will be affected as we move into 2021.

Region of Dublin August 2019 August 2020
North County
EUR 1,750
EUR 1,570
North City
EUR 1,940
EUR 1,740
West County
EUR 1,820
EUR 1,630
City Center
EUR 2,100
EUR 1,880
South County
EUR 2,230
EUR 1,995
South City
EUR 2,170
EUR 1,940

Set Up Showings

The vast majority of rental options are available online. Common websites include Daft.ie, Rent.ie, and MyHome.ie. These are prime locations to start your search for your new Irish home. Do be aware, however, that property moves quickly. If you are looking in the city centre, the majority of letting agents will expect you to view the home within 24 hours.

The higher that your budget is and the farther from the city centre that you are looking, the more flexible the agents will be. If you are looking to live centrally, however, do expect to attend a group viewing with anywhere from five to a dozen other families.

Renting in Dublin - Bridgefield Apartments in Dublin

Wherever in Dublin, you plan to move, work quickly. The best places are often rented within a few hours of being advertised so it’s crucial to stay on top of things. This means looking at rental websites multiple times per day and signing up for alerts. 

The search process will be much easier if you opt to take a couple of days off of work. Remember that availability is everything when it comes to finding the perfect place. If you think a place could be right for you, be ready to drop everything and go see it.

Prepare For Your Showings

Renting in the city centre is very competitive. To say that it is a seller’s market is an understatement. Expressing interest is simply not enough anymore. You must be ready to prove that you are the best potential renter. 

Wherever you go to a rental viewing bring the following:

  • Proof of income, ideally bank statements and an employment contract with your salary 
  • References from your previous landlord, including their addresses and telephone numbers
  • A copy of your passport and residency card 

Keep in mind that it is not unusual for renters, particularly in high-demand areas of Dublin, to pay cash to a landlord or owner during a viewing. Ultimately, the first person who pays is the person who will get the place.

Renting in Dublin

Signing A Contract

Typically you will be asked to pay the equivalent of two months rent to move into a rental. One month will go toward the first month, while the other will be reserved as a security deposit. 

Be certain not to pay for anything until you have a written contract and keys that you’ve tested on the door. Rental scams are common so it’s important to familiarise yourself with common rental tricks in Ireland.

Ready to make Ireland your home? You need our complete guide to moving to Ireland.

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