Students’ Union issues accommodation guidelines

With the first round of CAO Offers being issued next Monday, thousands of students coming to NUI Galway and the GMIT will be seeking accommodation. The NUI Galway Students’ Union is urging them to be cautious and not rush into signing any lease or contract.

The NUIG SU has issued a series of guidelines for students to consider before committing to a private residence. The guidelines advise students to take their time when viewing a property, and to ensure all the necessities are there, such as a washing machine, furnishings; to take photos of the property and to highlight any damages already there; and to check all gas and electrical appliances are in good working order.

The SU is also advising that where any repairs are required, to get in writing from the landlord or agency, that these problems will be rectified before the handing over of a deposit; to avoid paying the deposit in cash and to ensure there is a receipt for any money exchanged; to get a free rent book from the SU if paying rent in cash and to have the landlord sign the book and issue a receipt; and to insist on a viewing prior to the move in date to ensure all outstanding issues have been rectified.

The guidelines further advise students to ensure the house is well ventilated and that heating sources are identified prior to signing a contract/lease; to insist a building energy rating certificate is provided prior to signing the contract; that the duration of the tenancy is clearly established; and that it is clearly outlined in the lease which utility bills a student must pay. The SU is calling on students to also take out contents insurance as the landlord’s policy does not cover personal possessions.

“Finding accommodation can be extremely stressful and people tend to rush into it," said NUIG SU president Megan Reilly. "It is paramount students follow these guidelines and ensure the house will be sustainable for you. Never rush into getting accommodation, be cautious, and insist on receipts and any repairs where necessary. This will be where students stay for at least nine months so they must make sure they have all the necessities before making any commitments. Students still seeking accommodation should check www.nuigstudentpad.ie "

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