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Renting as a family - Issues finding new home

  • 23-03-2022 3:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    Gonna preface this with the fact that its more a vent than anything else (unless someone has a place they want to rent out, in which case ping me!) but feeling a bit disheartened the last while.

    Been in the same 3bed, 1bath place for almost 11 years and landlord is looking to move in half way through May. We were on a council agreement but lucky enough to have the income to rent privately but here's the thing, it seems to be impossible to compete for anything even half affordable in our area (south dublin). I've 4 kids across 3 schools so moving is huge deal if we can't manage to keep the kids in the same schools.

    What I'm seeing though is that as even though we have references, cash ready to go, non smokers, replying as soon as possible to everything, that we're constantly getting overlooked. I suspected it was the size of the family but that was confirmed when I had a place call me to talk about my application and as soon as I said I had 4 kids, they said there was no way they could let out a 3bed 2 bath apartment to us. Even though its bigger than our current place.

    I don't really know what else to do at this point. I've alerts triggering as soon as they come up on daft. I'm WFH in IT so I'm replying usually within minutes of the ads going up. I'm always ready to go with references and deposits. But I'm either getting no response to ads, no updates after a viewing or in the very minority of cases, told that it's gone to another or that we were not the preferred tenants.

    I've only a few more weeks left and I don't know how to make us any more attractive to potential landlords?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,320 ✭✭✭ AlanG


    IMO there are many things going against a family renting privately. Firstly you will find it hard to compete with the HAP rent levels that many families receive. Secondly landlords are now very scared of the constant changes to legislation. Worst of all is the talk of not allowing eviciions before selling a house. This is likely to knock off 30 - 40% from the value of a property. As families are likely to stay for a long time in a property they pose more of a risk. Another factor is that a lot of landlords with good long term family tenants got screwed by the rent freezes and are now tied into rents way below the market rent as punishment for giving a good deal to the families. These landlords are either leaving the market once they have a vacant property or they are renting less officially without advertising on daft etc.

    Your best bet would be to stop relying on daft - put the word around your schools or work and you may get someone willing to offer a property who would be unwilling to risk being a landlord in the current environment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    This is very interesting and something I was actually doing the opposite of. We were always up front to questions about the length of our commitment (yes we will be there for the minimum 1 year) but the reality is that we are hoping to build a house over the next 12-18 months.

    Would stating this be in our favour then based on your comments above?

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,670 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Be aware that in many 3brms, you will struggle to get two beds in the smallest bedroom. And landlords won't want to be providing bunks.

    Could a child or two stay temporarily with a grandparent, to allow your 2-child family to get somewhere? Then the other kids move back in with you once you're in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    It may come to that as we get closer to the deadline and we get more desperate but I don't really want to go down that route just yet. Mind you, I don't know at what point I should start being "desperate".

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

    That could lead to over crowding and the landlord will not take kindly to this if the house is not big enough.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,124 ✭✭✭ meijin

    "overcrowding" is actually a legally defined term:

    63.—A house shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be overcrowded at any time when the number of persons ordinarily sleeping in the house and the number of rooms therein either—

    (a) are such that any two of those persons, being persons of ten years of age or more of opposite sexes and not being persons living together as husband and wife, must sleep in the same room, or

    (b) are such that the free air space in any room used as a sleeping apartment, for any person is less than four hundred cubic feet (the height of the room, if it exceeds eight feet, being taken to be eight feet, for the purpose of calculating free air space),

    and “overcrowding” shall be construed accordingly.

    OP: why do you need to mention the number of kids to the LL? do they ask it? and is it legal to ask it, or it can be a discrimination factor (family status)?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,172 ✭✭✭ RedXIV

    Every place that has responded to me has asked how many will be living in the house. I don't know if it's legal or not to ask the question, but I'm trying to be upfront as possible so there are no surprises for the LL if they do inspections or similar?

  • Registered Users Posts: 980 ✭✭✭ DubCount

    There are very few properties available to rent anywhere at the moment. When properties do come up, there is lots of competition. If you were the landlord for a 3 bed property, would you prefer to rent it out to a super tenant with a family of 6, or a super tenant with a family of 3 or 4? Its hard to compete with anything that could be seen as negative - its no different to trying to rent with pets etc. - it makes a difficult assignment, even harder.

    All I can suggest is broadening your search area - maybe Wicklow or North Dublin etc., and concentrate on 4+bed properties, where it will seem less crowded. Also, look to see if there are any other ways you could beat the competition (offer bigger deposit etc.).

    Good luck with your search

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

    The legislation is getting silly when you have a fear of not been able to sell with vacant posession. Small time landlords are getting out of the market. You have a large family and many landlords will see alot of wear and tare Dont forget every house will be snapped up by charities helping those who are fleeing war. I know of a new housing estate and 2 houses are just about completed on the south side of Dublin that have been assigned to two refugee families.

    I would go nowhere near DAFT. I put up an ad for a 3bed and within 5 days I received about 100 emails. None of them actually read the advert. They were asking about the 2bed apartment when it was a 3bed house. Gave up after that.

    Talk to the local auctioneers and explain your situation. They may have something that will cover you for the time you need.

    Maybe an ad up on your local Facebook page. Put the word out in your local circle that you are looking for a place. You might get something that way. Try gumtree.

    Let the potential landlord know your plans. If you have a site and you have planning then let the potential landlord that you only want to rent for 18 months. If you have the paperwork to back this up then hold that in your hand when you meet the potential landlord.

    I think the more information you give the more chance of finding a place. Good luck with your search.

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

    A few years ago I had a family approach me to rent a three bed house. Family with 4 children one child was 11 years. The council came to inspect the house and refused as they said it was not big enough. The law may say that you cannot ask the dynamics of a family but the last thing you want is to find the house is not suitable after 6 or 12 months.

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  • Posts: 18,749 ✭✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    OP, it is so hard to find anywhere to rent. I spent 5 months looking for my current place, I'm a single woman in my 40s, good job, non smoker, no pets, no kids. I wasn't even getting replies to most of my emails etc.

    Eventually I got this place by building a relationship with a local estate agent, I met him in person, told him everything and he got a place for me, it came into his office and he gave me first choice, without it being advertised. I honestly don't think I would have found anything myself.

    Go into all the estate agents in South county Dublin and let them have all your details, including reference from your current landlord, hopefully they will come up with something for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    Why would the law say that a landlord can ask who will be living in the house?

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

  • Registered Users Posts: 542 ✭✭✭ tvjunki

    Brilliant! Well done! Delighted for you. If you see another post like your one you know what to say or suggest.

    Once you start building and you are a good way along keep the agent/ landlord informed so they know where you are. Give yourself an extra few weeks for the final completion of your house for snagging etc. Give the agent as much notice.

    Good luck with your new property and your build.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 joblodger2

    I'm interested in this this also, we've been applying for a few properties and seem to be making good progress until they hear we have 2 young children.

    Does anyone know if we legally need to tell them that we have children?

    Landlords are not allowed to discriminate against you on 'family grounds' but are we supposed to think they'll just overcome their subconscious bias when we tell them?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    I suggest using the mobile app and try to respond within one min of an add going up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 joblodger2

    Was that a response to me? If so, I have been doing that and it doesn't answer the question...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭ Yellow_Fern

    I see. I just wanted to mention it as I saw it being very important recently, incase you were not aware. Good luck anyway

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,569 ✭✭✭ dennyk

    Not entirely imaginary; the RTA actually does obligate tenants to notify the landlord of the identity of each person who "resides ordinarily in the dwelling"; see Section 16(n). There's no legal requirement to disclose ages or relationships of those other occupants, but I'm pretty sure most landlords will inevitably come to certain conclusions when their tenants Joe Smith and Jane Smith notify them that Billy Smith, Susie Smith, Bobby Smith, and Sarah Smith are also residing with them in their three-bedroom rental property...