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How to Rent a Home in Ireland

Rent a Home

I was surprised to find that rental property shopping in Ireland is reassuringly similar to looking for a place to rent in the United States. There are several easy to navigate home rental websites, the best of which is daft.ie. You’ll find the usual pictures and descriptions you’d find on any U.S. realty site, with an Irish twist.

The first difference I noted is that if you search for “renting” you’ll come up dry. In Ireland, renting out a property is called “letting” as in “I have a house to let” or “I’m letting out my vacation home for the summer.” Also, a duplex is called “semi detached” and a standard house or single family stand alone residence is know as “detached.” Duplexes, or semi detached homes are very common in Ireland, much more so than in the States. An apartment means the same thing in Ireland that it means in the US, and renting out a portion of a larger home is known as a “flat.”

Another difference is that the most Irish rental homes come furnished – it’s just the standard there. Still, “furnished” is open to interpretation. It almost always includes basic living, dining, and bedroom furniture. Appliances are also almost always offered and they include a fridge, stove (which they call a “cooker”), and a washing machine. Note the lack of dryer. It’s not unusual for homes to have a washing machine but no dryer. People hang their clothes up on indoor clothes lines or outside, which is hilarious to me. It rains ALL THE TIME! You’d think the clothes dryer would be Ireland’s favorite invention. Often pots, pans, and standard kitchen items are included but you’ll have to buy your own knives – predictably, the knives provided in most rental properties are useless. Some homes come with bedding and towels and others don’t. Be sure to ask. Towels and bedding are very expensive in Ireland and if they’re not provided, your best bet is to pack a suitcase full from the U.S.

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Fireplaces are far more common, often one in the living room and another in the kitchen or master bedroom. Older homes occasionally have carpet but newer and refurbished homes go with hard wood floors throughout. Wood decor is far more common and usually a lighter wood such as Pine is used for floors, fireplace mantles, stairs, railings, and even ceilings. I’ve seen a surprising number of pine ceilings and I’m a little in love with the look.

The details that hit home most with many expats include televisions and bathrooms. TVs are much smaller and there is usually only one, located in the living room. Bathrooms tend to be very modern but still have their pros and cons. Irish toilets are far more efficient than American toilets, but the water pressure in the shower tends to be weaker.

And what does this cost? You can rent a really nice modern fully furnished 3 or 4 bedroom almost anywhere for 800 Euros or under. That’s about $1050 a month. Very reasonable and even shockingly cheap by American standards (at least in Michigan) but the Irish find this new INCREASE in rent intolerable. The exception to this generality is Dublin. Dublin is the capital and most highly populated city in Ireland, as well as a college town and rental rates reflect the high demand.