Secret flatmates-Renting in Ireland ( a very subjective view)

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January 23, 2013 by Syd

Renting in Germany can be an adventure but renting in Ireland, maybe especially as someone new to the territory, can be the adventure of a lifetime.

Forget everything you know about renting anywhere else on this planet. Let’s start with the basics by translating the offers on

Fully furnished: Uhm right, well fully furnished means a bed, a mattress (hey it was fine for the last 20 residents so it will survive you as well). Style is not an option, never. A sofa is a sofa as long as you can sit on it, right? And who wants to sit on a chair? But hey let’s face it, it’s charming and your friends from home will love the style.

All technical equipment: Right it is present who cares if it is working and hey who cares if the dryer is blowing the steam in the kitchen. Undress and you have a free sauna!

Electrical shower: Hey do you know the island of the rain? That’s about the water pressure coming from these high end things. But be careful if you turn it off for a second either you become an icicle orrrrrrrr right you figure out where the closest drugstore is providing you with cream for your second degree burns.


Close to all amenities: Close as in as long as you can drive there in 20 min it is close, ask the americans!

Okay you made it through the adverts, you called some of them and you’re going to see the place. Great!

Marie and I went househunting this week and believe me the expensive downtown place presented by a highly maintained woman let’s face it had the charm and the stink of a deathmetalband party location including the wet floorboards and the residue from the last barfight gone wrong. Fortunately most lights weren’t working. But we had a blast.

Well if you found a decent looking place on first glance don’t expect your landlord to be honest about the place. Here a few examples from my short time here and some borrowed from my lovely collegues and friends:

-We renovated the place in June: Renovating as in sticking up the pictures with cellotape, totally forgetting the screws in the toilet seat, oh right the whole in the ceiling cracking open while you’re having a heartattack. Just turn the sofa cushions and hey no hole in it! Open the cabinet door and bang, sorry I screwed it in only 67 times before.

-I will come down if something needs to be done: Eventually, if you call me about ten times a day claiming your heating is wrecked and threatening me with not paying the rent. Right I’ll send you my best buddy he’s great in fixing cars and repairing stuff for good. Okay, you call me again, and again…and again. Right but hey it worked one time so the repairman leaves.  And who cares about a whole in the ceiling? After six months I will be down totally uninvited and stick some plaster on it. 2 days later, well you can call me again, but hey did you pay the 500 euro gas bill for the month your heating was wrecked, let’s talk about this first.

– Highly secured, new alarm system: Sad to mention it won’t work as you have pets in the house, who cares about the dozens of break ins in the neighbourhood. You got a dog right?

-I do not know where the water comes from! Only the 10 tenants before you can tell you crazy stories about it, but clearly they never mentioned it to HIM. Of course the brother of his sister’s son-in-law who is a gardener and knows everything about watering will fix it. No? Okay maybe the babysitter? She swam for the Nigerian Swim Team?

When you’ve reached that point clearly you know how to heat a damn fireplace and your kitchen with an open oven door. You have bought yourself winter clothes for inside the house and hey you’ve met a lot of his buddies.

Any distressed tenant will not wonder by now about the crazy things in his house any more. You don’t wonder that your collegue’s landlord has left his big ass dog in the backyard without dog food. Right that’s one hell of an alarm system and think of it as throwing coins in a washing machine. Feed him and you’re safe.

The only thing you will never figure out is where the hell the 22 people receiving mail at this adress live? Not as in brochures. No, seven medical cards, tax claims, bank statements, phone bills, garbage bills, electricity bills and court orders. Maybe the house is like this Harry Potter Place and there is a second house between you and your neighbours with hardworking people? A hidden bunker?

But most of all you wonder where the hell your landlord lives as he is living here as well, according to his mortgage payments you are paying and hey wait that might also explain the gas bill. But why on earth does it take him 6 months to come by to fix things?

Finally you are done with all of it. It’s snowing in Ireland of course. Your garden can be used as a major swimming pool, you have bought more firelogs than in 35 years of your life, you’ve spent 3 holidays with his friends staring at the radiator and you are still waiting on the ghoul living in the ceiling to show himself.

All you can do now is move: Far away. To the next charming landlord. Well at least in a neighbourhood full of gardai, and himself being one of them, but you ‘ve checked he is living 2 hours away. That much for the uninvited thing. At least you’ve also checked: No cellotape this time, no mould, and new technical equipment, safe to say the dryer is in the garden shed in case you got used to having a sauna. All you can do now is smile, convince him that you are his best new friend and hope for the best.

At least you can tell a lot of stories to your friends back home and you will have loads of visitors checking in for an adventure trip, right Markus?


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