Room to rent: To share a space in a single bed with three people on the condition that you provide foot rubs, with your tongue. Must love cats and rampant verrucas. Must speak French, German, Chinese, and Japanese. Must be a non-smoker, working full-time, studying full-time, must have work and rental references, and a PhD. Rent €850/pm. Apply with 1,500 word essay about yourself. Due to high demand we can’t reply to everyone.
THERE IS A RENTAL CRISIS! The prices are ridiculous, the requirements are laughable, and the demand is overwhelming. Before I talk about my own terrible experience, I have to mention that if you’re using the Facebook group like the one above, that’s your first mistake. Go to http://www.daft.ie, the prices are more reasonable, it’s (probably) legal, and you’ll probably never be expected to share a bed with a complete stranger (or three). This isn’t Love, Actually, you are not Colin, and you probably won’t end up with four beautiful people who find your accent charming.
If you find yourself saying “Maybe it won’t be that bad”, you are lying to yourself. If you find yourself saying “This sounds like it’s too good to be true” then it is, and if you find yourself paying a couple of hundred euro per month for a couch in the living room then well, that’s your own fault. That is exactly what happened to me.
I saw a post online for a room in the centre of town. €430/month. At that price alarm bells should have been ringing. After living in Saudi Arabia for a year, I wasn’t completely aware of how the prices would be. Lesson One – Do your research.
I had a mutual friend with the girl who posted this ad so I talked to her first to make that the girl was sane. After receiving confirmation on her sanity and receiving pictures of the room, I paid my deposit. I was unable to view the room myself because I was in Saudi but there were many people in Ireland that I could have sent to see it for me. Having Mutual friends is not enough. I always find viewings really awkward, I don’t like being started at while I stare at things so I usually do a 360 turn and leave straight away. This isn’t enough. Make a video and watch it later if you’re as awkward as me. If you’re doing from another country, try and find somewhere to stay for the first week or two and look for places in person. Lesson Two – Do a thorough viewing.
Lesson Three – Kick and Scream when you feel like it. I guess when I first arrived back to Dublin, I was excited and a little overwhelmed. I knew I couldn’t just storm out demanding my deposit because I wasn’t sure where exactly to go. With my Arab parents all the way in Saudi Arabia, I knew I couldn’t just book myself into a hostel (also, eew) – you just don’t make Arabs worry if you know what’s good for you. I discovered that the pictures sent to me previously were very strategically taken and in some language unknown to me “own room” means “we have built a fort for you in the living room”, boxed off (literally, with boxes) so that they can still have access to the dining table and kitchen. “Sofa bed” means “sofa, just , YOU’VE BEEN PUNKED TROLOL). A “wardrobe” means “chest of drawers and a hanging rail”, no big deal but someone who colour coordinates their clothes like myself doesn’t quite enjoy having her clothes exposed. So comfy. So wow.
Lesson Four – Sanity Test is not enough. Having asked whether my potential room mate was insane was definitely not enough. I have definitely discovered that one does not have to be completely insane to be COMPLETELY OUTRAGEOUS. No face-to-face communication, just whatsapp group messages and Postits. Postits everywhere. Really common sense messages with passive-aggressive undertones. Please, I am the queen of passive-aggression. Since this traumatic experience, I never want to see another post-it for as long as I live.
Incase you can’t tell that forks go where the other forks are…
A little glimpse of my “wall” here. Btw, THIS IS MY DOOR. (living room door) MAYBE I WANT IT OPEN.
Lesson Five – No privacy = Big problem. Simple really, a twenty something year old needs more privacy then a badly built fort. The pathetic box wall (btw free storage for herself) weren’t built high enough so the room”mates” would see me as they walk through the living room to make enough noise in the kitchen to wake me up. The only privacy I got was when they were away or when I was in the bathroom.
I could go on but then I’d have nothing to tell my therapist. Good luck renting out there. Don’t be as stupid as me. Let me know of your own experiences in the comments below. Any tips?
Coincidentally… I’m back in Ireland in a few days and I’m looking for a place to stay. Hit me up if you have a room going. I promise not to write a blog post about you.
Stalker? Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat – Saharmali