7 very handy safety tips if you're renting in Ireland
Landlords across the country are going to love us for this.
OK, while the vast majority of property owners in this country are responsible individuals who would never dream of renting out sub-standard accommodation, there are a number of chancers out there who don't care about their tenants' well-being.
OFTEC, which represents the domestic oil heating industry in Ireland, has issued these top tips for safe student accommodation.
While aimed at the student market, it's worth noting that these apply to anyone renting in Ireland.
1. Check the electrics and appliances
With rented residential accommodation it is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances provided by the landlord are safe when the tenancy begins and are in proper working order throughout the tenancy.
2. Look for damp
It is possible to hide damp patches with a few coats of paint, but if your house smells musty or you see evidence of mould, find out how the landlord is planning to fix the problem in the long term as mould has several health risks including respiratory problems and headaches
3. Raise the alarm
It is the landlord’s duty to provide fire and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as fire extinguishers, but the tenants should always test alarms on a regular basis. Carbon monoxide is potentially lethal as it has no smell, taste or colour.
Without a working alarm, it is impossible to identify carbon monoxide leaks. It is also your landlord’s responsibility to provide you with a fire escape.
4. Furniture and fittings
Ask the landlord for a list of everything that is included and make note of any damage that is there before you move it. Check all beds, sofas and chairs are in good condition.
5. Heating requirements
Does your house have oil or gas fired central heating? Oil is currently cheaper than ever, so that means low fuel bills.
The HSE recommend that all boilers should be serviced annually and tenants looking at an oil-fired property should ask for a certificate – an OFTEC CD/12 Landlord Oil Installation Check which is carried out by an OFTEC registered technician will give you peace of mind. If the property has a gas boiler it must be checked by a Gas Safe technician.
Boilers that are well maintained will save you money in the long run by being more energy efficient.
6. Note fire escapes
This is important, particularly for apartment blocks but make sure they are secure from the outside to prevent unwanted visitors.
7. Secure your home
Burglars target student areas because of lax security. Ask your landlord to fit key operating locks on the windows and five lever deadlocks on external doors.