Student safety tips for first time renters

Student safety tips for first time renters

Friday, September 03, 2021 By OFTEC Ireland

With students set to receive Leaving Cert results today, and round one of CAO offers being made on 7th September 2021, thousands will soon be making the move to rented accommodation.

Amidst spiralling rent prices, OFTEC, representing the liquid fuel industry in Ireland, is concerned that students may take subpar accommodation without inspecting the property for potential dangers.

With this in mind, OFTEC has issued advise to help students ensure their accommodation is safe.

1. Raise the alarm – Landlords should ensure their properties have a fitted fire detection and alarm system, along with carbon monoxide detectors and alarms. These alarms can be lifesavers. If you believe your rented accommodation is missing either of these, this should be flagged with your landlord immediately. Boilers that aren’t properly installed, maintained or ventilated can produce carbon monoxide 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.

2. Heating requirements - OFTEC and SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) recommend that all boilers should be serviced annually and tenants should ask for evidence of recent servicing. If you have concerns, ask for a CD/12 Landlord Oil Installation Check which is carried out by an OFTEC registered technician and will give you peace of mind. For a gas heated property, ask for a copy of the annual gas safety check.

3. Look for damp – It is easy to hide damp patches with a coat of paint, so if your house smells musty or you see evidence of mould, find out how the landlord is planning to fix the problem. Mould has no place in the home as it can cause respiratory problems and headaches.

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 any beds, sofas and chairs are in good condition.

5. Secure your home – burglars may target student areas because of lax security. Ask your landlord to fit key operating locks on the windows and lever deadlocks on external doors.OFTEC Ireland Manager, David Blevings, said: “Quite often the excitement of moving in with friends can overshadow the concerns about the accommodation itself. We are urging students to play it safe this year and carry out these essential checks before signing a lease and moving in.

“Asking a landlord about safety may seem awkward, but it could prevent you from living in a potentially dangerous property for the next 12 months. It’s vital that your new home is not a burden as you start your time at university.

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