WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A SPOILER OF OUR YOUTUBE EPISODES
Searching for an apartment in Dublin that will allow pets is like speed dating in a sea of swans and you’re the ugly duckling. Unfortunately, the rental market in Dublin, Ireland is not pet friendly and, in a city where there is a huge demand for housing and little supply, the process of finding a place can super stressful for pet owners. However, with a few tips based on our own experience, some luck, lots of patience, and a bit of hard work it’s certainly possible.
Finding a place for Fray and Molly during the month of September (when university classes start) was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I submitted my work and previous landlord references at each place, made sure I looked presentable for each viewing, and even offered some landlords €100-€200 over their asking price for the monthly rent! Even then, after almost a month of viewing dozens of properties, I was yet to be the lucky person to be selected by a landlord to live in their royal palace.
I had already given the landlord at my current place notice that I was moving out and had one week left before I had to leave. The panic was already setting in but I tried my best to stay cool. With a week left to find a place, a property management company contacted me to let me know the landlord picked me among hundreds of others to live in his flat in Dublin’s, highly desirable, Rathgar neighborhood. Danielle and I were ecstatic because that meant that she and the dogs could finally make the move to Ireland. However, there was just one problem.
We never told them about the dogs.
Many locals suggested that we simply not tell landlords about our dogs as many other Dubliners do. With our one week deadline, we had no choice but to take their advice otherwise I’d have no place to stay.
I signed the lease, moved straight in, and set off to Poland to help Danielle and the dogs relocate to Dublin. When the dogs moved in to our new place in Rathgar, things became a bit stressful.
During a stroll at a nearby park with Fray and Molly, a man who lived in the building for two years before us told me the complex was managed by three resident old ladies who were on some sort of committee. Their job was to maintain the grounds and, apparently, police it for tenant violations. He warned me about them because he, too, had a dog even though it was against the building’s rules.
At that point, I realized the landlord was going to find out about the dogs one way or another and, once he found out, we would probably be evicted. For one month we lived trying to hide the dogs from every person possible, especially the 3 old ladies.
As you can imagine, this was highly stressful on both us and the dogs.
During this time, we searched for a new place to live in without telling the landlord that we were about to break our newly signed 1-year lease agreement. By doing so, we were buying ourselves more time to find a new place that would allow the dogs so that we would no longer have to live in secrecy. If we were to tell the landlord about us moving out before actually finding a new place, then we’d be limited to finding one in 28 days before we’d be evicted… and in Dublin’s market you want as much time as possible, especially with pets.
After another month of searching and attending dozens of more viewings, we found a house which in their online ad mentioned pets were allowed and were selected to be the tenants 🙂
How We Did It (And How You Can Too)
- If possible, search for a place when university classes have already started and students are not searching for housing. For Dublin, that means try to stay away from apartment hunting in September and October. We did our search in November and the competition was a lot less than when I looked for an apartment in September.
- Search for places on Daft.ie that are listed as “Pets Allowed” first. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of selection. Most landlords don’t mention whether or not pets are allowed.
- Focus on houses and try to stay away from apartment buildings/complexes. As mentioned above, most buildings don’t allow pets. If you go into an apartment building for a viewing, look for the “building rules” which are usually posted in the hallways or the main entrance.
- Make contact with the landlord/property management company immediately. Make a good impression and very quickly mention what you do for work but do not mention your pets. If a phone number is listed, call them unless the ad states otherwise. My e-mails usually looked something like this:
Hi ____, I am a working IT professional living in Dublin and I am very interested in your rental. Would it be possible for us to arrange a viewing for some time today or this week? My number is __________. Hope to hear from you soon. -Franklin
- At the viewing, casually mention your pet(s) and any positive traits (small/house trained/old/mature/etc).
Oh, by the way, we have two fully house trained and mature dogs. That wouldn’t be a problem with you, would it?
- If you have any previous landlord references that can attest for your dogs not destroying their home, be sure to include them with any paperwork the landlord asks for.
The truth is…
If you have pets then finding a place in Dublin 2/4/6, Blackrock, or Dun Laoghaire (all highly desirable areas) can be very difficult. Your best chances are in the commuter towns or Dublin North but you’ll probably need a vehicle if you’re going to live that far away and, for Danielle and I, buying a car was NOT in our plans (for your neighborhood search, I recommend checking out this map).
We found our house in South Dublin after setting up Daft.ie e-mail alerts and contacting landlords immediately after a new listing went up and trying to make ourselves appear as
good great potential tenants as much as possible.
If you are also or will be searching for a place in a Dublin or a new city, whatever you do, do not give up. Stay laser focused no matter how stressful and/or discouraging it may get. Eventually, you will find a place.
For a closer look on our experience relocating the dogs to Dublin, feel free to check out the follow up episode below.
If you have any similar stories about moving abroad, please share them below!