Ok, so this is a world away from my usual type of blog post but that’s ok, this is a lifestyle blog too and this falls under that category. And this is something that I need to rant about, I need to vent, and I want to talk about it.
More specifically, being a girl who’s trying to rent a somewhat decent place in Dublin City Centre on a retail worker’s wage.
I’m finding it so frustrating lately, and more than a little bit stressful. I moved out when I was 23 and I’ve moved twice since that, and I’ll be moving again in a little over a month. When I initially moved out, there were gorgeous places to rent at what I thought was a high price, but looking back on it now, they were for nothing. Proper apartments for about 800e, on the quays, a decent size, nice rooms. I didn’t rent any of them because I wasn’t sure at that time what I could afford, I’d never had to pay all of my bills by myself and I didn’t want to leave myself completely broke..(I was always completely broke anyway but that was more to do with a lack of budgeting skill than anything else)
Then, when I decided I wanted somewhere bigger, I moved again. Prices had definitely gone up, but I was still able to find a decent sized apartment right beside work and local to my family, with its own washing machine and bathroom and free parking – for 800e. I definitely found that a struggle…bigger apartment equals bigger bills and heating it was nearly impossible – I made the mistake of moving in the spring when the place was warm without heating, bright without lighting and it had a rose-tinted glasses effect to it. A few months later and with the winter weather came the damp, windows that rained on the inside, air so cold you could see your breathe and towards the end of my second year there (with an increase of 40e a month) a mouse that managed to crawl through the vent in the bedroom (that turned out to be a whole in the wall with a vent barely attached to it)
I put all that down to experience though…everyone has their horror stories of when they first move out, right? So I put it behind me and decided to try house sharing – I would rent a room and it would cost me less, I wouldn’t be afraid at night because I was by myself, and it would be a good change. And mostly I was right. It was definitely something that took some getting used to – living by yourself for 4 years does not prepare you for having to be considerate of housemates.
Now I have to move again because my current lease is not being renewed, and I am terrified. Rents are so crazily expensive now and I am disgusted and furious at what some landlords think are acceptable living conditions for people. Some people are charging over 300e for a BED in a room. Not a ROOM, a BED. And the worst thing is, they can do this because they know people are getting so desperate for a roof, that they can afford, that they will accept this.
If you DONT want to share a room with a stranger, you’re looking at an absolute MINIMUM of 500e for a single room in a house. That’s a boxroom. And at that, they’re not even particularly pleasant rooms. I’m not trying to be a fussy snob but if I’m paying that for a boxroom, at least try to make it visually appealing.
I’m so angry at the government for allowing this to happen…can you really blame the landlords? If they’re allowed to get away with overcharging for sub-par accommodation, then why wouldn’t they? The cost of living isn’t going down for anybody. But the government really should have stepped in when they seen it going this way…it’s no coincidence that we’re seeing the highest rates of homelessness at the same time as the rent prices are at an all time high. There is no point in the fools in the Dail standing around scratching their heads and making false claims about providing beds and houses when the root of the problem is glaring them in the face. Force the rent prices down and more people will be able to afford to live in these places, and not on the streets. A cap restricting increases is not much use when the rents are already as high as they are.
So, back to my own situation – I am 28 years old, I’m having to house-share because despite earning more money now than I was when I first moved out, I now cannot afford my own place, and to be honest, if things keep going the way they are, I’ll barely be able to afford a share. Moving back home is not an option I would really consider – I like my independence and damn it, I’m an adult, I deserve my independence!
Moving further away would be cheaper in regards rent but I can’t afford to rent AND drive, so I’m reliant on public transport (at the moment I’m walking distance to work) which is unreliable at best and really isn’t that affordable – it’s at least 30e a week on bus fares right now, but at the rate that dublin bus fares increase, who knows what that figure could jump to? Not to mention the famous disappearing buses that are the scourge of many public transport users, bus strikes etc etc
I’m really just so frustrated…this is a situation that is just getting worse and despite a solution being obvious (to me anyway, maybe I’m just being a bit simplistic) nothing is being done to help. I feel, as a young citizen of this country, that my country doesn’t care about me. I’m not looking for handouts, I’m not looking for anyone else to pay my way, I work for what I have, all I want is a chance to have a little bit of independence, a decent place that I can actually afford, and not to worry that I’m going to be searching for a new home at the end of every lease.
I want to feel like I have a home, not just a lease. Is that really so much to ask for?