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Renting Your Own Place
If you decide that you would prefer to find your own home for yourself and the baby, or perhaps with your partner too, take some time to plan ahead. Be clear that it is the right thing for you to do at this time. Having your own place can be great, but it may not always be easy. So work out what you need to do so that when it comes to getting your own place, you will be prepared.
Why do you want to move?
Firstly maybe take some time to think about why your have decided to move. Is it because you feel ready and capable of living out of your family home? Is it because you have not been getting on with your family? Is the house overcrowded. There may be a number of reasons, but if at all possible take your time. If you are not getting on with your family is there anything that can be done to help. Moving out for this reason is a drastic step, so try to work through the difficulties first to see do things improve. If you still feel that that getting your own place is the right thing for you, start making a plan to make sure it works.
Now you have decided to find somewhere new to live, think about the following
- Where do you want to live?
- How much can you afford to pay?
- How will you go about finding a place?
- What would help you to manage well on your own?
- What support is available to you?
- What do you do when you find a place?
Where do you want to live?
You might have an idea in mind of where you want to live, if not consider the following when you are thinking about different areas
- Would you feel comfortable and safe in the area alone?
- Does it feel like a nice place to bring up a baby?
- How far away from may main supports are you if you need them in a hurry (especially if you don’t drive)
- Is it on a bus route?
- Does it have a shop with a good supply of things you might need quite often, day to day food, nappies, phone credit etc?
- Is there a community centre, health centre, pre-schools and primary schools in the area?
- How far away is your family doctor or if you plan to change is there another one nearby?
- If you are unfamiliar with the area, ask around before you commit.
How much can you afford to pay?
If you are working and earning good enough wages you may be able to cover all the rent yourself. Try to work out how much you might need each week for bills, food, things for the baby, childcare if you are working or studying. How much would you have left for rent. You might find the budget sheets in the Money Matters section useful to help you work out what you need to spend each week or month.
If you are working only part-time or are just on Social Welfare or HSE benefits, you may be entitled to get Rent Allowance. Rent Allowance is a payment from the HSE to help you cover the amount of your rent. See Understanding Rent Allowance for more information.
How will you go about finding a place?
You may be lucky and find somewhere you really like straight away or you might find it hard to find what you want. There are several ways of searching for a house or flat, you may end up trying them all over time!
- Check your local newspaper in the Property to Let section,
- Tell all your friends, family and neighbours that you are looking for somewhere as they may know of places to rent,
- Phone or visit local auctioneers/estate agents who often let property as well as sell it.
- Check the notice boards in your supermarkets for signs advertising flats or houses.
You might notice that some landlords include “No R/A” or Rent Allowance Not Accepted. This means they do not want to let to tenants paying with rent allowance. They may also use phrases such as ‘Professionals Only’ which means they just want to let to people who are working. If you really like a property though, it is still worth contacting them, as they may be flexible in some cases.