The church up the road is playing Amazing Grace on the bells. Sounds nice. Anyway… strap in for a long blog post, because we just closed our rental agreement this week!
On Renting in Belfast, Northern Ireland
I’ve racked up rental properties in no less than three countries in the last three years. I am officially sick of moving and I don’t want to do it anymore. So for various reasons Tiernan and I have decided to settle in Belfast. First thing we had to do was acquire somewhere to live. After a week in Dublin, Jack and I took the train up to Belfast and had this experience.
We eventually settled on a 2 bedroom terrace in the BT9 area of Belfast – near Queen’s University. Tiernan and I had been very particular for some time that this was the area we wanted to be in. BT9 is walking distance to Tiernan’s work and a calorie burning walk from the city centre.
Unfortunately very few properties in that area were available before September. When we finally settled on a place we liked we did so with the knowledge that September 3 will be our moving date. Jack and I are allowed to be in Ireland for 30 days visa free which will get us to September easily. So we’re bunking at Tiernan’s parent’s house for now.
The Rental Process
So you have found a house you want to rent? That’s great. Now you have to head to the relevant letting agent office (there are only a million of these on Lisburn Road) to fill out your paperwork. Remember, this is just the process we went though. I imagine other letting agents would be very similar, but I can’t back that up with any kind of fact at all.
1. Application forms
We I completed our application forms which were accompanied with a £30 application fee each. They were pretty straightforward. Personal info, employment info, guarantor info.
A month’s deposit was required to hold our application for processing.
3. The problem with guarantors
The application form requires a guarantor for each applicant. You will hit a stumbling block if you, like me, don’t know any UK citizens who are resident and working in the UK right now. We agreed with the landlord to provide a second month’s deposit in lieu of a guarantor.
4. Reference checks online
Jack, Tiernan and I were all sent links to complete online. It was mostly the same as the application form: personal info and employment info required. That company then check any relevant bank or employment evidence off camera. And that was that.
5. Mostly success
I got a call last week from our agent who let us know that our references had been checked and that our application had been approved. So we went up the other day to sign our rental agreement – all ready for September 3 when we will need to pay the first month in advance.
That’s all fine and dandy. Now I’m actually looking forward to September and really want to buy these awesome “When the Planets A-Dine” plate set from Modcloth.com
Propertypal.com – This is the website we used for most of our searching and enquiring.