Ahead of tonight's episode of This Crowded House, we caught up with the show's Property Consultant, Ciara Sheahan to get some top tips for people looking to rent from either a landlord or an agency.

Renting from an agency?
"When an agent puts a property up for rent on a property website, it will usually attract approximately 70 phone calls and 120 -150 emails within a three hour period," says Ciara. 

Not only that but for health and safety reasons, in general, a maximum of twenty people can be invited to each viewing. In short, if a property goes live and you want to make the cut, you should be one of the first twenty people in touch with the agency and you better be ready to impress.

"You need to set up alerts on all the standard, heavily trafficked websites - that's the first thing. The second thing is, when dealing with an agent, you have to make them familiar with you as a person and secure [in the knowledge] that you are reliable, consistent and clean."

So, how does one make themselves reliable, consistent and clean in the eyes of a stranger?

"When you present yourself at a viewing with an agent, always be early. Have your documentation with you; your references, character references, work references. Make it clear what your dates of availability are and that you are generally going to blend in with the neighbours and be seamless as a tenant because that's what the agent wants."

She continued: "If you don't reply to a property within that first hour, chances are, you won't get a viewing.

Renting from a landlord?
There are two types of landlords in Ireland at the moment; accidental landlords and professional landlords.

If they're an accidental landlord i.e. someone who hadn't planned on renting out a property, then it's your job to bring a comfort factor to your interactions and assure them that you will be a hassle-free tenant.

If they're a professional landlord, well, get ready to buckle down and work hard to get that contract.

"Be early, don't smell of smoke, don't turn up with a breakfast roll under your arm, have your paperwork ready and be presentable as if you were going for an interview. If you can smile and have a bit of craic, then chances are they will remember you and you'll be in with a better chance."

On tonight's episode...

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On tonight's episode, Brendan meets two very different young people who share the same problem. Despite living in different parts of the country, they both wish to move out of the family home and spread their wings. As one wants to buy and one wants to rent, we glimpse the two sides of the property struggle. 

Fintan Neville
Fintan, a 28-year-old graphic designer, is living with his mum Anna in the family home in Donabate, Co Dublin. With both his older brothers already moved out, he is the only child still at home and feeling the strain. Although he desperately wants to move out, he's only interested in buying his own place, ideally in Donabate so he can stay close to his mum. 

But he knows that buying there on his own is more of a pipe dream than a reality now. 

Brendan helps him explore his options, looking into the possibility of getting an eco-friendly home that will save money in the future, but all along the way is the fear that another property crash will come, completely crippling his dreams. 

Barbara Ryan
In Co Sligo, 29-year-old Barbara is a trainee shop manager and living with her parents, Helena and Chris, as the only child still at home. With a new job and responsibility, she feels energised to move out and shake off the pressures of living at home that are affecting her quality of life. 

She doesn’t like having her friends over as it’s not her house, and she also doesn’t want to date… because who wants to date someone who lives with their parents?

Brendan guides her through the process of moving out, with property in Sligo still tricky, if not at the levels of Dublin property. Barbara wants to live alone and near her hometown, and in her eagerness plunges head first into the property search, leading to Brendan having to pull the brakes a few times. 

It's a struggle many young people can relate to, and with tonight's episode we see both sides of the argument.

Watch This Crowded House on RTÉ2 at 9:30pm every Wednesday.