Lee Point student accommodation on South Main Street Brewery Quarter in Cork city
Eoin English, of The Irish Examiner, reports:
“Residents of Cork’s newest private student accommodation will pay rents of around €1,000 a month.
“Strong interest has been reported in the 420-bed Lee Point complex, which has been developed on the former Beamish and Crawford brewery site on South Main Street, and which opens for viewings this weekend.”
Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Bróin released the following statement:
“I have written to the Presidents of University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Limerick University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork requesting a meeting to discuss plans to increase on-campus student accommodation charges by up to 4% per year.
“Sinn Féin and other opposition parties worked hard to force a change in the legislation to ensure that on-campus student accommodation was included in the rent pressure zone legislation. This made it illegal for on-campus student accommodation providers to increase rents by more than the 4% cap.
“While the universities are adhering to the letter of the law they are not recognising the spirit of the law.
“Rising student accommodation costs are placing a huge financial burden on lower and middle income students and their families.
“Most students cannot afford any more rental increases and should not be priced out of the university of their choice due to accommodation costs.
“We need to start a conversation about how on-campus student accommodation is financed and what can be done to lower the costs so that universities can provide affordable, good quality accommodation.
“I am keen to meet the head of these universities as a matter for urgency to ensure that students have access to good quality accommodation.
“I have also written to student union representatives seeking a meeting to discuss their concerns about this latest flurry of rent rises.”
I have written to the Presidents of UCD, DCU, NUIG, NUM, UL, TCD & UCC requesting meetings to discuss proposed on-campus student rent increases. High rents are a barrier to education. There has to be a better solution to financing of student accommodation. @TheUSIpic.twitter.com/7N7C0ldVoD
A Daft.ie ad for a one-bed flat on North Circular Road, Dublin, in May
On RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Sean O’Rourke, hosted by Keelin Shanley, RTÉ journalist Brian O’Connell spoke to a third-year female student from the west of Ireland who is studying nursing in Trinity College Dublin.
Explaining her struggle to find a place to rent, she said:
“I was fortunate to have a place until May of this year, when I was in the middle of my exams, and my landlord sold the place so I was only given two weeks’ notice. So, in the middle of my exams, I’d to go find new accommodation.”
“Looking for accommodation in Dublin is like selling your soul to the devil. A lot of places are €600-plus a month and, if you’re lucky enough to find a place that’s less than that, it’s not really appropriate for living in.”
“[One place she saw was]… a double room in an apartment and, in the kitchen, the owner of the flat slept on the couch. And you weren’t able to lock your bedroom door because the bathroom was in the bedroom [en suite]… it was €600 a month for that one.“
Meanwhile, on that Rent A Room scheme, which is organised by UCD Students’ Union, TCD Students’ Union and Daft.ie and where homeowners can earn up to €12,000 a year tax free by renting out a room to students, Mr O’Connell said:
“There is an issue that students have been highlighting with me and it was that, if the room is not self-contained, for example, if it’s not a separate bedsit or a converted garage say, then you have very few rights as a tenant. You’re not covered by tenant legislation, if you simply rent a room in someone’s home.
“A tenant can refer to the Small Claims Court if you have an issue but you’re not covered by the PRTB and a lot of students were saying to me that was putting them off because they could be asked to leave at kind of a week’s notice and they’d very little tenancy rights…”
“Spotted this in Rathmines today. It serves to highlight the growing issue of shortages in student accommodation in the Dublin area. This, in addition to Dublin Institute of Technology’s recently-issued Student Cost of Living Guide, means that students attending third level this year may face a number of challenges outside of the lecture hall. With the Leaving Cert results out next week, and CAO offers out soon thereafter, potential students should avail of the resources provided by Students’ Unions and Student Accommodation Services as soon as possible.“