“Students across Ireland are seeing rent hikes in their college accommodation. We are growing increasingly impatient for legislation around rent pressure zones that was promised last year.” – USI President Síona Cahill expresses concern.
The Union of Students in Ireland are calling for legislation around RPZs due to recent outrageous rent hikes in student accommodation across the country.
In UCC’s Victoria Mills accommodation complex, rent has increased by €900 (10%) in two years. Academic year 2016/17 students paid UCC €5,260 for a single bedroom. In 2019/2020, students will pay €6,179 for that same room. In NUI Galway, the 140 bed Menlo Park private student accommodation prices have increased by 20%. That is a rise of €1,390 for a single bedroom in student accommodation.
Purpose built student accommodation owners are set to release next years prices in the coming months. Trends have shown that rents are set to steadily increase for the academic year 2019/2020.
USI President, Síona Cahill indicates disappointment in delay of RPZ Legislation, stating:
“Every day, week, month or year the Government wait to put this bill through Dáil Éireann, students are suffering at the hands of rogue landlords taking advantage of the Irish accommodation crisis.
Students’ Unions are overrun with casework on accommodation. Issues they are facing include the lack of student accommodation, and that the accommodation that is available is too expensive for the average student to afford.
We are sick of telling the Government that they are leaving students to couch surf or indeed live homeless – this issue has been going on far too long and needs resolution immediately.
This is no longer an urban issue. We are seeing rental price hikes from Carlow to Sligo and everywhere in-between. Students need protection, and every student deserves an affordable place to call home and to study.”
This Wednesday at 10.30am, the Union of Students in Ireland and national housing charity Threshold will outline their responses to the Residential Tenancies (Greater Security of Tenure Rent Certainty) Bill 2018 and the Anti-Evictions Bill 2018.
Speaking in advance of the Oireachtas hearing, John-Mark McCafferty, CEO of Threshold said:
“Threshold has long recognised that students are increasingly vulnerable in the private rented sector. Many students renting are effectively ‘licensees’, rather than tenants. In other words they are living in legal limbo, without the protections of a tenancy and without recourse to the RTB.”
“We welcome the proposal to include licenses for student accommodation in the definition of tenancies and licensees in student accommodation in the definition of tenants. It is our position that all licenses and licensees, and not exclusively those living in student accommodation, should be added to the definitions of tenant and tenancy.
On Wednesday, we will be repeating our demand for the nationwide expansion of rent pressure zones. We are particularly concerned about the prospects for people renting in Dublin and Cork as the Rent Pressure Zone status is set to expire this December.”
added Mr McCafferty.
“We welcome the inclusion of a legal definition of a deposit in the proposed Greater Security of Tenure and Rent Certainty Bill. The usual practice regarding deposits is that they are equivalent of one month’s rent. However, it has become common practice for landlords to seek two or more months’ deposit, along with the first month’s rent from new tenants. This cost is out of reach for many students, and may prove to act as a deterrent to those interested in pursuing further education”, he concluded.
- The Union of Students in Ireland represent over 374,000 students across the island of Ireland.
- The Union of Students in Ireland are calling on those affected by an increase in the cost of student accommodation and staying in said accommodation next academic year to contact Michelle at campaigns.usi.ie who will advocate on their behalf.
Public Relations & Communications Manager, USI
M: 083 8812270
Cathy, Flanagan, Communications Executive, Threshold 087 6744902
*Both USI President, Síona Cahill and Threshold Chief Executive, John-Mark McCafferty are available for comment together.