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USI is calling on Rent Regulation to be extended to purpose built student accommodation

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will join DCU Students’ Union today, protesting outside the Leinster House to highlight a 27% rent hike at the Shanowen student accommodation site near DCU. Students are currently pay up to €7,000 for the academic year, with the rent looking to increase to €9,000 starting next term. USI is calling on the Government to introduce legislation to protect students from unfair rent hikes.

Speaking ahead of the protest, USI President Michael Kerrigan said,

“This spike in rental costs is making student accommodation unaffordable for students, and is pushing them back into the already overcrowded private rental sector and away from third level institutions. By introducing a system of rent regulation to purpose built student accommodation owned by colleges and by private companies, we can stop increases of 27% every year.  It’s time we stopped treating students like cash cows.”

“With thousands of new units of student accommodation being built across Dublin, many of them are run by private companies like Shanowen”, Kerrigan said.

”There is no point in trying to catch up with the lack of accommodation being built if students are forced to starve because they can’t afford rent just to get a degree. The market will not regulate itself, although there is new student accommodation opening across the country, there is not enough to meet the rising number of Irish and International students. Without legislation, this situation will only get worse.”

Purpose-built student accommodation is not subject to rent restrictions of 4% introduced in late 2016 as Rent Pressure Zones due to differences in regulation like other private accommodation. USI is calling on the Government to introduce this new legislation to include both private and college owned purpose built student accommodation.

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