Rent hikes to hit DCU students next year

DCU students living in campus accommodation, Shanowen Hall, Shanowen Square and Gateway are all set to be hit by rent increases next year.

The cost of living on-campus for the 2014/2015 academic year is set to rise in what will be their first change in prices since 2007. Shanowen and Gateway apartment complexes are also upping their rates next year.

On-campus, prices for Hampstead, College Park and Postgraduate accommodation will all increase by an average of three per cent, while the cost of living in Larkfield for incoming students will remain unchanged.

General Manager of Campus Residences, Mary Cunningham, said such price hikes are needed to allow for refurbishments which have taken place on campus accommodation over the past two years.

“We’ve put in new kitchens and brand new carpets into Hampstead. New carpets and new painting works have been carried out in College Park and as well as that, new carpets and curtains have been put into the Postgraduate apartments,” she explained.

The Manager denied that recent government tax hikes such as the water charge influenced the rise in cost.

Next year’s rates at the Hazelwood complex are yet to be confirmed.

Incoming Welfare Officer, Eve Kerton, described the price hikes as an “awful idea”.

“As it is, students not only of DCU but nationwide are struggling and it is difficult enough to get accommodation,” she said, adding that some landlords are “utilising the fact that students have nowhere else to go and so will have to find the money”.

She intends “to work with current Welfare Officer Lorna Finnegan to start recruiting landlords because there is accommodation there but people have difficulty finding it.”

At present, Gateway student apartments are the most expensive with a weekly rate of €143, while on-campus, Hampstead provide the lowest prices with a weekly cost of €119.

College Park will set you back €134 a week whilst both Shanowen Hall and Shanowen Square cost €136 a week. All prices include utilities but exclude deposits.

Rental prices across Dublin city rose by 7.6 per cent last year according to figures compiled by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) for the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

There are plans to include accommodation in the Hub extension on campus, but there is no timeline for when this will be decided.

Sharron Lynskey & Laura Colgan

Image Credit: Annemarie Kelly

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