The student accommodation crisis worsens as many find themselves subject to ill-treatment by landlords.
A report published in August on rental housing in Ireland by website Daft.ie showed rental prices in North County Dublin have risen by 10.7 per cent in the second quarter of this year.
“At the start of August myself and my mate paid a deposit for a flat, and the landlord completely ripped us off, and just pulled the accommodation via the agency around the 25th of August,” a DCU student said.
“We don’t know for sure if it was the landlord or the agency that ripped us off, but it meant we missed the chance to get anywhere else, and it now takes me about two and a half hours to get home, which isn’t ideal,” he concluded.
“I couldn’t get accommodation this year because landlords refused to take students. They refused us even though three of us are working full-time jobs for the year and aren’t technically students,” said another anonymous DCU student.
“One estate agent even went so far as to refuse to give us the address of a house, just because he found out we are students,” she said.
If any other DCU students feel they are being exploited by their landlord, DCU’s Welfare Officer Domhnaill Harkin advised them to visit him in the Student’s Union.
“I can provide advice to anyone who needs it, or information is also available on websites like Threshold.ie or on the Private Residential Tenancies Board site,” he said.
Aoife Ní Shúilleabháin from Union of Students in Ireland said due to the shortage of rental housing in Ireland, landlords can afford to be picky about their tenants.
“The reality is students are getting squeezed out a bit. For any student that finds accommodation, always read and understand the lease before signing it, and speak to your landlord about how long you intend to stay,” she said.