Student rental crisis highlighted in RTE Documentary

Béibhinn Thorsch

Most advertising for substandard accommodation is found on social media groups, according to an RTÉ Investigates programme, which aired on November 2nd. 

The documentary “Nightmare to Let” focused on common problems in rental accommodation such as lack of running water, dampness, mould, plumbing and electrical issues. Although the documentary was not based on student accommodation, these are problems familiar to many DCU students.

“Some of the worst accommodation is not even registered with the authorities, and is therefore unlikely to ever be inspected,” said RTÉ Investigates reporter Barry O’Kelly, .

One student told of her experience renting a room in Whitehall in 2016.

“When I left the room I waited 4 months for my deposit however I was magically minus 75 euro… so the experience of rent has been horrible,” she said.

A first year student who shares a house with 22 other people also shared his own experiences, saying that none of his housemates are from Ireland. He said that the documentary “shows how foreigners in particular are vulnerable to the rent crisis… the scams which have arisen due to the crisis.”

One second year student who lives in a double room house-share approximately 15 minutes walking distance from DCU feels very lucky to live in well-kept accommodation with a responsible landlord.

“The only downsides are the house being cold and sharing a bedroom”, she said. revealed that only 2.4 percent of rental properties in Dublin were inspected. Many of these did not fully comply with regulations.

The article also said that Dublin City Council was informed four times of the overcrowding before a report was eventually passed to Dublin Fire Brigade.

The main issue for students is finding somewhere decent to live that is close enough to the university while also paying an average of over 400 a week in Dublin, according to a rental price report.

Béibhinn Thorsch

Image Credit: The Balance