Rent. The thing that is like a large cash-sucking leech that is affixed directly to your bank account and hoovers up any, and all, money that comes before it. Rental prices, particularly for students, have been growing at a disconcertingly high-rate in recent years. However, a bill being introduced by Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin, titled The Residential Tenancies (student rents, rights and protections) Bill 2018, aims to impose some regulations on an out of control student rental market.
The lack of regulation surrounding student accommodation was brought into keen focus recently when two student residences housing DCU students, Shanowen Square and Shanowen Hall, raised the cost of a 9 month student lease by around 20%, to approximately €9,000. This led to a mass student protest, titled #ShanowenShakedown, to oppose these drastic increases, which were all the more galling considering that around 5 years ago, the cost for the same lease in either of these residences was little more than €4,500.
The protest attracted national attention and prompted an urgent questioning as to why student leases of this nature weren't subject to rental controls. Under rent pressure zone legislation, landlords are prohibited from raising their rent by more than 4% annually, a rule which does not apply to student residences as technically, even if one student occupies one of these rooms throughout their enter time in college, they are not contracted on one lease, but instead take out a fresh lease for each year of study and are thus treated as a new tenant.
Ó Broin says that he hopes, when the bill comes to debate, that it "receives cross party support," as it will stitch up any loopholes in the existing Residential Tenancies Act which allow student accommodation providers to increase their rents by such drastic amounts.
H/T: College View