University students across Ireland have expressed frustration in relation to student accommodations and the circumstances surrounding Covid-19.
Vice-President for Welfare of the Union of Students Ireland Clare Austick said there has been an increase in number of student seeking help regarding accommodation.
Speaking on the cost of student accommodation , Ms Austick said: “the rent is insane and through the roof.”
“There is no legislation that provides flexibility for student accommodation tenancy contract.” Ms Austick said.
There are a number of issues with leaving accommodation contracts early for students who no longer need them and require refunds she said.
Ms Austick recommended that students should clarify with landlords the flexibility of the tenancy agreement.
She further advised that they contact their student local union that they refund any prepaid rent and ability of students to end the contract without having any penalties in place.
Some students in Ireland experienced an increase in accommodation rents for 2020/2021 academic year while some others experienced a sort of reduction in the accommodation rents.
University of Limerick, Dublin City University, University College Cork and University College Dublin all reduced their campus rents.
National University of Ireland Galway and Maynooth University did not lower their costs and kept rents the same price for the coming academic year as they were for the 2019/2020 academic year.
Trinity College Dublin is the only university to increase rent costs due to an extra four days on campus as semester one has been extended.
Akeeb Subomi, an international student in UCD, said the percentage cut from accommodation rents is insignificant because UCD still has the most expensive campus accommodation in the country.
“I know a lot of my friends who are sleeping in cars, their friend’s cars, or on the floors of their friends’ accommodation,” he said.
Olaitan Odetola, an international Masters student in Dublin, said she knew accommodation in Dublin was expensive, but she did not think it will cost her this much.
“I was hoping I will be able to work and cover my rent but due to restrictions, I haven’t been able to.”
Keeping up with the rent isn’t easy. Student accommodations should be more accommodating financially as many students struggle to keep up.” She said.
Andrew O’Donovan a computer science student at the University of Limerick , said campus accommodation is very expensive and outside accommodation is the cheaper option but still pricey.
“The smallest space you can imagine is what I have at my accommodation and the price I pay for the space is ridiculous.”
“I knew there was a housing crisis in Ireland but it just recently became my reality.”