Landlord rep calls for bedsit reprieve

As the cost of renting a room on campus rises, landlords say the Government should lift its blanket ban on bedsit accomodation

The cost of renting college campus accommodation in Dublin is  set to rise  this September, with TCD, UCD (above), Griffith College and DCU all confirming plans for rent increases. Photograph: Eric Luke

The cost of renting college campus accommodation in Dublin is set to rise this September, with TCD, UCD (above), Griffith College and DCU all confirming plans for rent increases. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 00:00

The head of a landlord representative organisation has called on the Government to reinstate bedsit accommodation for students in order to ease the burden on the private rental sector.

Fintan McNamara was responding to the report in The Irish Times on Tuesday that the cost of renting college campus accommodation in Dublin was set to rise by up to 13 per cent this September, with Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Griffith College and Dublin City University all confirming plans for rent increases.

McNamara, who represents the Residential Landlords Association of Ireland, says the ban on rented bedsits that came into force in February of last year has exacerbated the problem of affordability and availability in the rental market. He feels it should be reversed in order to help students achieve an education and to cut down on homelessness within the capital.

Blanket ban

“A lot of these problems relate back to the blanket banning of budget accommodation,” he said.

“While there were undoubtedly some of these accommodations that weren’t fit for purpose, there was some very good quality bedsit units cast aside. This all came about from some notion at the height of the boom that all rental accommodation should be en-suite but that’s just not possible with the way things are in the country at the moment.

“Landlords in these areas have no choice but to charge up to €650-€750 a room as a minimum and that’s just not affordable for a lot of students. I lived in a bedsit myself for a time in my own college days and it served its purpose,” he said.

The former IPAV chief said he had been making representations on the matter to the Department of the Environment in recent weeks and believes that the 2008 decision of the Fianna Fáil/Green Party government to ban the traditional rented bedsit from last year needs to be revisited.

“There are 4,000 of these bedsits still in Dublin and while some landlords may be renting them out under the radar, some are not let at all,” he pointed out.

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