French embassy issues warning over ‘severe housing crisis’ in Ireland

Embassy says that new arrivals face ‘significant difficulties in finding accommodation’

The French embassy in Ireland has warned those relocating from France that the State is currently experiencing a “severe housing crisis” and that new arrivals face “significant difficulties in finding accommodation”.

In advice posted on its website, the embassy said the “strong demand” and “saturation” of the rental market in Dublin have led to a sharp increase in rents, “which are currently much more expensive than in Paris, including shared accommodation”.

“It is therefore advisable for people planning to settle in Ireland to allow sufficient time for this search for accommodation (which can take several weeks),” it said.

The French foreign ministry also called for great vigilance “in the face of the risk of scams on the various ad sites”.


It advised new arrivals not to sign a contract or pay a deposit without having previously visited the accommodation and met the owner/real estate agency.

“It is essential to have solid financial guarantees and, if possible, certificates of payment of rent from your previous owners (reference letter) in order to be able to present a rental file,” the advice added.

The Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) said high rents were affecting Ireland’s reputation abroad as an education destination.

The council said it had seen an 86 per cent increase in the number of queries handled through its information and support service relating to accommodation this year.

“ICOS has been contacted by many students looking for help finding accommodation, to report that they are homeless, to report a scam, or to make a complaint about the substandard, and often overcrowded, conditions of their accommodation,” it said on Friday.

Laura Harmon, executive director of ICOS, said the student accommodation crisis would have “serious ramifications” for Ireland’s higher education sector “as well as our economy if urgent action is not taken”.

“International students contribute more than €2.2bn annually to Ireland and play an important role in enriching Irish education and society,” she said.

“It’s deeply unfair to international students who make a huge investment in their education to study in Ireland, as well as the many higher education institutions and language schools who provide world class education and work hard to create a wonderful student experience; all of this is being damaged by the accommodation disaster.

“International students are more at risk when it comes to accommodation scams as they often have little knowledge of the rental market landscape in Ireland.”

The embassy’s warning comes after gardaí recently revealed a young French student was duped into handing over €3,000 in a deposit and two months’ rent in advance to a person who turned out to be a fraudster.

The student had just arrived in Ireland from France on September 3rd as she was due to start in a Cork college on the following Monday morning.

Before coming to Cork, she had posted on a Facebook group looking for accommodation. According to gardaí, the student was messaged by a man, who said his landlord had a room for rent, and he provided her with the details of the landlord, who was French-Irish, and his phone number which was also French.

The French student proceeded to contact the man, purporting to be the landlord, by phone, and after some discussion, she paid him via bank transfer over €3,000 for a deposit and two months’ rent in advance for the room.

The student transferred the money from her French bank account to the man’s bank account, but when she arrived at the rental property the door was answered by a resident who told her that there was no room for rent and that the name she had been given was not the name of the landlord.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times