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Student housing price hike ‘extremely crude’, says FF

Students and first-time renters should make informed decision before signing lease

The Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) launched on Thursday a Tenants Guide to Renting to help students and first-time renters make informed decision when searching for suitable housing. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Fianna Fáil spokesman for Education Charlie McConalogue has described the decision by University College Dublin (UCD) to raise the price of student accommodation as “extremely crude”, calling on the university to reverse the price hike.

The cost of renting a room at the UCD Belgrove student on campus accommodation block is scheduled to rise from €5,481 to €6,427 in September while off-campus student accommodation in Blackrock is up from €4,091 to €5,746.

“Students are stuck between a rock and a hard place and many will have no option but to fork out for the increased rents if they are offered a room on campus because the number of available options is so limited,” said Mr McConalogue.

“The move by UCD to hike up rents for its on-campus accommodation is extremely crude.This has the potential to make a bad situation worse and further squeeze already hard pressed students and their families.

“The cost of going to university is already a huge burden for many families and this measure is only exacerbating a situation which is the source of significant stress and anxiety.”

Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University – who also provide on-campus accommodation – confirmed plans to increase rental prices earlier this summer.

Avoiding hassle

The Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) launched on Thursday a Tenants Guide to Renting to help students and first-time renters make informed decision when searching for suitable housing.

Chair of the SCSI Property Management Group Pat Winters called on parents and students to read the guide and follow the tips to avoid unnecessary hassle.

“We want to provide tenants with the requisite information to help them avoid disputes but we also want to help them resolve them effectively if and when they arise,” he said.

Incoming tenants must ask whether they should pay by cash or bank transfer, who will sign the inventory form, who will take photographs of all the rooms and appliances with the date clearly indicated, who will repair the fridge if it breaks down, asked Mr Winters.

The guide also covers the notice period on a property, when to return the deposit, whether friends are entitled to stay over and the implications of sharing a property with the owner.

The Society also launched a Clear Impartial Guide to Letting to inform landlords of their rights and responsibilities.

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