Saturday 15 June 2019

€388 for a bunk bed in a shower room: are young people really 'excited' about paying less for less?

The bedroom has a shower and sink
The bedroom has a shower and sink
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

TENANTS in a Dublin house are paying close to €400 to rent a bunk bed in a shower room, our pictures show.

The four-bedroom house in Inchicore was advertised on a Facebook group and there are currently nine people living there.

As Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy continues to receive backlash over his comments about the development of co-living blocks - saying young people should be “excited” to pay less for less space - these images depict the cramped conditions renters in Ireland are living in.

The Irish Independent viewed the property and spoke to two tenants, who said all areas of the house are communal and they "share everything".

A spare mattress in the communal living room
A spare mattress in the communal living room

In one bedroom there are a set of bunk beds, a shower, sink and a wardrobe.

However, the prospective tenant who rents the bottom bunk will only be given two drawers in the hallway for their clothes.

Each of the tenants pay €388 rent plus €20 bills per month, on top of a €370 deposit.

There is also a mattress in the living room for friends to stay if they are "stuck for somewhere to sleep".

The tenants have a cleaning schedule on a notice board in the kitchen and everyone takes turns doing chores around the house.

The tenants - all young foreign nationals - are from Korea, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

The property has two people to a room and is registered with the Residential Tenancies Board as a four-bedroom rental.

Housing charity Threshold has condemned how Ireland’s housing crisis is resulting in this kind of "submarine living".

"We have the prospect of purpose built co-living, offering limited space but attracting premium prices. These ‘designer’ or ‘boutique inspired’ spaces will most likely be offered to prospective residents under licences rather than a lease. In other words, the residents will have no tenancy rights,” says Cathy Flanagan, communications executive with Threshold.

"Then on the opposite end of the market, we have ‘submarine living’, bunk beds in kitchens or living rooms and hallways of properties. With people doubling, tripling, or quadrupling up in rooms and in some situations, shift workers sharing a bed, using it at different times of day.  “Fearful of the consequences of speaking out, this cohort of tenant has  little or no choice or rights.”

Meanwhile, TDs are calling on the Housing Minister to resign, describing his comments on co-living as “inexcusable”.

Mr Murphy referred to plans by Bartra Capital for a co-living complex in Dún Laoghaire with 208 "single occupancy bedspaces" and communal kitchens each shared by up to 42 residents.

"As we all did when we were younger, we sacrificed less space for less rent," he said.

"This isn't about allowing for high-density bedsits, but a new accommodation that's been very successful round the world."

Eoin O Broin, housing spokesperson for Sinn Féin, compared the new developments to “tenements”.

"The minister’s comments about young people having to make sacrifices in terms of rental accommodation are quite frankly bizarre. Young people are facing rising costs for rents, insurance, and education and the Minister’s patronising comments were not helpful," he said.

Online Editors

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