Thursday 17 October 2019

Log cabins, chalets and four people to a room: what's left in squeezed market

Cosy: €765 per month for this wooden chalet in Swords, Co Dublin
Cosy: €765 per month for this wooden chalet in Swords, Co Dublin

Gabija Gataveckaite

With the average rent in Dublin now soaring over €2,000 and a record low number of properties available, landlords are charging increasingly extortionate rates for log cabins, bunk beds and even bed shares.

A self-contained small house at the back of someone's garden in Swords is being advertised as a "cosy wooden chalet" for €765 a month, "strictly" for one person.

The accommodation features a sofa in the kitchen and a small bathroom with an electric shower. The landlord did not reply to requests for comment at time of publication.

In Rathmines, four people are invited to share a single bedroom with two bunk beds in an apartment .

At a rate of €125 a week, the landlord requests women only.

The property was advertised by Jan Rejthar, who is an agent that lets apartments on behalf of the landlord.

‘Real treasure’: This log cabin in Kildare was on the market for €850 a month
‘Real treasure’: This log cabin in Kildare was on the market for €850 a month

"The thing is, when you look at the market, it is what the market allows for," he told the Irish Independent.

"There is a lot of pressure to get housing, but this [demand] doesn't reflect what the market allows for."

In Kildare, a log cabin is on the market for €850 a month, with the landlord having increased the price by €70 since the advert was initially posted.

Described as a "real treasure", the ad stated the tenant would have to shower in the main house.

The homeowner, who asked not to be named, said: "It's idyllic, if I had any choice I wouldn't share it with anyone."

She said she had lowered the rent again, but declined to say by how much. "For ordinary homeowners like me, we're just trying to make ends meet.

"There's two completely different groups of people out there, people like me, who are in desperate situations but are middle class and everything looks good on the outside," she said. "But there are landlords who screw people and they will try to put themselves in the same category as me and then buy new cars every two years and go on foreign holidays," she added.

"I know people who do the Rent-a-Room scheme and there's a shame and an embarrassment factor with it."

The Rent-a-Room scheme allows people to rent out a room tax-free provided the income amounts to less than €14,000 per year.

Since the Irish Independent spoke to the homeowner, the log cabin ad has been removed.

Meanwhile, in Dublin 1, a one-bedroom house, with two sets of bunk beds in a shared room, is on offer for €410 a month.

The ad was posted in a group on Facebook, where landlords and tenants discuss accommodation. This group has more than 55,000 members.

"Most of the houses in town are expensive," said Irem Celebi, who posted the advert.

"This house really ranks in a great location."

In Blanchardstown, a company is offering a one-bed 'new build' with a double bedroom and an incorporated kitchen and living room for €1,300 a month.

"I don't set the price obviously, it's a new build so the price would be brought up by that as well," said Lesley Meehan, the agent letting out the property. It was reduced last week as it was €1,400 before.

"It's a one-bed, new build and that's the average price in the area," she said.

It's not just expensive or small accommodation that's on offer. Some ads warn specific nationalities not to apply.

One advert in a Facebook group has "no Portuguese speakers" listed at the top.

The user who posed the ad did not reply to requests for comment at the time of going to print.

Irish Independent

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