Sunday 17 December 2017

Students urged to be wary when renting as thousands seek housing

Tim Murphy at NUI Galway Photo: Hany Marzouk
Tim Murphy at NUI Galway Photo: Hany Marzouk

Patrick Kelleher

Students have been urged to be careful when renting accommodation for the college year ahead.

The Leaving Cert results will be released tomorrow and the first round of offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) are due to be issued next Monday, which will increase the numbers of students seeking accommodation for the coming academic year.

NUI Galway students' union is encouraging students to make sure that the property fully fits their needs before paying out a deposit and a month's rent.

They also warn against paying a deposit in cash and to get a receipt for any money paid. They remind students that they are legally entitled to a receipt and to insist on one if necessary.

The union said it was vital to make sure the house was fully furnished with the necessary equipment, and that the electricity and gas were working properly.

The warning comes as the student accommodation crisis continues to worsen as thousands of students flock to cities ahead of the new college term. This September will be one of the worst yet for students seeking accommodation as student numbers hit record highs.

The CAO had a record 80,887 applicants for third-level courses as of the end of July, and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has estimated that student numbers will continue to rise year-on-year until 2024.

Tim Murphy, a 19-year-old Engineering student at NUI Galway, has been unable to find anywhere to live as he prepares to start his third year at the university.

"I found somewhere for the summer and it was very easy to find it at the start of the summer. But then you only get it for three months and then they won't rent it out to you then for September," he told the Irish Independent.

Tim, who is originally from Co Clare, said commuting would not be a feasible option for him.

"It was bad last year, they said it was the worst they've ever seen, but this year, it's a huge problem," he said. "I would not be surprised if people just dropped out because they couldn't find accommodation."

Irish Independent

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