Friday 24 January 2020

'It's a difficult landscape out there looking for a flat' - Student on 'impossible' accommodation hunt as rents hit record high

Aoife Cooney says landlords don’t want first-year students
Aoife Cooney says landlords don’t want first-year students

Patrick Kelleher

Students are being advised to research what the prevailing rents are in their college's surrounding areas before signing a lease.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has launched an online rent index showing students what the standard rents are near colleges.

The index shows that Cork students can expect to pay €960 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. This jumps to €1,440 for students who want to rent a similar apartment in Clonskeagh, Dublin, or €1,525 for those who rent in Ranelagh.

The cost of renting a two-bed apartment is as low as €588 in Tralee, Co Kerry, and is just under €900 in Galway.

Finding places to rent is becoming increasingly difficult for students, as 52,289 were offered places on courses in yesterday's CAO results.

Thousands of students have been hit by the housing crisis over the summer as the shortage persists and prices go up. The CAO offers will push even more students into the already flooded rental market.

Aoife Cooney, who is going into her final year studying English and Geography at NUI Galway, has just found a room to rent after searching since May.

"It's fine," Aoife told the Irish Independent. "It's small, it's a bit dated, but I'm very lucky to have gotten a place. It's in the dead centre of town ,which is like gold dust for a student."

Aoife was looking for accommodation since May with two of her friends. They intended to live together, but ultimately were unable to find anything suitable. Aoife is now going to move into a house share with people she doesn't know instead.

The 21-year-old from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, struggled to even find a place to view as landlords insisted on meeting all three of the women before accepting them as tenants.

"Me and the girls I was looking with, we don't live anywhere near each other and we all work. To get all three of us together to view a house would be impossible. One [of us] could go with all the deposits, but that wasn't good enough. They want all three there. But that's really hard if you're working," said Aoife.

Aoife said "it's a very difficult landscape" right now. She said that most landlords will only either take final-year students or postgrads.

"I found it tough," she said. "I don't want to know what it'll be like going back as a first year who got their place today. Because when you are looking for a house, and it does say 'final year', they'll think there are no houses out there that want first years, which isn't fair really."

Irish Independent

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