Thursday 20 June 2019

Tenants pay €400 to rent bunk bed in shower room

Cramped conditions: A shower in the bedroom
Cramped conditions: A shower in the bedroom
Cramped conditions: A mattress in the sitting room of the four-bed house in Inchicore, Dublin
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Tenants in a Dublin house are paying almost €400 to rent a bunk bed in a shower room. 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 already 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". 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.

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.

Cramped conditions: A mattress in the sitting room of the four-bed house in Inchicore, Dublin
Cramped conditions: A mattress in the sitting room of the four-bed house in Inchicore, Dublin

Housing charity Threshold has condemned how the crisis is resulting in "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," said its communications executive Cathy Flanagan.

"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.

Irish Independent

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