Friday 15 November 2019

Trinity students to withhold rent due to rising on-campus rates

Almost 300 students who live in the College’s city centre campus have signed up to withhold their rent when the next payment is due on January 1

Trinity College
Trinity College

Niamh Lynch

Trinity students are mobilising a campaign to withhold rent from the college amidst rising on-campus rates.

Almost 300 students who live in the College’s city centre campus have signed up to withhold their rent when the next payment is due on January 1.

One of the members of the Cut The Rent group, Conor Reddy, said: “We’ve been canvassing and the response has been really, really positive. We’re going to have our first tenants’ meetings next week.

“Students are in the unique position that we have collective strength - this is a lot harder for the college to sanction than individual students not paying. Students are also mainly without the consequences of [rent strikes in] the private rental market where your family and livelihood is at risk.

“We’re in the depths of a rental crisis, somewhere along the line something’s going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Rent strikes are the most effective way, to hit the college in its pocket where it hurts,” said Mr Reddy.

Trinity’s revenue from campus accommodation totalled €13 million in 2018.

Around 700 students live in Trinity’s city centre campus, mainly made up of final year students and recipients of the college’s scholarship programme. Over 1,000 students, mainly first years, also lived in the Trinity Hall accommodation block in Dartry, which is also owned by the college.

The Irish Independent previously revealed that Trinity accommodation rates jumped by 5.57pc - the highest of any college in Dublin. Rents for Goldsmith Hall rose by €398 to €7,554.

In a statement to the Irish Independent at the time, a spokesperson for TCD said that the rates were set by the finance committee in May 2017.

"We are committed to providing our students with high-quality, safe and affordable accommodation and associated services, and the increases in rent reflect the cost of upkeep and the expense of providing utilities," the statement reads.

However, Trinity students previously stopped a €21-per-week increase in on-campus accommodation as part of protests in March 2018, which saw a three day occupation of the college’s famous Dining Hall.

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