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Students left 'stranded' by city rent rises

RISING rents caused by a 72pc drop in available properties have left third-level students in Dublin battling to secure accommodation.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has joined student representatives in the capital to call for action on what they say is an escalating crisis.

The USI pointed to the latest Daft.ie report showing a decrease in the number of units available for rent in Dublin, down from 4,212 in August 2012 to 2,394 this year.

"This represents a massive drop from over 8,500 just a few years ago," the USI said.

 

Service

Based on these figures, the number of available properties has fallen by 43pc in 12 months.

This has led to a spike in the cost of accommodation, with average rental prices in the capital increasing by 7.5pc since last year, the USI said.

Aisling Ni Chonaire, from Trinity College's students' union accommodation advisory service, highlighted the difficulties facing undergraduates.

"Many students are in an absolute bind coming to college for the first time or returning to college this year. Student residences have been reaching near-capacity since June, with many returning students opting to hold their places for the following year," she said.

"This serious shortfall is leaving many vulnerable students, many of whom are new to Dublin and Ireland, feeling stranded."

USI president Joe O'Connor said students and their families are being forced to pay "exploitative" rents.

"The shortfall in accommodation in Dublin has seen two extremely negative knock-on effects for students.

 

Landlords

"Many landlords are choosing not to rent to students, given the huge increase in demand."

"Many students are being forced to pay over the odds for their accommodation, with no choice but to settle at exploitative prices," Mr O'Connor said.

The issue has developed into a bigger crisis than the union had expected, he said.

The USI is trying to combat the negative reputation of students as tenants, including initiatives like a task force on citizenship.

comurphy@herald.ie


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