Students Must Have Protection against 30% rent hikes - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“In recent months we have seen landlords of student specific accommodation in Dublin and Galway hike rent up 20% to 30%. In some cases students are now being charged over €1,000 per month. One Dublin complex has seen rents increase by 100% since 2014.
“Students, particularly those from modest income families simply cannot afford these kinds of rents. Given that the SUSI maintenance grant ranges from between €3,000 to €5,900 annually, excessive rents are now a real barrier to third level education.
“It is currently unclear whether student licences are covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. As a result some landlords believe that the 4% rent cap in Rent Pressure Zones does not apply to them.
“The Bill being moved at second stage tonight by myself and my colleague Kathleen Funchion ends this ambiguity. It amends the Residential Tenancies Act to include student specific licence agreements in the definition of a tenancy.
“This would give students the protection of the Rent Pressure Zones making rent hikes above 4% illegal. It would also give both students and landlords access to the Residential Tenancies Board in cases of disputes over deposits, maintenance or damage to property.
“The Bill would not have any impact on the duration of the student licences as these would remain at nine months or less as defined by contract.
“There has been wide-spread cross party support for the student protestors in DCU and NUIG facing rent hikes of between 20% and 30%. We hope this support translates into cross party support for our Bill.
“This would send a clear signal to Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy that he should include provisions in his forthcoming Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018 in line with the decision of the Dáil tonight."