Deputy Pearse Doherty has expressed solidarity with the students set to be affected by the unexpected announcement by management of student accommodation provider Cúirt na Coiribe in Galway that it intends to increase rents for the forthcoming academic year by up to €1,000.
According to NUI Galway Students’ Union, residents were informed of the move last Friday in an email advising tenants of the planned increases.
It is further claimed that in the same email students have been advised that priority booking for September will be considered for current tenants following payment of a deposit which is needed to secure a place for next year.
Expressing his support for the students, Deputy Pearse Doherty said:
“Over the weekend, representatives from NUIG Students’ Union have contacted Sinn Féin to draw attention to the current situation facing students trying to secure accommodation at the student complex Cúirt na Coiribe for the upcoming academic year.
“It’s claimed that management of the privately owned facility emailed its tenants last week to inform them of plans to increase rental costs by €1,000 for accommodation for this coming September, while also advising them that advanced bookings will be taken for those who are in a position to pay a deposit to secure a place there when bookings commence this week.
“The Union claims that this represents a increase of 18 per cent in rents compared to what students were charged for accommodation at the same complex for the duration of the current academic year 17/18.
“Understandably, students are rightly very upset and annoyed that this news has been sprung on them at a time when many of them are preparing to sit either end of year exams, while those who are preparing to come to college next year are preparing to sit their Leaving Cert in just a few weeks’ time.”
He added that this is obviously a matter which affects a lot of students and their families here in Donegal where huge numbers of students travel to Galway every year to attend University there and to reside in the city throughout term time.
“Available accommodation in the city is already stretched to capacity, and this unexpected increase at Cúirt na Coiribe is yet another example of private accommodation providers taking advantage of the ongoing housing and accommodation crisis to feather their own nests, all at the expense of hard-pressed students and their families.
“Over the weekend, my colleague and Sinn Féin Housing Spokesperson Deputy Eoin Ó Broin has been in touch with a number of students affected and has advised students and college representatives to formally take their case to the Residential Tenancies Board with the view to testing the current laws in this area.
“Furthermore, our party has recently introduced the Residential Tenancies (Student Rents, Rights & Protection) Bill which, if enacted, will seek to provide the necessary protections to students in relation to accommodation and their rights as tenants with the party hoping to have this important piece of legislation voted on in the Dáil before the upcoming summer recess.
“Clearly, these students are just another group in the long list of all those who have been failed by successive governments to afford tenants and renters the appropriate level of protection when renting.
“For our part, my party is standing in solidarity with the students affected by this latest announcement and we will continue to support them in their campaign urging the company to rethink its current position in relation to these planned rent increases.”