NUI Galway Students’ Union Urges Caution Booking Student Accommodation
With the first round of CAO Offers being issued next Monday thousands of students across the country will now find themselves looking for accommodation for the 2018/19 academic year. Housing for students has been an issue in the past and NUI Galway Students’ Union urges students to be cautious before committing to a private residence this year. Before rushing into signing a lease/contract it is extremely important to make sure the property fits the needs of all tenants. There are properties available so don’t panic and make sure you keep a close eye on all the accommodation websites especially www.nuigstudentpad.ie
Here are some handy tips before signing a lease:
- Take your time when viewing a property. Ensure all the necessities are there e.g. washing machine, furnishings etc.
- Take photos of the property and make sure to highlight any damages already there e.g. Cigarette burns, carpet stains etc.
- When viewing the property, check that all gas and electrical appliances are in good working order.
- If there are any repairs to be made in the property, be sure to get it in writing from the landlord or agency that these problems will be rectified before handing over your deposit.
- Avoid paying the deposit in cash and ensure you get a receipt for any moneys exchanged. You are legally entitled to a receipt so make sure to insist on one.
- Request a viewing prior to the move in date to ensure that all outstanding issues have been rectified.
- Ensure the house is well ventilated and that heating sources are identified prior to signing a contract/lease.
- Insist that a building energy rating (BER) certificate is provided prior to signing the contract. This will help you know how cold the house is likely to get and will give you an idea of the cost for heating.
- Ensure you are clear on the duration of the tenancy. If you sign a lease and leave early you may be liable to pay outstanding rent even though you are no longer living there.
- Make sure it’s clearly outlined in your lease which utility bills you must pay.
- Take out contents insurance as the landlord’s policy will not cover your personal possessions.
- Make sure to get a free rent book from the Students’ Union particularly if you are paying your rent in cash and have the landlord sign the book and give you a receipt.
Students’ Union President Megan Reilly said: “Finding accommodation can be extremely stressful and people tend to rush into it. It is paramount that you follow these guidelines and ensure that the house you live in will be sustainable for you and your friends. Never rush into getting accommodation, be cautious and insist on receipts and any repairs where necessary. This will be where you stay for at least nine months so make sure you have all the necessities before making any commitments. Students still seeking accommodation should check www.nuigstudentpad.ie ”
NUI Galway Students’ Union is a democratic organisation whose mission is “to represent its members and promote, defend and vindicate the rights of its members at all levels of society.”
More accommodation tips and advice are available here.
NUI Galway Students’ Union Files Case against Student Accommodation Provider
NUI Galway Students’ Union has officially filed a case against Galway student accommodation provider, Cúirt na Coiribe, through the Residential Tenancies Board. Cúirt na Coribe increased their average rates by 18% for the coming academic year – a decision that was communicated to current student residents while they were sitting their summer exams. The decision to file this case follows Eoin Ó Broin’s (Sinn Féin TD) Private Members Bill – The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents, Rights and Protections) Bill 2018 – passing in May.
Speaking on the issue today, Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh, Students’ Union President said: “Following advice from public representatives, University colleagues and our own counsel we have filed a case through the Residential Tenancies Board against Cúirt na Coiribe Galway. NUI Galway Students’ Union will represent a 2017/18 tenant of Cúirt na Coiribe who was a victim of the 18% rent increase. We hope that this case will send a strong message to other student accommodation management companies across the country that students and their families will not stand by and allow their education to be put at risk due to the ever increasing cost of accommodation imposed by these companies. NUI Galway cannot become an elitist University only accessible to those who can afford to absorb the ever rising cost of rent.”
NUI Galway Students’ Union has been engaging with housing spokespersons such as Eoin Ó Broin TD (Sinn Féin), Darragh O’Brien TD (Fianna Fáil), Minister Seán Kyne, Catherine Connolly TD and Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and will continue to fight to hold management companies to account through collaboration with all relevant officials and parties.
Pictured: NUI Galway Students taking part in the #CúirtShakedown protest in May
Students’ Unions and TDs Issue Plea to Galway Landlords
NUI Galway Students’ Union, GMIT Students’ Union and Galway West TDs are asking local landlords who rent to students to consider advertising their properties earlier in the summer to avoid the end-of-August rush for students searching for accommodation for the 2018/19 academic year. The purpose of this is to give students peace of mind over the summer months that they have secured a roof over their head for September as opposed to anxiously waiting on rental advertisements in August.
Following high-profile increases in rent rates in student accommodation in Galway City, many students are being forced to look for alternatives in the private rental market as opposed to purpose built-student accommodation. “Digs”, rooms and houses can be advertised for free at homes.usi.ie a national student specific letting website set-up by the Union of Students in Ireland to stream-line communication between landlords and students. Landlords can also advertise all types of accommodation for free on the NUI Galway accommodation website www.nuigstudentpad.ie It is worth noting that landlords can rent out rooms in their homes tax free up to a cap of €14,000 per annum.
President of NUI Galway Students’ Union Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh said “Students should not have to wait until the August rush to secure accommodation for the coming academic year. We are asking landlords to advertise their accommodation through the homes.usi.ie and www.nuigstudentpad.ie websites ASAP so that students can secure housing at the beginning of the summer rather than having to wait until the week before lectures begin. As we can see there is cross-party support to help our students achieve their academic potential. The Galway community as a whole can do more for these students who contribute so much to the local economy.”
Pictured (Left to Right): Jimmy McGovern (USI), Eamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fáil TD), Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh (NUIG SU), Minister Seán Kyne (Fine Gael), Catherine Connolly (Independent TD), Aaron Burke (GMIT SU), Noel Grealish (Independent TD), Andrew Forde (NUIG SU)
For more information, contact:
Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh
NUI Galway Students’ Union
Ph. 086 385 5502
NUI Galway Students’ Union Welcomes Private Members Bill on Student Accommodation
NUI Galway Students’ Union is today encouraging members of the Oireachtas to vote in favour of the Student Accommodation Bill before the Dáil. The amendment would give students living in student-specific accommodation, under licence, access to the Residential Tenancies Board and inclusion in the rent pressure zones. The current situation has resulted in students rents rising, in some instances, by 18% per annum.
Until this issue is legislated for, students of NUI Galway can neither budget nor plan for their future as they have no certainty regarding the level of rent that they will be paying. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Cúirt Na Coiribe, which increased its rent by 18% between 2017/18 and 2018/19 rates.
Speaking on the issue today, Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh, Students’ Union President said: “This Bill is an encouraging step by members of the Dáil to recognise and rectify the legal loophole which allows for students, some of the most financially vulnerable in Ireland, to be the ones exposed and exploited to the most insidious rent increases year on year”
“A study on the 8 main purpose built student accommodations in Galway carried out by NUI Galway Students’ Union has found that whilst student rent had remained relatively static from the period of 2009 to 2014, it has since increased by an average of 35% between 2014/15 to 2018/19.”
“At a time when the government recognises the need to protect the right to education, the lack of affordable and protected accommodation dilutes this right for those who simply can’t afford it. NUI Galway is a University comprised of students from all across the island of Ireland and the world. We cannot become an elitist University only accessible to those who can afford to absorb the ever rising cost of rent.”
For more information, contact:
Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh
NUI Galway Students’ Union
Ph. 086 385 5502
NUI Galway Students’ Union Raise €20,500 for Domestic Violence Response and AMACH!
NUI Galway Students’ Union donated €20,500 to Domestic Violence Response and AMACH! after their year of charity events. Students took part in Croagh Patrick climbs, 5k runs, cake sales, a Christmas day in November, comedy gigs, pet farm visits and collection days to raise €20,500 for charity in the process!
Students’ Union President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh said: “Despite the constant cutbacks and daily challenges we all face, students have once again done their bit to help others. NUI Galway students have a very proud tradition of raising money for charities and they have excelled themselves this year.”
Domestic Violence Response is a community led organisation responding to the issue of domestic violence in Galway County.
Elizabeth Power of Domestic Violence Response said: “NUI Galway students are making a direct positive impact on the lives of women of all ages and backgrounds in Galway City and County as our service provides a lifeline for women and children who struggle to cope with abuse in their lives.”
AMACH! is a volunteer run organisation which represents and advocates on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community in Galway city and county.
Maria Molloy, Chairperson, of AMACH! LGBT Galway said: “AMACH! LGBT Galway are delighted and honoured to have been chosen for the NUI Galway Students’ Union Charity Fund. Money raised by the students will allow the continued growth of Teach Solais, LGBT+ resource centre, a health promotion hub and social space for members of the LGBT+ and the wider community to utilise.”
Pictured left to right: Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh (NUIG SU), Andrew Forde (NUIG SU), Clare Austick (NUIG SU), Megan Reilly (NUIG SU), Elizabeth Power (Domestic Violence Response), Joanna Brophy (NUIG SU).
Photo: Eibhlín Seoighthe
€10 Summer Lockers on sale from the SU Office from 10am on Wednesday 23rd May.
Available from Wednesday 23rd May to Friday 17th August 2018.
Call to the SU Office Monday-Friday 10am-12.30pm & 2pm-4.30pm
For more information contact email@example.com
NUI Galway Summer Holiday Arrangements 2018
- The SU Office will be open Monday-Friday 10am-12.30pm & 2pm-4.30pm from Monday 21st of May. The SU Office will BE CLOSED Mon 4th June and Mon 6th Aug (Bank Holidays)
- The Student Health Unit will only see current Postgrad students from Monday 28th of May and remains an acute illness service. Opening hours during the summer: 09:30am-12:30pm & 2.30pm-4.30pm Mon-Fri. Nurse available 10am-12pm & 2.30pm-4.30pm. Closed Monday 4th June and Monday 6th August (Bank Holidays)
- The Library will be open Mon 21st May to Sun 29th July & Mon 20th Aug to Sun 2nd Sept 8.30am-5.30pm. Closed Saturdays & Sundays. Closed Mon 4th June & Mon 6th Aug (Bank Holidays). REPEAT EXAMS: Open Mon 30th July-Sun 19th Aug: Mon-Thurs 8.30am-10pm, Fri 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat 8.30am-5.30pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Closed Bank Holiday Mon 6th Aug. Detailed opening hours are available here.
- The Reading Room will be open as usual.
- Computer Suites – check availability here.
- Caife na Gaeilge is closed for the summer.
- Sult will be open 8.30am-6pm Monday-Fridays. Closed Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.
- Smokey’s Café Thursday 17th & Friday 18th May Closing at 6pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday 19th & 20th May. Starting Monday 21st May open 8.30am-5pm Monday-Friday. Closed weekends
- The SU Shop Thursday 17th May Closing at 6pm, Friday 18th May Closing at 5pm. Closed Saturday & Sunday 19th & 20th May. Starting Monday 21st May open 8.30am-4pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends
- The Wall Café from Monday 21st May summer hours will be Monday to Friday 9am-4pm. Open Saturdays 10am-1pm.
- The SU Cloakroom will close at 6pm on Fri 18th May.
- The SU Engineering desk will close at 3pm on Fri 18th May and will reopen in September.
- SUMS, The Academic Writing Centre and Computer DISC are all now closed for the summer.
Teaching begins on Monday 10th of September for all years.
The academic calendar for 2018/19 is available here.
What’s on in Galway this Summer:
Galway Theatre Festival Fri 4th – Sat 12th May 2018
Darkness Into Light 4.15am Saturday 12th May 2018
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Wednesday 16th May 2018
Gospel Rising Choir Festival Fri 18th – Sun 20th May 2018
Galway Burlesque Festival Fri 18th – Sun 20th May 2018
Galway Early Music Festival Fri 25th – Sun 27th May 2018
Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival Sat 26th – Sun 27th May 2018
Conamara Bog Week Tues 29th May – Mon 4th June 2018
West End Summer Food Festival Thurs 31st May – Mon 4th June 2018
Galway Juggling Convention Fri 1st – Mon 4th June 2018
Fives for Lives Soccer tournament in aid of Pieta House Sat 2nd June 2018
Give Blood in Galway Tues 5th, Weds 6th and Thurs 7th June 2018
Free Entry to all OPW Attractions Wednesday 6th June 2018
Galway African Film Festival Sat 9th & Sun 10th June 2018
Galway Bike Week Sat 9th – Sun 17th June 2018
Street Feast Sunday 10th June 2018
Irish Cancer Society 5k Colour Dash NUIG Sunday 10th June 2018
Galway Simon Community Dip at Dawn 4.55am-6am Thursday 21st June 2018
Seafest Fri 29th June – Sun 1st July 2018
Free Entry to all OPW Attractions Wednesday 4th July 2018
Soapbox Science Galway Sat 7th July 2018
Galway Film Fleadh Tues 10th – Sun 15th July 2018
Galway Fringe Festival Sun 15th – Sun 29th July 2018
Galway International Arts Festival Mon 16th – Sun 29th July 2018
Galway Races Horse Racing Festival Mon 30th July- Sun 5th August 2018
Free Entry to all OPW Attractions Weds 1st August 2018
Galway Pride Festival Mon 13th – Sun 19th August 2018
Streets of Galway 8km Race 7pm Sat 11th August 2018
Cruinniú na mBád Kinvara Sat 11th and Sun 12th August 2018
Galway Heritage Week Saturday 18th – Sunday 26th August 2018
Lots of these festivals and events need volunteers to help out so please give them a shout if you are available to lend a hand!
There are also lots of charitable organisations looking for volunteers to help out. Check the NUIG ALIVE Volunteering website for volunteering opportunities.
If you just can’t wait to get back to NUI Galway here’s the Semester Dates for 2018/19. Start your countdown!
UPDATE: 7th June 2018 Students’ Unions and TDs Issue Plea to Galway Landlords
UPDATE: 29th May 2018 NUI Galway Students’ Union Welcomes Private Members Bill on Student Accommodation
Friday 4th May 2018
The NUI Galway Students’ Union most strongly condemns the planned increases to Cúirt na Coiribe student accommodation rent for the academic year 2018/19. Cúirt na Coiribe has housed NUI Galway students since the year 2000 and has always provided for students who have come from outside of Galway and overseas to study here. Furthermore, they have many students who return year on year to their accommodation.
The planned rent increases of 18% means a student could be paying an additional €1,000 for a nine month / 39 week lease following a change in ownership in 2018.
Today, Cúirt na Coiribe released its priority booking to current residents by email, stating that if they want to avail of this option that it opens on Wednesday 9th May and will open to the general public on the 15th May. Detailed in this email it was advised that students take advantage of this one week notice to book their place for the coming academic year “as given the high demand currently we will book out immediately once the general public apply”. The statement is clear, if you cannot afford the 18% rent increase, you will be immediately priced out of Cúirt Na Coiribe accommodation.
What this means is that today, the student residents of Cúirt Na Coiribe have returned to their accommodation from their first week of exams. Their attention will not be on their next exam, but rather, on how they can commit to an immediate increase of €1,000 to ensure they can return to Galway, have a roof over their head and continue their studies. It is these students for whom we are greatly concerned.
We are also concerned for the potential college student about to sit the Leaving cert, who is looking at college accommodation; only to realise that it is far beyond their reach. The student who has worked a part time job to save for their deposit, only to discover that they are now not going to be able to afford their accommodation anymore. Students are one of the groups most sharply affected by the accommodation crisis, and this unprecedented increase, which comes without warning or reason, seems to be a gross attempt to take advantage of that. Over half of NUI Galway students are on a grant, we see students in our offices everyday who are struggling to stay in college for financial reasons. We cannot stand by and watch students be exploited by this increase.
We are asking for affordable accommodation for all students. This increase seems nothing short of the manipulation of students under financial pressure. It is extremely concerning that these rent increases have been announced around exam time, on a Friday evening on a bank holiday with an extremely short timespan for people to get a deposit in.
We are calling on Galway City, where students are a valued part of the community, on The National University of Galway, Ireland, where students are at the heart of everything they do, and most importantly on Cúirt Na Coiribe; to recognise the striking blow this increase represents to student residents and work with us to rectify this wrong. We also call on the Government to introduce rent caps in student accommodation in line with the consumer price index.
We welcome any opportunity to sit down with the management of Cúirt na Coiribe, to discuss these increases.
How To Get Involved in the campaign against #CúirtShakedown
- Attend our protest at 1pm on Tuesday 8th of May 2018 at Cúirt na Coiribe (meet outside the Library at 12.30pm)
- Sign the petition here
- Use #CúirtShakedown on social media to say no to the exploitation of NUI Galway Students
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to help out with the campaign
All press queries should be directed to the SU President Lorcán on email@example.com or phone 086 385 5502.
May Bank Holiday Arrangements
- The SU Office, SU Engineering Desk, Sult and the Student Health Unit will all be closed this Monday 7th of May 2018 for the Bank Holiday.
- Smokey’s Café is open 10am-6pm Saturday, Sunday & Monday
- The SU Shop is open 10am-5pm Saturday, Sunday & Monday
- The Wall Café is open 9am-3pm Saturday, 11am-3pm Sunday & Monday.
- The Library is open Saturday 8.30am-9pm, Sunday 10am-9pm & Monday 8.30am-10pm.
- The Reading Room is open as usual 7am-2.30am Saturday, Sunday & Monday
- For Computer Suite availability check here