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 2017/18 academic year. Housing for students has been an issue in the past and NUI Galway Students’ Union urges students to be careful 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 then needs of all tenants.
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 Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh 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 nine months so make sure you have all the necessities before making any commitments. Students still seeking accommodation should check www.nuigstudentpad.ie/Accommodation”
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.
GMIT and NUI Galway Students’ Union Reject ‘Not In My Backyard’ Attitude To Student Accommodation From Galway ResidentsNews & Events
GMIT and NUI Galway Students’ Union Reject ‘Not In My Backyard’ Attitude To Student Accommodation From Galway Residents
GMIT Students’ Union and NUI Galway Students’ Union today reject local resident and councillors opposition to the development of high end student accommodation in Galway. The resistance comes as plans to replace the Westwood Hotel with 400 beds for students have been met with heated opposition from 200 Newcastle and Dangan residents with support from local councillors.
GMIT Students’ Union Mark O’Brien stated, “The language used by residents that there shouldn’t be student accommodation in ‘our estates’ is a classic example of Not In My Backyard. Students have proven themselves to be valuable assets to any local community, and contribute to the local economy everyday. We feel that councillors jumping in on this discriminatory blockade should have heard all sides of the story first. We have an accommodation crisis spreading through families, students and other groups with rents going through the roof. This number of beds will alleviate the pressure from the 20,000 students in GMIT and NUI Galway scrambling for somewhere to sleep.”
NUI Galway Students’ Union President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh went on to say, “A few years ago redevelopment and increasing capacity of Trinity Hall in Rathgar was met with resistance of the local community protesting against over-concentration of students in that area. Today, the Hall that accommodates 1,000 students is well integrated into community and offers student housing in a convenient location. Diverse and well-balanced local communities have a great potential for regeneration, civic activities and engagement.”
President of the Union of Students in Ireland, Michael Kerrigan, commented, “With the integrated national approach to student accommodation reflected in regional policies, we believe that both the Council and An Bord Pleanála have been equipped with tools to ensure balanced development of the communities and take a strategic approach to spatial distribution and concentration of particular social groups, particularly students, who are particularly vulnerable group facing the housing crisis.”
The National Student Accommodation Strategy published in July identifies the importance of providing dedicated and additional student accommodation to avoid putting additional pressures on the private rental sector, particularly in and around the many universities and third-level institutions in urban areas, and puts actions in place to end the shortage. The Union of Students in Ireland have indicated concern with pockets of residents looking to prevent student accommodation being constructed in local areas, and urge residents to be mindful of damaging stereotypes of students.