NUI Galway Students’ Union condemns unprecedented rent increases in Student Accommodation
NUI Galway Students’ Union has publicly called out the Menlo Park Apartment complex for the rent increases it has come out with this week. The apartments, located on the Headford Road and privately owned, accommodate about 140 NUI Galway students every year. Prices have been rising steadily year on year, but the increase this year have seen the price of a single en-suite room rise by €1,390 compared to last year’s prices, which is an increase of 20%.
Megan Reilly, President of the Students’ Union, said: “It is beyond frustrating that a year after our efforts protesting the accommodation price rise in Cúirt na Coiribe, we are facing yet another such increase in one of our accommodation providers. These kind of rent increases not captured by the Residential Tenancies Act exploit students in a time of an accommodation crisis, and they must not go unchallenged.”
Last year a commitment was made by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government that the Government would move to introduce legislation that would extend the 4% rent cap rule to purpose built student accommodation, but nothing has come of this yet. According to the Residential Tenancies Board, Rent Pressure Zones are designated areas where rent can only be increased by up to 4% a year. Located in parts of the country where rents are highest and rising, they are intended to moderate the rise in rents in these areas and create a stable and sustainable rental market.
Megan added: “The failure of the Government to act on this matter means unregulated rent increases in Student Accommodation continue to happen, while the private housing surrounding these areas is bound by the 4% rule. Soaring Accommodation prices continue to be one of the biggest barriers to securing a Third Level education, with parents now being faced with paying the increase, or students having to work extra hours to afford to live in Galway.”