Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin TD, together with Education spokesperson Kathleen Funchion TD, has today introduced a Bill that will give students living in student specific accommodation under license the full protection of the Residential Tenancies Acts.
The Residential Tenancies (student rents, rights and protections) Bill 2018 also ensures that students in student specific accommodation under license agreements are included under the rent pressure zone legislation and have access to the dispute resolution process under the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“We are introducing this bill to rectify what we believe to be an anomaly in the current legislation.
“Currently students living in student specific accommodation under license agreements may not be covered by the tenant protection measures within the Residential Tenancies Acts.
“The DCU students protesting at the 27% rent hikes in the Shanowen student specific accommodation brought this issue to the fore.
“Since 2014 the reported cost of accommodation for the student term in Shanowen has increased from around €4,500 to nearly €9,000 for next term.
“Students are currently paying €7,000 and when we met the students from DCU student’s union they stated that the rent has increased six times in four years and that they also have to pay ‘non-refundable’ deposits.
“This legislation if passed would mean that student accommodation providers would have to adhere to the rent pressure zone legislation.
“The Bill would also ensure that tenants have access to the RTB dispute resolution process in cases such as deposit retention and maintenance issues.
“It is still not clear if student license agreements are covered by current RTB legislation.
“I would urge any students in student specific accommodation facing these rent increases to bring a case to the RTB so the law can be clarified.
“In the meantime our Bill seeks to make it clear in legislation that students in student specific accommodation under license agreements can avail of the full protections offered by the Residential Tenancies Acts.
“We aim to bring forward this Bill during Private Members Time and given the huge level of support for the DCU students protesting about this issue we hope the Bill receives cross party support when it is debated at second stage. “