Over half of student residents in the LIV student accommodation building have been impacted by an “administrative incident” which has led to more than a 10% increase in rents.
53% of residents, who signed contracts in September for rooms listed to cost €270, have been impacted by an error in the rent charged for shared rooms. According to the building’s management, the price quoted on the contract was for single occupancy rather than for shared rooms.
Residents have been notified that their rent will be increased by 11% or 13.9% depending on the type of room, bringing the weekly cost of rent to between €150.62 and €153.75 for those impacted.
To correct the error, rent has been increased by €18.75 and €15.62 per person, per week for rooms with bunk beds and shared beds respectively. The new rent price is expected to come into effect from next month’s payment.
General manager of LIV accommodation in Dublin, Simon Pollard, said that the mistake was discovered on September 20 when it was noticed that some rooms occupied by two people were being charged at a single occupancy rate, with only one signature on each of the lease agreements.
Pollard stated: “After discussions and realising the obvious misunderstanding that had occurred between the students and the member of staff involved it was decided to arrive at a fair and balanced compromise that was then put to all the students involved.”
The new rent cost “reflects a considerable saving on the published rate for the affected students”, according to Pollard.
LIV, a luxury student accommodation provider, originally appeared in the Pavilion Bar’s (the Pav) Freshers’ Week lineup, sparking criticism from students.
The Pav, which is owned by the Dublin University Central Athletics Club (DUCAC), announced it would host student accommodation providers LIV and Aparto for five hours each during Freshers’ Week, both of which offer accommodation to students at rents surpassing €1,000 a month.
Trinity People Before Profit (PBP) criticised the Pav on social media, stating that “no student-run body should do business with corporations like Liv or Aparto. With the college administration putting up opposition to rent caps for student tenants and raising on campus accommodation prices by 6.2% this year, an ever-worsening housing crisis and an increasingly precarious student body, DUCAC should flat out refuse to work with companies that are profiting off our misery,” the statement continued.
The Pav later revised its lineup and excluded LIV and Aparto from its events during Freshers’ Week.
According to its website, rent costs in LIV’s Dublin location start at €195 per week for a twin room with an en-suite and rise to €299 per week for its “Platinum En-suite” option, with intermediate prices in between.
The price of accommodation has been a rising cause of concern for students in recent years, with Trinity student marching with thousands of others in the Raise the Roof protest in May to demand affordable student accommodation.
In October, the Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) launched its new Break the Barriers campaign, which seeks to bring attention to barriers to higher education in Ireland, including the high cost of rent.