Rents for student residences across Ireland have increased by €1,000 on average this year.
Trinity Student Union’s Accommodation Services are under increased pressure from students who have been unable to find accommodation as a result of the increased rental costs. They have calculated that the demand for the service has risen by 50% in 2016. This, along with shortages in housing, have caused city centre rent rates to rise by more than 15% this year.
Rooms in Front Square, Botany Bay and New Square are experiencing the biggest hikes with a 12.4% increase. These are rated the highest-quality rooms in Trinity and students will pay a top rate of €6588.22 this year, compared to €5863.34 in 2015/16. ‘Standard rated rooms’ or Rubrics has risen by 3.8% to €4940.25 compared to €4757.03 in 2015/16. Other room options to increase include Pearse Street by 5.2% to €5480.42, and Goldsmith Hall by 2.7% to €6019.95. Newcomers to Trinity arriving in Cunningham House, part of Trinity Hall, will pay 3.4% extra and the apartment blocks have also risen by 3% for a single room and 3.2% added onto twin bedrooms.
On-campus accommodation offers for the 480 places available were also delayed by just over a month, causing further disruption to students who then had to look for alternative rentals from June onwards. Moreover the campus lease ends during the final exam period finishing on 13th May 2017 when exams officially end on the 27th. Students needing to stay on will have to apply for ‘extra stay’ and pay additional costs of €25 per night.
Campus has justified theses rate increases to subsidise their new lease of the Binary Hub. This is a student residence located in the Liberties run by a UK based private accommodation service, The Student Housing Group. All rooms in the Binary Hub for the next lease period are already sold out and The Student Housing Group is also constructing a second student accommodation site off Dorset Street with a planned 447 rooms.
Other Dublin colleges are increasing their rents to students. DCU’s accommodation has jumped up by €401-496 in 2016/17. Residents in UCD’s Ashfield complex will pay €7708 for their nine-month lease, not including utilities. UCD’s most expensive room rate stands at €10,480 also not including utilities.
Outside of Dublin there have been similar changes. Galway has raised annual accommodation fees by €90-120 depending on room options, but NUI Maynooth is raising its fees by €760 to its top rooms.
First years, postgraduate or international students securing places in Trinity Hall were announced late last month. Unsuccessful applicants were left with few accommodation options three weeks before the start of term.
The government’s recent rejection of Trinity’s Oísin House has also added to the increasing pressure on the rental market. Oísin House was set to contain 278 beds for students on Pearse Street with College planning to invest €36m for the demolition and redevelopment of this complex. However, Dublin City Council rejected Trinity’s application because the Council raised concerns for the architectural conservation in the area surrounding Oísin House.