National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway Students’ Union (SU) has filed a case against Cúirt na Coiribe after the Galway student accommodation provider increased rent rates by 18% for the upcoming academic year.
The decision by Cúirt na Coiribe to increase rates was made known to current student residents during the second week of NUI Galway’s summer exam period. The 18% increase will result in an additional €1,000 cost for students.
NUI Galway SU President Lorcán Ó Maoileannaigh spoke out on the issue today. ““Following advice from public representatives, University colleagues and our own counsel we have filed a case through the Residential Tenancies Board against Cúirt na Coiribe Galway. NUI Galway Students’ Union will represent a 2017/18 tenant of Cúirt na Coiribe who was a victim of the 18% rent increase.”
“We hope that this case will send a strong message to other student accommodation management companies across the country that students and their families will not stand by and allow their education to be put at risk due to the ever increasing cost of accommodation imposed by these companies,” continued Ó Maoileannaigh.”
“NUI Galway cannot become an elitist University only accessible to those who can afford to absorb the ever rising cost of rent.”
The case has been filed through the Residential Tenancies Board, which is responsible for resolving disputes between landlords and tenants in Ireland. The decision by NUI Galway Students’ Union to file the case comes after the Residential Tenancies (Students Rents, Rights and Protections) Bill 2018 passed in May. The Bill gives students living in licensed student accommodation “the full protections of the Residential Tenancies Acts, including access to the Residential Tenancies Board and inclusion in the rent pressure zones.”
400 NUI Galway students protested the rent increases when they were announced in May as part of the grassroots Cúirt Shakedown campaign. A petition supporting the campaign had over 5,000 signatures at the time.
Cúirt na Coiribe released a statement in May stating that “the new rent will bring Cúirt na Coiribe in line with the wider student accommodation market in Galway.”