Trinity students living in the luxury student accommodation complex, the Tramshed and the Woodworks in Point Village, have been refunded a week’s worth of rent due to ongoing construction work. Trinity News has learned that the student accommodation complex, which costs €230 per week and is run by the British company Host, was still under construction when students arrived on the move-in date September 1. The second accommodation building, The Woodworks, is still under construction past the move-in date of September 18, and is visibly uninhabitable, despite employees maintaining that students had moved in.
An entire underground floor of the complex was not built, despite signs in the building notifying residents otherwise. A number of additional advertised amenities including a cinema, music rooms, and gym facilities were also not finished in time for students to move in. No laundry facilities were available in time for the students’ arrival either. In compensation, students renting accomodation in the complex had access to a gym in a four star hotel nearby, with their laundry done free of charge.
Two residents spoke on the condition of anonymity to Trinity News on the situation. The first student explained: “Three days before the first move-in date, my friend texted me and said she had seen the building and that everything was so unfinished.
“My mom then emailed the Host manager asking if the building was completely finished and they answered ‘yes the building was all ready to go’. But when my friends moved in on Saturday – I wasn’t moving in until Monday – they told me that the kitchen wasn’t fully installed and that they had no water. Another friend in a different apartment had water so hot that she couldn’t use the shower.”
She continued: “The lack of communication from Host has been shocking, I have heard everything about completion dates from my friends. They haven’t had the courage to send an email around saying ‘yeah, we fucked up’.”
The student stated that she has been told the Woodworks will not be completed until December, with students due to move in to that block moving to the Tramshed in the meantime.
The second student stated that she was asked to sign a petition in order to receive the refund. She explains her issues: “[I was] woken up at seven every morning by drilling and construction works. Basic facilities in the kitchen don’t work such as the dishwasher. Like basic health and safety measures – the smoke alarms still had plastic on them because all the dust would’ve set them off. Staff aren’t very sympathetic. [It has] a very different feel to [Trinity] Halls, you can really tell it’s commercialised. Like in Halls, if you lost your keycard it was €2 for a new one, here it is €20.”
She continued: “They made us move into an unfinished building – paint scattered everywhere, builders at work, health and safety measures ignored and just pretended like everything was fine, finished and perfect. The accommodation barely resembles the CGI photos that fooled us all. Basically we’re all just really disappointed that we weren’t informed about the state of the accommodation, some basic communication would be appreciated.”
Speaking to Trinity News, Tatiana McNamara, a second year French and Jewish and Islamic Civilisations Studies student and resident of Tramshed said: “I was not angry at the lack of completion, it was obvious the building had excellent facilities, the majority of which were ready for use. If you’re paying ten grand, you expect it be done.” McNamara continued: “The staff were helpful and had anything that needed to be fixed, fixed immediately.”
Bennett Construction, a Westmeath based company, received the contract to build the 966-bed student accommodation complex and provided the refunds to affected students. A spokesperson for Bennett Construction was not available for comment when contacted by Trinity News.
In addition to the complex at the Point Village, Host operates across 17 cities in the UK.
An employee of the complex threatened to call Gardaí on two Trinity News reporters when asked questions, and removed them from the complex. A spokesperson for the Flynn Group, a Cork based construction company which Host is part of, did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.
The issues at the luxury student accommodation complex come as housing occupations and protests have occurred across Dublin for the past six weeks. The Take Back The City group, which includes Take Back Trinity members, is demonstrating against spiralling rental costs and the worsening homelessness epidemic.