Galway landlords urged to provide students with refunds

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The Students’ Union at NUIG has called on landlords and student accommodation providers to give refunds to students who no longer need to be in Galway after learning moved online.

So far, the University managed Corrib Village and Goldcrest developments along with the privately run Menlo Park apartments have agreed to offer refunds to students not taking up their accommodation offers.

In a joint letter written by the NUI Galway President and the Students’ Union President this week to accommodation providers, there was a call to show ‘care and compassion to students during the COVID-19 emergency’.

The letter also recognised that property owners are also facing a “stressful and difficult economic time” but that there’s a need to work together to create an impression of Galway as a destination for study.

“With the announcement that most teaching will be online for the current semester at NUI Galway a lot of our students have found themselves with accommodation they no longer need and can’t afford,” said Students’ Union President Pádraic Toomey.

“This is adding extra financial pressures to students and their families at a stressful time of huge uncertainty.

“We are calling on all accommodation providers in Galway to talk to their tenants and look at how they can be flexible in their rental agreements.”

Students’ Union Welfare and Equality Officer Róisín Nic Lochlainn said that she hopes that other student accommodation providers and landlords in Galway will follow in the footsteps of Campus Living and Menlo Park and provide refunds to students who no longer need accommodation.

“I’ve met with representatives from most of the large student accommodation developments to try to impress upon them the need for compassion this year so that students can afford to rent in Galway in future years,” said Róisín Nic Lochlainn.