Students’ Union condemns “unprecedented” €1,390 rent hike at student accommodation

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The Students’ Union at NUI Galway has condemned an “unprecedented” increase in rent at Student Accommodation at Menlo Park Apartments in Galway city.

Students applying for student accommodation at Menlo Park Apartments for the year 2019/2020 will pay €1,390 more for a single room with an ensuite than last year according to the application packs from Menlo.

That’s 25 percent more than what students were paying for the same room last year.

The cost of other rooms at Menlo have also gone up dramatically for 2019/2020.

A twin room is €730 more than it was in 2018, and a double room has gone up by more than €1,400.

This is an even greater increase than that introduced at Cúirt na Coiribe last year which attracted widespread condemnation and protests by the Students’ Union.

Megan Reilly, President of the Students’ Union at NUI Galway said, “It is beyond frustrating that a year after our efforts protesting the accommodation price rise in Cúirt na Coiribe, we are facing yet another such increase in one of our accommodation providers.

“These kind of rent increases not captured by the Residential Tenancies Act exploit students in a time of an accommodation crisis, and they must not go unchallenged.”

The rent increase becomes more pronounced when calculated without taking into account the student deposit.

Next year students staying at Menlo Park Apartments will pay a €900 deposit that is broken down into thirds.

One third is the refundable security deposit, one third covers electricity, and the remaining third covers bins and utilities.

This deposit has only increased marginally from €875 for the year 2018/2019.

When looking at the prices for Accommodation Only given by Menlo Park Apartments, the average cost has increased by 18 – 30 percent this year depending on the room type.

Last July the government proposed that it would introduce legislation to extend rent caps to private student accommodation, which are exempt from the 4% rule, but nothing has come of that yet.

Galway is a designated Rent Pressure Zone where private landlords are only legally permitted to raise rents by 4% a year to try and create a stable rental market.

The failure of the government to advance last year’s proposals means that rent increases at student accommodation continue to go unregulated Megan Reilly said.

“Soaring Accommodation prices continue to be one of the biggest barriers to securing a Third Level education, with parents now being faced with paying the increase, or students having to work extra hours to afford to live in Galway.”