Four Dublin colleges have confirmed that they will be increasing their rent for the 2014/2015 academic year. Trinity College, UCD, DCU and Griffith College all provide on-campus accommodation and have said that their new fees are in keeping with current private rental sector in the city.
The cost of renting accommodation in UCD will increase by nearly 13%. Where before, a year’s rent in one of the on-campus Belgrove apartments would have cost €4,470, it will now be €5,050 and in Roebuck Hill, also an on-campus residence, there will be an increase in rent from €5,540 to €6,260 per annum.
A UCD spokesman has said that fees had remained almost the same for the past four years, with an increase of 2% every year since 2012. The university said that an estate agent was commissioned to give them a report on the current rental market in order to help them find a suitable rent.
Griffith College Dublin has announced an increase 9% for their accommodation fees. The college said that the increase was essential in order for the college to cover the rising costs of running their accommodation, which is not exclusively for their own students but for students in any college in Dublin.
A spokeswoman for the college said that the college found it necessary to increase the rent for Griffith Halls of Residence due to the Government withdrawing previous tax incentives, which had been the basis on which the accommodation was built. The college also stated that they undertook research in the Dublin rental market and decided on an average weekly increase of €12. The fee includes rent, services and utilities, student councillor services, security staff, parking and access to facilities on campus such as the library and the gym.
Trinity College announced an expected increase of 4% in their rental fees and said that the rise will be in context with the general private rental costs of Dublin. DCU have also announced a rise of 3%, the first rise in prices in seven years. DCU’s on-campus postgraduate accommodation, as well as residences in College Park and Hampstead will see a 3% rise, while fees in Larkfield, will remain the same. DCU stated that the increase was necessary to facilitate refurbishment.
The rising cost of rents and the cuts to student grants is not a good combination and Joe O’Connor, President of the Union of Students Ireland, said that the increases coupled with the lack of options in the rental market is a nightmare for students. Mr. O’Connor also said that the students from outside of Dublin opting to commute due to the high cost of rent will suffer the most.
Mr. O’Connor said the union had to speak to the Department of Housing last year and that properties under Nama were suggested to help supply the demand. He also said that government intervention may be necessary to deal with the situation.
Author: Fiona McBennett