Students are facing increasing pressure as rents continue to rise and landlords are increasingly demanding 12-month leases. This has brought back the popularity of “digs,” where students stay in other people’s homes.

The Pressure

Students are facing increasing pressure in finding college homes, as rents continue to rise and landlords are increasingly demanding 12-month leases. Accommodation costs have reportedly been going up in nearly every student base in the country- for both privately rented and on-campus housing. The highest housing prices are in Maynooth, Galway and Dublin.

Accommodation shortages has also made the market “a landlord’s market,” meaning landlords now have quite the upper hand in demanding high rents and 12-month leases, knowing that students are stuck.

The advice currently being given to students who are trying to find housing is that  they should begin their search early- preferably now- rather than wait until the end of summer. The earlier students book housing, the more likely they are to find a place that suits their preferences, and the cheaper they will definitely be.

This pressure has also caused a growing interest in “digs” where students pay to live in other people’s homes, and also in traditional “homestays,” where students remain living with their parents for college. When “€14,000-per-year tax-free” was allowed for homeowners who rent a room, this further encouraged this sort of housing arrangement for students.

Comments On The Issue

Dublin’s Institute of Technology’s Campus Life director, Brian Gormley, who takes a survey every year to look into living costs of students, said that rents now “exceed boom prices during the boom”. “Contributing to this is a shortage of rental accommodation, with Daft.ie reporting in 2016 that only 3,100 properties were available to rent nationwide – the joint-lowest level ever.”

He says the average rent per month for Dublin students is about €508. However, he pointed out that this can vary- from under €300, for shared rooms, all the way to €1,600 plus, for Dublin 2 one-bedroom apartments.

“On the positive side, there are signs more supply is coming on stream, particularly in Dublin, but this is not yet sufficient to slow the increase in rents,” he said.

Several institutions are working on building new housing arrangements, and several new apartment buildings are also on the rise in each of those regions.

A spokesman for UL said that on-campus rents had “increased slightly to facilitate the ongoing refurbishment of over 1,000 rooms as well as automatic gym membership for all residents”.

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