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Your Housing Issues

housing horrors

The on-going housing crisis in Ireland has had a significant impact on third-level students. In light of this, MSU rolled out a survey as part of our 'We're All Ears' initiative to find out more about the effects it has had on the livelihood, wellbeing, and academic prospects of Maynooth students.  

This survey was carried out in August 2018 and found that over 60% of students are dissatisfied with their accommodation search to date, with just under 25% claiming to be neither satisfied or dissatisfied, leaving only 15% of students happily fulfilling their accommodation needs.

You can read the survey synopsis here: PDF LINK

38% of students part-taking in this survey reported that they have experienced discrimination during their search for accommodation. 35% also said they have experienced sub-standard living conditions. These students, when prompted by the survey, provided the following responses. We have gathered some supporting information to go along with these findings. Hopefully, we can help people in similar situations while using the findings to strengthen our position paper on student housing.

“[…] landlord used to arrive unannounced nearly 4 times a week to house […]”

“[…] my landlady would come into my room and rearrange it and my things without my permission […]”

As a tenant and rent-payer of privately rented accommodation, you have the right to schedule visits from your landlord. Your landlord should not arrive at the property unannounced.

“the landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's permission unless every attempt has been made to contact the tenant”
https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/beginning-a-tenancy/rights-and-responsibilities/

“It is important to note that in digs this is a license arrangement and the normal landlord and tenant laws do not apply only what is agreed between the parties.”
https://www.threshold.ie/advice/seeking-private-rented-accommodation/advice-for-students/

“When I was in first year I called a lady about digs and she said she didn’t take ‘international’ students. I’m Irish. I was born and raised here but obviously when she asked for my name she heard ‘Africa’.”

When looking to rent a room in digs, your tenancy rights are not the same as those when you are seeking privately rented accommodation.

However, if you are seeking privately rented accommodation, such discrimination and refusal are not acceptable.

“[…] the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of gender, civil status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and membership of the Traveller community”
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/sharing_accommodation_with_your_landlord.html

“The worst mold I’ve ever seen covered the tiny bedroom and resulted in me getting sick, my bed covers were wet from condensation in the room and when brought to my landlord’s attention he said I can move out if it’s that bad and refused to address the issue.”

When renting from private landlords, housing associations, or local authorities, there is a set of minimum physical standards which the home must meet legally.

These include, but are not limited to:

A landlord can only terminate your rent by following a set of rules and regulations, as set out by the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) here:
https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/ending-a-tenancy/sample-notices-of-termination/

“Our landlady increased the rent by 30% and wouldn't give us a reason why. She said that if we didn't approve, we would have to leave.”

A landlord can only terminate your rent by following a set of rules and regulations, as set out by the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) here:
https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/ending-a-tenancy/sample-notices-of-termination/

There are also strict termination notice periods which your landlord should abide by:
http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/renting_a_home/if_your_landlord_wants_you_to_leave.html

“The price of accommodation is making me think about dropping out of college. I’m already working two jobs to try cover it.”

The pressures of rent and finances can be overwhelming as a student, but help is available.

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/student-services/student-budgeting-advice-service

The ongoing crisis is harming the lives of students, and MSU is endeavouring to engage with this information in a productive capacity to help alleviate some of the issues at hand. We have been busy engaging and canvassing with local and national stakeholders and developing our position paper on student housing. Alongside the efforts of others such as Threshold, Irish Housing Network, Maynooth Housing Action, Housing Action Kildare, USI, Residential Tenancies Board, Dublin Central Housing Action, Take Back The City, etc. we want to garner support and demand action for affordable housing.

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