Written answers

Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Department of Education and Skills

Student Accommodation

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour)
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2. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the introduction of mandatory 51-week leases by private student accommodation providers; the actions he intends to take on these leases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9077/24]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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I have been working with Minister O’Brien on this matter and I really want to thank him for his continued support. We both agree the actions of these providers is unacceptable. While it may suit some specific third level students, it is not desirable or affordable for the majority of the student population and we intend to take a number of actions to mitigate this barrier to accessing higher education.

I will be writing to Dublin City Council and other relevant local authorities seeking an urgent assessment to ascertain if providers are operating in compliance with specific planning permissions for the developments.

Minister O'Brien and I are examining legislative amendments to ensure contracts are prioritised for students in the academic year under the Residential Tenancies Act.

I also encourage students to contact providers directly to ascertain the availability of accommodation for the academic year. Under the Residential Tenancies Act (2016) landlords cannot ask anyone to pay more than the equivalent of two months’ rent to secure a tenancy.

I ask students to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of their lease agreements before entering into same. Student accommodation is within the remit of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). The RTB provides a confidential dispute resolution service. A student can contact the RTB with complaints or disputes regarding their accommodation.


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