Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that is it disappointing that Minister for Housing appears not to have addressed the student accommodation loophole in his upcoming Residential Tenancies Bill.
The loophole allows landlords to charge more than a month’s rent and deposit.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Earlier this year and on foot of a successful USI Student Rents Bill support by Sinn Féin, Minister O’Brien brought forward legislation outlawing the charging more than a month’s rent and a month’s deposit at the start of a new tenancy.
“However there was a loophole in the legislation that provided an exemption from this rule for certain types of student accommodation.
“At the time Minister O’Brien said that this was because his officials did not have time to prepare a more detailed resolution of this issue and that he would close the loophole in new legislation in the autumn.
“Yesterday Minister O’Brien announced the new Residential Tenancies Bill to be published in the coming weeks. However on the basis of his press release, there is no commitment to close the loophole so that no student can be charged than one month’s rent and a month’s deposit for student accommodation.
“If this measure is to be in the Bill the Minister should clarify this urgently.
“If it isn’t then he should make a commitment to bring forward amendments at Report stage to close this loophole. If he doesn’t do this then Sinn Féin will.
“Minister O Brien’s comments out in UCD yesterday on the sky-high rents for student accommodation at UCD are hard to fathom.
“Rising accommodation costs are a significant barrier to students accessing further education and this is not just confined to Dublin.
“The government should be doing more to ensure that the new stream of purpose built student accommodation coming online is affordable for ordinary people.
“In the meantime, he should close the loophole that allows students to be changed more than one month rents and more than one month’s deposit.”