Sinn Féin spokesperson on Law Reform, Pa Daly TD, has called for strict enforcement of the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Act 2021 which came into operation on 9th July 2021, following a USI bill brought forward by Sinn Féin and 56 other opposition TDs.
Teachta Daly said:
“Much student accommodation in Ireland is now owned and operated by large international property and investment funds.
“While this may be a business model we have come to accept as standard in Ireland, the reality is that students and families are receiving a poor deal from these large operators.
“I have been told by constituents that they are trying to secure accommodation for the upcoming year in properties like Point Campus, which look safe, clean, well-run and are central to Dublin, only to be told that they must pay €10,000 upfront for the entire year before moving into the property.
“This contravenes the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Act 2021 which came into operation on 9th July 2021. This Act states that a landlord cannot ask for more than two months’ rent at one time, one month being a deposit and the other being the first month’s rent.
“Point Campus has suggested to families that they can work with their partner, Housing Hand, to pay in instalments. Housing Hand is what is known as a Property Guarantor and, while it presents an Irish website, the reality is the business is UK owned and operated. Housing Hand charges approximately €600 a year to provide this ‘service’. For decades, rent has been collected by landlords on a weekly or monthly basis. It is hard to fathom why we now need a Guarantor to facilitate the collection of rents on a monthly basis.
“Point Campus has over 900 units for rent. If each tenant has to use this guarantor, that is a very easy €540,000 that Housing Hand will collect annually from one campus alone.
“To add insult to injury here, one family was told that they needed to prove they have a college place in order to sign up with Housing Hand. Upon explaining the CAO process and the timeline of the Leaving Cert results, Housing Hand stated they had never heard of this system and could not help this person without a written college offer.
“I am calling on the Ministers for Housing and for Higher Education to ensure that the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Act is enforced immediately and that operations such as Point Campus can only collect rent on an incremental basis, without the need for a third party who is charging these families additional money that they simply do not have.”