The Government should ensure that student accommodation is included in so-called rent pressure zones.
The call comes from Labour Party Education spokesperson, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.
Speaking last night, Senator Ó Ríordáin told us: “Today, while the Cabinet approved legislative proposals to strengthen the Residential Tenancies Board, hundreds of students were protesting accommodation hikes in DCU outside the Dáil"
The latest rent increases by private student accommodation providers will see privately-owned DCU student accommodation fees rise to over €10,000 for nine months.
“That is an extortionate amount for students and their families from outside of Dublin to have to pay to secure a safe, suitable home for their time in college," he points out.
"These private student housing providers are manipulating students and especially their parents who want to ensure that their children are in good quality accommodation in Dublin.
“Yesterday, the Minister for Education was trumpeting the fact that targets on provision of student accommodation have been met. It’s not much use if those units are too expensive for students to afford."
At present, these student accommodation units are exempt from rent pressure zone regulations and are beyond the scope of the RTB as they are deemed to be ‘under license’ rather than leased to the renter.
He added: “I fully support the views of DCU Students’ Union, who are resisting their fellow students as being seen as cash cows.
“These student accommodation providers cannot shirk their responsibilities to the students and the wider community of the Northside of Dublin.”