Fianna Fáil’s new Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien TD has said students are being faced with an impossible dilemma for the forthcoming academic year as a result of substantial increases in the cost of some student accommodation near Dublin City University on the North side of the city.

One such example is the proposal to impose a rent increase in excess of 25% for students residing at Shanowen Square, Santry.

O’Brien commented, “Students living in this complex in one room units with shared living spaces will next September be forced to fork out over €9,000 for a nine month period – 50% more than the same accommodation cost in the 2013/2014 academic year and almost 30% more than at present.

“If private landlords or property owners in the greater DCU area believe that they can introduce these increases then it is another sure indication that the rental market in Dublin has spiralled out of control.

“What’s more, it will only continue to worsen if the volume of new student accommodation that has come on stream in recent months in the Capital is allowed remain exempt from Government rent controls.

“As my party colleague Cllr Paul McAuliffe has recently said, all student accommodation should be brought in under the Government’s Rent Pressure Zone regulations as a matter or priority. The Residential Tenancies Board should also extend its protections to all student renters.

“Some of the students affected and who will require accommodation near the University from September will be heading into the final year of their respective studies either under incredible pressure to budget financially or in massive debt to meet these rental costs to graduate.

“The Government cannot continue to leave dedicated student accommodation outside these rent controls and expose students and their families to even greater financial hardship.

He concluded, “The solution here is quite simple; Minister Murphy must introduce amendments to ensure that student accommodation such as Shanowen Square are deemed ‘under license’ so that a tenant is treated in the very same manner as in any other regular lease and tenancy.”