RENT PROTECTIONS NEEDED FOR DEDICATED STUDENT ACCOMMODATION – Brendan Smith TD

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I was glad to meet up with students from DCU who were protesting in relation to totally unacceptable increases in dedicated student accommodation.

Exorbitant increases in student accommodation are not acceptable and the Government must act through the rent pressure zone regulations and also through the Residential Tenancies Board.

There are huge burdens on families and students with day-to-day costs and totally unjustified rent increases cannot be tolerated.

Below is a reply by the Housing Minister to my Parliamentary Question on this important issue.

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For Written Answer on : 17/04/2018 

Question Number(s): 1491,1556,1579 Question Reference(s): 15694/18, 15735/18, 15984/18 

Department: Housing, Planning and Local Government 

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QUESTION

 * To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the protections he will introduce for students reliant on affordable accommodation making specific reference to a case (details supplied).

– Brendan Ryan T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 17 April, 2018.

* To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the recent 27% year-on-year increase in rent at a student residence (details supplied) in a rent pressure zone, bringing total rent per annum to €8,695; and his plans to ensure that rent caps of 4% per annum apply to purpose built or contracted student accommodation.

– Clare Daly T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 17 April, 2018. 

* To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government his plans to ensure that dedicated student accommodation is not exempt from rent pressure zone regulations; if such accommodation will be subject to the work of the Residential Tenancies Board; and if he will make a statement on the matter. 

– Brendan Smith T.D. 

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 17 April, 2018.

REPLY

Rent Pressure Zones have their legal basis under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended.  This legislation regulates the landlord-tenant relationship in the private rented residential sector.  Pursuant to section 3(1), this Act applies to every dwelling that is the subject of a tenancy. The provisions of the Act, including those provisions providing for the rent pressure zone measure, does not apply where the dwelling is occupied by a person under an arrangement which is not a tenancy.

 Licensing arrangements such as those that apply to some types of student accommodation are not covered by the legislative protections of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, because they are not deemed to be tenancies for the purposes of the Act.  Consequently, the restrictions on rental increases in Rent Pressure Zones, provided for in the Residential Tenancies Act, do not therefore apply to accommodation types that are not normally subject to tenancies.

However, if there is any doubt as to the type of arrangement in place, whether it is a tenancy or licence, the matter should be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) for a determination.

 I understand that the Department of Education and Skills (DES) are to examine the case for inclusion of purpose-built student accommodation within the Rent Pressure Zone legislation, including through the forum of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Student Accommodation which is convened by DES.

 

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