MInister Darragh O'Brien with Aidan Doyle, LCCC; Deputy Willie O'Dea, Senator Maria Byrne, Dr Pat Daly and Caroline Curley, both of Limerick City and County Council | PICTURE: Keith Wiseman
THE Minister for Housing has rejected suggestions that landlords are pulling out of providing accommodation to students due to alleged instances of anti-social behaviour.
On a visit to the city, Darragh O’Brien pointed to the low number of landlord-tenant disputes, and where problems do occur, he feels it’s “very unfair” to link that to students.
It comes after this newspaper highlighted a surge in demand for student accommodation units.
Suggestions were made it had spiked 30% since 2016, while the supply of property has fallen.
“I don’t believe there should be a distinction between a tenant and a student who is a tenant. Where real anti-social behaviour happens, I wouldn't categorise that to students, I think that's a very unfair thing to do. Across society, there will always be a couple of people who cause difficulties, whether they are students, whether they are whatever their background.”
He said if any student feels they are being discriminated against, they can make a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board.
In legislation presented just before the Dail recess, Mr O'Brien announced it would be illegal for a landlord to collect more than a month’s rent as a deposit, something Mr Mehl says is another reason landlords are stepping away from student supply.
“It's a significant change in protecting students. I think the vast majority of landlords understand it. We have over 300,000 tenancies in this country. Less than 2% of them end in any kind of dispute at all,” he added.
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