11 December, 2018 - Ministers welcome plans to bring forward legislation to provide certainty to families on student accommodation costs

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe Mc Hugh T.D. and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D today (Tuesday, 11 December) welcomed the publication of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill 2018 by Minister for Housing, planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy T.D.

The Ministers confirmed the intention to outline amendments to the legislation to include rent predictability measures for students living in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) under licence agreements, and in PBSA let by a public authority, for the first time. 

This forms part of a series of continued measures to clarify and support the objectives as outlined in the Government’s Strategy for the Rental Sector and the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.

“I am acutely aware that increasing rents can add to the pressures on students, particularly students from a rural background who have to move away from home to go to college. We hope this new legislation will offer more certainty,” Minister McHugh said. 

Minister Mitchell O’Connor T.D. said: “The cost of student housing is one of the most significant pressures facing students and their families, and it is vital that as much certainty as possible is provided to them at the earliest stage of planning for college.

“I welcome this progression of proposals to deliver rent predictability for students and their parents availing of purpose-built student accommodation. I have been working very closely with my officials and the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Eoghan Murphy T.D. to ensure that progress is made as a matter of priority on the regulation of the price charged for student accommodation. 

“It is intended that the legislation published today will have amendments brought forward by government at committee/report stage to progress the issue of regulating rent increases in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA).

“It is vital that these amendments are progressed so that these provisions are in effect before the start of the next academic year.”

The Department of Education and Skills will continue to assist the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government, to finalise proposed amendments to ensure that students residing in PBSA are not excluded from the rent moderation procedures applicable to the wider rented sector.