A picture of one of the rooms in the Castletroy house PICTURE: Spotmycrib.ie
IN A WEEK which saw thousands of students flock to Limerick for the start of the new academic year, a landlord has charged a number of students €5.5k each up-front for privately rented accommodation near UL campus.
When broken down, the price of rent for said students is over €800 a month for a room with an en-suite bathroom - almost double the average price in the area for privately rented rooms.
The landlord, who owns two properties in the vicinity of the university, claims he charges the rates in accordance with UL’s on-campus accommodation rates.
The landlord also states that “substantial damage” to his properties has resulted in him charging the rates, which are almost double that of the equivalent homes in the area.
“Go to College Court and see the damage that students do there, they’re partying on the roof and tell me what insurance company would reinsure any house in there,” the landlord said when approached about the highly-priced rent on his property.
One of the properties is a five-bedroom house in College Court, where a bedroom with en-suite will cost tenants €7.5k for the academic year - totaling €830 per month.
A single room in the house will cost students €6,500 for the same time period.
According to the property advertisement, the rent is payable in three installments: €5,500 immediately (or €4,500 for a single room), followed by €1,500 in November 2019 and the remaining €1,000 in February 2020.
Included in the payments is a €500 damage deposit, with utilities included in rent with fair usage of up to €1,800.
In the advertisement, the landlord says: “the fee will be collected in three installments as described above and is similar to UL on campus policy and pricing.”
The BER C2 certified property, which was viewed over 11,000 times online, provides parking, central heating, cable television, washing machine, dryer, internet and a garden, patio and balcony.
Similar houses in the same estate as the property listed sell within the region of €179k - €200k.
The average rental price for a bedroom within the UL area is around €420 per month, with the equivalent (four to eight bedrooms) UL on-campus accommodation priced between €4,7k and €6.1k, with a deposit required of €350.
UL student accommodation requires full pre-payment of one semester’s (four months) rent in advance and includes a utility deposit, high-speed internet connection, TV license, full access to UL Sport gym & swimming pool, weekly refuse collection, full inventory, professional maintenance service, and regular security patrols.
University of Limerick’s Student Life welfare officer, Serena Hare said: "I would advise students to firstly ensure that they view the accommodation that is being advertised, to read the terms and conditions of the lease before signing the contract or paying a deposit.
“Finally, I would make sure that all correspondence with the landlord is kept. It is important that students understand their rights as tenants so they do not get taken advantage of by landlords.”