College Life editor Laura Smith looks at the all too common scene of the landlord living the highlife while the student is scraping by.
If you’re a landlord in the 21st century, you are most certainly laughing all the way to the bank. Yes, rising rents across student cities continue but what exactly is in it for the students? People tell you education is the passport to life, yet with increases in rent and accommodation, it’s made a financial struggle for both students and their families.
 
Do landlords take advantage of students? My answer is yes. Some of the onsite accommodation apartments for students rose by 38 % in just one year. Is that a fair system? The power the landlords have is a lot and their power certainly shouldn’t be strengthening in my opinion.
 
In my experience of ringing up landlords, they intend to milk the system. Landlords will want to charge you anything just for a bed to sleep in and some facilities such as a kitchen and bathrooms where you're not able to swing a cat in. My motto is; would they put up living with what some students rent?
 
This discussion of landlords taking advantage of students is always a hot topic among my friends in college. Some would say the heating never works, the house is always cold, the landlord ignores what needs to be fixed in the house. We compare our living conditions and see who has the last laugh but to our surprise, we aren’t laughing. Originally when I got my CAO course the next big task was accommodation (oh how they didn’t teach you in school how hard it was to find).
 
I found when contacting some landlords, they ask the basic question of whether you are a student? My answer would be “yes” and their attitude would soon change to ‘Oh apologies we don’t rent to students’; that was the end of that conversation. Other landlords would overcharge you for renting from them. I am lucky that I never really had to rent from stubborn landlords, I was lucky in the sense of my renting wasn’t a complete nightmare.
 
Back in August 2016, student rents rose on all seven university campuses. Over the last three years, prices have increased by 37% on average across all five UCD residences. When the rent rises in Dublin, other popular college accommodation and areas rise across the country, making it a joy for all landlords.
 
Students and families feel the pinch when splashing the cash for accommodation. This then results in more students commuting from far away, with some getting up at 5am to get a train, luas and then bus out to college in the Dublin region, all to make a nine o’clock lecture. Remember, this is all done so students can have a better future for themselves. But how is this making a better future for students with rents continuing to rise?
 
The cost of renting a home in Ireland could increase by as much as 25% over the next two years because of a shortage of supply and the difficulties people have buying property. It has been warned this also will have a knock-on effect for students.
 
Landlords know the story with students and know that some students have no choice but to flee the nest and rent. Landlords take full advantage of students basically because they are students. Lashing out fines and taking deposits- it’s all in a day’s work for a landlord.
 
Now, not all landlords are bad. The media portray the image of all landlords rising the rents. It generally is up to the landlord themselves on what rent to charge and how they want their house to be kept but the issue of landlords taking advantage of students will always be something majority of students, including myself, will agree on.