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Tuesday, 27th April 2021

Byrne calls for cross-party support for USI bill to protect student renters

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Deputy Imelda Munster and Councillor Joanna Byrne.

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne has urged cross-party support for calls by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) for greater protections for student renters. 

Speaking today in advance of The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents and Other Protections) (Covid-19) Bill 2021, drafted by the USI alongside Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin and spokesperson on Higher Education Rose Conway-Walsh which is being brought before the Dáil by Sinn Féin tomorrow, Cllr Byrne said:

“The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents and Other Protections) (Covid-19) Bill will provide greatly improved protections for student renters and their parents. 

“Many students renting student accommodation currently pay a term in advance, which usually runs from September to May, and can cost from on average €5,000 - €9,000 per year.

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“This is a huge outlay for many families, especially middle-income households who cannot access SUSI grants. The bill would also prevent providers of student specific accommodation from charging more than one month’s rent in advance." 

“My party colleague Deputy Imelda Munster is proudly supporting this bill and she is highlighting too that the bill also addresses concerns raised by the USI about students and their parents not being able to access refunds when they had to leave, or could not take up, student accommodation due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“In the past year, many students have found themselves unable to access their accommodation due to public health measures, and were denied rent refunds for unused accommodation. This bill allows for prompt refunds in such instances.

"Louth is a constituency with 6,000+ 3rd level students, 1,000 of which utilise DIFE here in Drogheda, they all need our National representatives to stand up for them now when it counts. 

“This bill has been signed by 56 opposition TD's. I am now calling on all our other local TD'S to support this bill too to provide students, and their parents, the protections they require. It's time to end the rip-off of student renters." 

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