As students prepare for the start of the new college year, it has emerged that they will have to pay more for campus accommodation.

College

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A survey for the Irish Independent has found rents at every college in the country have increased.

Compared to last year, the cost of staying at University College Cork has risen the most and management are blaming the 11.5% increase on refurbishment works. Roebuck Castle at UCD is the most expensive student accommodation, costing more than €11,500.

Students are also being warned that the price of accommodation is likely to rise further.

Lorna Fitzpatrick from the Union of Students in Ireland suspects colleges are using rents to make up for a shortfall in funding and she is not surprised by the timing of the hikes:

“The universities have done this to try and fill a gap that has been left by the lack of government action in terms of a sustainable funding model for higher education.

“These increases came just ahead of the introduction of the four per cent rent caps for purpose-built student accommodation so universities were trying to increase the rent before they come into play from next week onwards. 

“This is placing a significant financial pressure on students and their families.”

Meanwhile students have been warned to watch out for scams when they are searching for a place to live.

Gardaí say there are a number of steps that can be taken, including only dealing with established bona-fide rental agencies, and always meeting a prospective landlord in person.