Tuesday 25 October 2016

'It's weird to think that paying €600 for a shared room is normal'

case study

Jessica Leen (24) from Cork
Jessica Leen (24) from Cork

Those looking to rent in Dublin can face paying as much as €600 for a shared room and long, overpriced commutes into the city.

These factors came as a shock to Jessica Leen (24) when she began the hunt for a place to stay earlier this year.

"I got a place in an acting school in Dublin and started looking for accommodation to rent in early March, April and May," said the Cork native. "I had heard from people that it was quite tough."

However, Jessica only realised the true extent of the nightmare when she took to renting sites and Facebook groups to find somewhere suitable.

"For a single room it was an average of €600 and they were outside of the city. I kept going (to viewings), but it was not ideal.

"My friends who were already living in Dublin were keeping an eye on places too, but it was just so hard.

"There is a neglect on standards, for what is acceptable and what is actually OK.

"It's weird to think a €600 shared room is normal, especially in a first world situation.

"I had planned to move to Dublin regardless and have some family living up here, so my Plan B was to live with them, or friends who might have room."

A recent graduate of journalism at the University of Limerick, Jessica was previously used to campus accommodation.

This time she wanted somewhere which would feel like home and not as "plastic" as student housing. Eventually something came up.


"I was lucky because a girl I knew had a room going, so now I live with her, another friend and a student in a house in south Dublin.

"Sometimes I think, 'Imagine if I didn't know my housemates', because you want to feel safe too," she said. It now takes her less than a half-hour to travel to the city by bicycle. She generally avoids public transport because of the price.

"I think the Government should do something for transport because people are moving to places far away from the city, and it ends up being €100 a month for a Leap Card, which is ridiculous.

"I really feel bad for graduates, people who I know from college who have come up to Dublin to do internships, who are living far out and paying ridiculous costs for tiny rooms."

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