Monday 22 January 2018

Students booking into hostels as accommodation crisis bites

Students looking for a place to stay must beware scams
Students looking for a place to stay must beware scams

Students desperate for university accommodation are booking into hostels for long-term stays.

Hostels in Dublin and Galway have revealed that the number of students using their services has increased significantly.

Isaacs Hostel in Dublin said they are seeing an increase in students staying.

"We always get a few but it's increasing this year. They usually stay here for a few weeks as they keep looking for accommodation but we feel a good few this year will probably have to stay longer," a staff member said.

Avalon House hostel in the city has also seen a surge of calls from parents seeking long-term accommodation for students.

Elena Tatulescu, who looks after language students and group bookings for the hostel, said she was receiving a significant number of calls throughout the summer.

"We've had a lot of enquiries from parents looking for accommodation from September to June. Unfortunately, we can't accommodate students long term, not longer than four weeks," she added.

Kinlay Hostel in Galway has seen such a surge that almost a third of its accommodation has been booked by students.


Frank O'Connell, General Manager of Kinlay Hostel, said they had first seen an increase in students staying last year, many of whom have returned this year.

"Hostels in general are not perfectly ideal for students but we are not your normal hostel. We have dedicated student rooms and we match up students from the same year and same course," he added.

Mr O'Connell said students are also availing of free breakfasts, wi-fi, iMacs and printing, adding: "We've made sure to make it a welcoming environment where they can mix with other students and have plenty of room to study."

Meanwhile, gardai have issued a warning to students hunting for accommodation to be mindful of scams.

"Caution is advised, if the rent sounds too good to be true," a garda spokesperson said in a statement.

Students are advised to use the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) rent index to check rents in the area. Online maps should also be used to verify that a house exists.

Nobody should hand over money for a house that they haven't seen and should pay the deposit to the landlord and not the person leaving, it warned.

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