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Housing's just as tough as exams


A student prepares for exams

A student prepares for exams

A student prepares for exams

With the Leaving Cert out of the way for almost everyone, students looking forward to a long summer break will now be worrying about their results, college places and, just as pressing, accommodation.

Without knowing what course they've landed, it's difficult to plan, but those who'll be living away from home won't be reassured by Daft's latest rent report. It shows price increases of 8.2pc since last year, with a two-bed flat in Dublin city at €1,360 pm. In university cities Cork (€911), Limerick (€718) and Galway (€889) it's not much better. Most landlords expect a 12-month lease, so you're paying un- necessarily in the summer months.

Many colleges offer campus accommodation for first-years over the nine-month academic year, but supply is tight and securing it isn't much cheaper than going out on your own.

One option is to find digs, especially in first year. A home-from-home, you can get five-day accommodation for a lot less, with meals and laundry thrown in.

The popularity of the Rent-A-Room relief scheme for families makes it tax-efficient to offer a room to a student. Websites to check are rent.ie, collegecribs.ie, getdigs.ie along with student services like USI (home.usi.ie) and Spunout (spunout.ie). Also, it's not too late to apply for a SUSI maintenance grant towards accommodation (studentfinance.ie).