The Rights of Student Tenants in Ireland

As many of us will know from our own time as students, being a student tenant is often a precarious position to be in. It is not unheard of for landlords to take advantage of student tenants including by providing sub-standard accommodation, refusing to provide a written lease, and threatening ejectment from the property on slender materials bearing in mind the accommodation shortages that are often encountered. Of course, the fact that a tenant happens to be a student does not mean that s/he is entitled to a lesser degree of protection from landlord and tenant law than is any other tenant. Residential tenancies are govered by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, meaning that students can also avail of the Private Residential Tenancies Board for dispute resolution provided, of course, that what they have is properly described as being a leasehold entitlement. In many cases, students have licences to reside especially when they are staying in on-campus accommodation. In those cases the operation of the arrangement will be govered by the terms of the licence to reside itself. In UCD the excellent Student Legal Service (SLS) sees many students throughout the year who are experiencing difficulties with a landlord. Last night I did a training talk for the 140 student volunteers with the SLS, but it occurred to me that the general guidance may be useful to students and SUs outside of UCD as well. I have therefore varied the presentation somewhat to remove the sections specific to UCD campus licences to reside and make the general presentation available on Scribd. Of course, rights under landlord and tenant law are fundamentally important from a human rights perspective: the capacity and right to reside in good quality accommodation without repression from one’s landlord is important to the enjoyment of one’s home. Over time landlord and tenant law–especially relating to residential tenancies–has attempted to create a position of equality of power between landlords and tenants. This process reached its zenith in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 which, although imperfect, offers protection for the reasonable and responsible tenant in relation to the majority of commonly encountered difficulties in residential leases.

The Rights of Student Tenants in Ireland

One thought on “The Rights of Student Tenants in Ireland

  1. lorraine sleator says:

    Hello, maybe you can give me some advice. My son is one of four students renting accomodation in Galway.. 3 of them attending GMIT and 1 NUIG. They moved in yesterday and it was the first day any of the parents saw the accomodation. It is nothing short of appalling … filthy, poor furniture, windows dirthy , bins full, back yard in a mess, beds not clean. The landlord got 5400 euros up front and the rent is 1800 per month. We as parents feel the accomodation is way below standard and possibly not safe from what we have seen. Do we have any rights at this stage.
    Regards, Lorraine Sleator

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