Pass The Bill!
25 February, 2021
We will not sit back to be used as cash cows any longer. Generations of students and hardworking parents across Ireland are financially sucked dry to fill the pockets of landlords providing sub-standard accommodation at exorbitant rates. In a time of crisis, there was little or no compassion shown to student tenants and no law or policy in place to prevent this robbery. A Bill to protect student renters during the COVID-19 pandemic will be tabled in the Dáil (Thursday, 25th February) on the back of a campaign led by MTU Cork Students’ Union in partnership with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Sinn Féin Ireland will table the Bill.
The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents and Other Protections) (Covid-19) Act 2021 would force accommodation providers to return prepaid rents to students who cannot live in the accommodation due to public health restrictions or other COVID-19 related reasons.
The Bill would also enable students to terminate contracts on accommodation they no longer need because of COVID-19 and would provide students with access to redress for rent they are having trouble getting repaid.
MTU Cork Students’ Union is calling on all Local TDs, Government, and all other TDs in the Dáil to support the Bill, bring it to committee stage and act on it immediately.
Aisling O’ Mahony, MTU Cork Student Union President said: “This is urgent for students; we cannot wait any longer. Action must be taken as soon as possible. Due to the lack of legal protections and inflexibility from providers, many students have not been allowed to terminate their contracts with student accommodation providers early as they were in “licensee agreements” and not tenancies. When it comes to purpose-built student accommodation, students have about as many rights as if they were staying in a hotel. We need our politicians to show support for students now and pass the bill.”
It is our time to make sure this does not happen again. I am urging all students to spread the word. Email local counsellors and politicians in your area. Get onto the radio stations. Tell them your story. Get your parents involved, many of whom work endlessly to help fund their sons and daughters third level education. Stand up and fight for what you deserve… POWER IN NUMBERS!
Up the students,
Your Students Union Exec.
Aisling O’Mahony, Cian O’Driscoll & Nuttawud Nutchanat