TD Nolan calls for student accommodation refunds
“Student Accommodation providers must start delivering refunds,” Carol Nolan
Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has said that she will be engaging with the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, as part of her efforts to secure quicker refund levels for third level students who have paid for on-campus accommodation that they cannot now use. Deputy Nolan was speaking after Minister O’Connor stated publicly that the government “would wish to see” pro-rata refunds issued to students in privately owned accommodation:
“While the response from the Minister is an acknowledgement of the problems that students are facing, it does not go far enough.
In my view, consideration is going to have to be given to introducing a statutory obligation directed at private or on campus accommodation companies who refuse to engage with students.
Students faced average costs of between €700-€790 per month for campus accommodation in Dublin, Cork and Maynooth according to the latest data we have from Daft.ie.
That is an enormous sum of money for students and their families to be down, especially where they have paid in advance. This is in addition to accommodation deposits and the student contribution cost which can rise to €3000.
If this issue is not resolved, then it could seriously impact the capacity of students to return to college whenever the next term begins. This is because they will essentially have been made to pay twice for their accommodation.
At the most recent count, The Higher Education Authority say they were at least 718 full time graduate students from Laois in the system, with another 678 from Offaly.
We need to take action to ensure that these students and their families are treated fairly, especially in circumstances where they cannot access services or take up residency through no fault of their own,” concluded Deputy Nolan.