Students go undercover to highlight dodgy accommodation in Dublin
One landlord tried to pack 15 students into a house with one bathroom.
UCD Students’ Union have been going undercover and using Snapchat in an effort to highlight some of the dodgy accommodation dealings students have to put up with in an attempt to put a roof over their heads.
As part of a UCD Students' Union campaign for housing, students have been posting videos and images of substandard accommodation and relaying stories of some of the shady behaviour they’ve encountered from landlords in the private rental market.
Amongst some of the stories uncovered as part of the project are landlords asking for deposits and rent in cash without a contract and student bedsits that cost over €1,000 a month; it is hoped that those stories and the evidence of the state of some of the accommodation available to students will reach Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing and TD for Dublin Bay South.
All videos courtesy of UCD Students' Union
The undercover Snapchat campaign accompanies UCDSU's work on their €14K project with TCD (Trinity College Dublin) Students' Union and Daft.ie to increase the amount of digs on the market. They've been looking to meet with Minister Murphy to expand the scope and size of this project, which converts vacant rooms to student beds.
Digs are located in the primary residence of the homeowner, they're generally of a higher standard than what's currently available for a student price in the private rental sector and have decent hygiene, living space and working facilities.
They can also prove appealing to the homeowner providing the accommodation as, under Irish law, you can earn up to €14,000 in non-taxable income by letting empty rooms in your primary residence.
Barry Murphy, a UCD Students' Union Officer who featured in videos, said:
“I'm going undercover to these viewings because I think pictures speak louder than words sometimes.
“We see news articles about the student housing crisis but it's a different thing to be watching it on video - seeing landlords trying to scam you out of a deposit and the first month's rent without word of a contract.”
“This isn't just an attempt to stir the pot,” Murphy added.
“We've put €14K together with Trinity SU and we're trying to get better quality rooms on the market.
"We want some of these clips to reach Minister Murphy so he sees how bad the housing situation is and so his department responds to invitations from UCD Students' Union and Trinity Students' Union to meet on student housing.”