Decision to extend student lease lengths to 51 weeks questionedMike Finnerty 01 Feb 2024
One of Dublin’s largest private student landlords, Hines, has controversially extended lease lengths for the 2024-2025 academic year to 51 weeks.
Under the new move, students are now compelled to commit to a 51-week tenancy, which represents 10 weeks longer than the standard lease for the current academic year.
Hines, which operates five student accommodation centres across Dublin, claimed that “market trends” are behind the change.
“We have seen increased enquiries regarding the option of an extended tenancy, driven by a desire for greater cost certainty over the period,” a Hines spokesperson told the Irish Times.
The move has caught the attention of Labour Senator and Further Education spokesperson Annie Hoey, who said the decision “not only places an undue burden on students but also underscores the urgency for government intervention in the student housing crisis.”
Hoey called Hines’ tactics “exploitative,” and their actions are “an affront to student welfare and financial stability.”
“It is unacceptable for students to be coerced into paying for accommodation during months they do not require, especially in the face of rising living costs and financial constraints.”
Hoey renewed Labour’s calls to pressure Government into taking “decisive action” to alleviate the student housing crisis which has dominated the Irish third-level sphere over the last decade.
Hoey called on Goverment to implement her €100 million Budget that would go towards building student accommodation.
“It is imperative for students to be aware that despite these unjust lease extensions, Residential Tenancies Board rules still apply. If tenants wish to terminate a tenancy, they should follow the specified notice periods – 28 days for tenancies less than 6 months and 35 days for tenancies of 6 months to 1 year. However, it is regrettable that it has come to this point where students must navigate legalities to reclaim their rights.”
“Urgent measures are needed to rectify this exploitative situation and ensure that the rights and needs of students are prioritised. Together, let us advocate for affordable, accessible, and fair student housing, sending a clear message that the future of our students cannot be compromised.”