Flexibility needed for students who will not avail of student accommodation
- Private landlords should offer refunds
- Minister must instruct remaining HEI’s to refund deposits and rent paid if requested
Flexibility is needed for students who will not avail of student accommodation due to Covid-19 restrictions according to Labour Spokesperson for Further and Higher Education, Senator Annie Hoey.
Senator Hoey said:
“Landlords must offer flexibility to students who through no fault of their own will not be availing of accommodation for the next couple of weeks or indeed for the coming academic year. I would appeal in particular to private landlords to be flexible with students so that those who will not need their accommodation will not be forced to pay out thousands needlessly.
“The Higher Education Minister Simon Harris also needs to instruct to instruct all Higher Education Institutes to refund students deposits and rent paid for on campus accommodation if requested.
“With the threat of Covid many students are facing into the possibility of being on campus a handful of times or not at all for the forthcoming academic year. Many of these students had booked their accommodation on the pretext that they would be required to be on campus for a far greater period of time than has transpired when they eventually received their timetables.
“The announcement that all higher education institutes are to move teaching online only for the next two weeks on foot of NPHET advice means many students may not be on campus at all this year.
“Students and their parents have had their incomes significantly reduced due to no fault of their own and cannot afford the additional unnecessary cost of paying for student accommodation they no longer need.
“While certain Higher Education Institute’s have such as NUIG have already offered refunds, the rest need to follow suit. Students and their parents need a break and private landlords need to offer flexibility to renters and the Minister needs to set an example and instruct the remaining institutions to offer refunds if requested.