€150 per week tiny living space puts spotlight on Galway’s rental crisis

The ‘small flat’ in Rahylin Glebe which has been estimated at less than 6ft wide. Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has described it as a “glorified corridor”.
The ‘small flat’ in Rahylin Glebe which has been estimated at less than 6ft wide. Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has described it as a “glorified corridor”.

This ‘glorified corridor’ advertised for rent for €650 per month shines a spotlight on the underbelly of Galway city’s distressed rental market, and chronic housing shortage.

The tiny property in Rahylin Glebe, Ballybane was advertised on property webiste Daft.ie this week sparking outrage on social media and among Galway politicians.

Described in the online advertisement as a “small flat”, the accompanying eleven photographs show that the living space, which includes a combined kitchenette and seating area, is more akin to a hallway.

An armchair and sofa, facing a wall with a storage heater, take up a good portion of the space. It leads to a separate room, where a double bed takes up most of the space, and sits partially up against an external door.

The advert described it as a “newly refurbished very small one bedroom flat”. It was available to rent on a “minimum 12-month lease”, at a rent of €649 per calendar month to be paid one-month in advance, or €150 per week.

Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh described the property as a “glorified corridor”, and said it highlights the chronic shortage of good quality accommodation available for rent in the city, which is contributing to spiralling rents, substandard bedsits, and homelessness.

“It is my understanding that this isn’t isolated and that properties like this are being offered for rent in Galway far more regularly than you’d think,” said the Sinn Féin senator.

He said the estate is close to GMIT, and students desperate for digs could be vulnerable to shelling out for rent on this tiny property.

“This property . . . is nothing more than a dressed-up corridor and is almost certainly in breach of the standards laid down in regulations by the Department of the Housing, Planning and Local Government,” said Senator Ó Clochartaigh.

His comments echo the hundreds of people who criticised the rental property and property management company on social media online.

 

■ For more on this story, see the print edition of the Galway City Tribune.