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‘Avoid being ripped off’ Students’ Union warns


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

‘Avoid being ripped off’ Students’ Union warns ‘Avoid being ripped off’ Students’ Union warns

Students and their parents are being warned to avoid getting ripped off as desperation takes hold in the scramble for accommodation.

NUI Galway Students’ Union said this week it was overwhelmed with desperate pleas for help from returning students fighting for a bed in a virtually empty rental market.

Vice President for Welfare at the SU, Imogen O’Flaherty Falconer, told the Galway City Tribune that things had got so bad, some students were now looking for a return to hybrid learning – unable to afford what is on offer.

“We have just had so many calls over the last couple of days. One girl was on to me who will have to commute daily from Dublin and she had been living here for four years.

“It’s already really bad and that is before the first years have even got their Leaving Cert results,” she said.

Such was students’ desperation that they were accepting eye-wateringly high rents just to secure a place – even though they are unlikely to be able to afford it.

“Another student accepted a €1,200 per month studio apartment because it was all they could find after six months of searching.

“All the student-specific accommodation is booked out and while a lot of the first years will have booked Corrib Village [on-campus], there will be others when results are out,” said Ms O’Flaherty Falconer.

But despite the pressure, she said students should be careful and not just accept anything that is available.

Scammers were claiming to be out of the country and seeking a deposit before showing a property; others were showing a number of people around a property and fleeing with the deposits collected, with students only becoming aware when their key didn’t work.

All the usual checks for damages and working equipment and good ventilation should be carried out, and receipts should always be given, as should a contract or lease.

“Never rush into getting accommodation, be cautious and insist on receipts and any repairs where necessary. This will be where you stay for at least nine months so make sure you have all the necessities before making any commitments,” said Ms O’Flaherty Falconer.



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