Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has described the response from the Minister of State for Higher Education on the issue of student accommodation refunds as “very disappointing.”
“I have received dozens of calls and emails from worried students and their parents on the issue of student accommodation refunds. Many will have paid upfront and in full for college accommodation and are significantly out of pocket.
“The issue relates to both private accommodation providers and to on-campus providers. Both are either refusing refunds or are giving noncommittal answers.
“I raised this issue last week and joined my college Eoin O’Broin in requesting that the acting Minister of State, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, issue a strong public statement on the issue of student accommodation refunds.
“Unfortunately, her statement fell far short of calling on private and on-campus accommodation providers to honour the legal requirements set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.
“We need leadership on this issue and providers must be required to act fairly and in accordance with the law. In the meantime I would urge any student who is encountering difficulties with accommodation providers to take a case to the Residential Tenancies Board via their website www.rtb.ie .”