The cost of renting Trinity’s on-campus accommodation has risen by over five per cent in comparison to the previous academic year.
The total cost, which includes the licence fee to live in Trinity’s accommodation as well as the utility charges, has risen by 5.2 per cent for Goldsmith Hall, Pearse Street and heritage accommodation compared to last year. The heritage accommodation includes rooms in Front Square, the Graduates Memorial Building (GMB), Botany Bay, New Square and Trinity Business School.
The average total cost of renting a room on-campus for the academic year is €7827, compared to last year’s average of €7441.
While the percentage increases in the cost of Trinity’s on-campus accommodation were the same, Trinity’s heritage accommodation increased by the largest amount of money with a total cost increase of €487. Pearse Street accommodation had the smallest monetary increase in the total cost with an increase of €319.
For Trinity Hall, the total cost of renting a room for this academic year has risen by 3.61 per cent for a single ensuite room and 3.65 per cent for a twin ensuite room compared to last year. This corresponds to a €254 and €209 increase respectively.
This brings the total cost of renting a single ensuite room in Trinity Hall to €7263 and the total cost of renting a shared twin ensuite room to €5930 for the academic year.
Compared to the same figures from five years ago, the average increase in the total cost of renting Trinity-owned accommodation for the academic year is €1006. The total cost of renting heritage accommodation had the highest increase of €1708, while a single ensuite room in Trinity Hall had the lowest increase of €430.
In percentage terms, the average increase in the total cost of living in Trinity’s student accommodation for an academic year compared to five years ago is 15.55 per cent. Goldsmith Hall had the highest percentage increase of 24.15 per cent and a single ensuite room in Trinity Hall had the lowest percentage increase of 6.28 per cent.
Trinity licences its accommodation instead of leasing it. The licence fee is the largest component of the total cost of living in Trinity’s student accommodation.
An article by the professional services firm Deloitte explained that, “under domestic landlord and tenant law”, licensing and leasing “are quite different things” and property owners who provide a licence instead of a lease generally do so “to avoid giving the user of the property rights that would accrue under a lease”.
The licence fee to live in Trinity’s on-campus accommodation for this academic year increased by 4.95 per cent compared to the previous academic year.
There was an increase of 3.31 per cent in the licence fee to live in Trinity Hall for this academic year compared to the previous academic year.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, rents in rent pressure zones cannot increase by more than two per cent annually. This act has designated all student accommodation as a rent pressure zone. Despite the increases in licence fees for renting Trinity accommodation for the full academic year being far greater than two per cent compared to the previous academic year, Trinity is not in breach of the act.
This is because Trinity sets its accommodation fees on a daily rather than yearly basis. There was only a two per cent increase in the daily rate of all of Trinity’s student accommodation but there are an additional seven days in the 2022/23 rental period for on-campus accommodation and an additional three days for Trinity Hall accommodation. These additional days result in the increases of 4.95 per cent in the licence fee for on-campus accommodation and 3.31 per cent in the licence fee for Trinity Hall accommodation, despite the increase in the daily rate only being two per cent.
In an email statement to The University Times, Trinity Media Relations Officer Catherine O’Mahony said: “At a time of high inflation”, Trinity’s “accommodation costs have increased”.
“The increase is two per cent for licence fees and five per cent for utilities”.
“For a Pearse Street room, a resident will pay an extra €280 in licence fee and €39 in utilities over last year based on a two per cent and five per cent increase plus an additional seven days”.
“For a Trinity Hall room a resident will pay an extra €216 in licence fee and €38 in utilities over last year based on a two per cent and five per cent increase plus an additional three days”.
“The extra seven days in campus accommodation was added to facilitate the vast majority of students who requested extensions for exam purposes”.
“Our licence periods – under 36 weeks for Campus and under 34 weeks for Trinity Hall – remain well below average for purpose-built student accommodation (the norm is 40 and above)”.
“The use of a licence agreement is standard practice”, she said.
“Trinity, like all other universities, enters into a licence to reside with student occupants due to the short term nature of the arrangement and the fact that occupancy often changes mid-year or indeed mid-term based on the individual circumstances of the student”.
“Trinity is in active engagement with all occupants of student accommodation to ensure all issues surrounding occupancy are dealt with in a fair and transparent manner”, she added.
Utility charges for Trinity’s accommodation increased at an even higher rate than the licence fees, although they make up a smaller proportion of the total cost of accommodation.
There was an average increase of 7.87 per cent in the cost of utility charges for the full academic year compared to the last academic year. The average monetary increase was €42.
Once the additional days in the 2022/23 rental period are excluded, the increase in the daily utility charge is five per cent.
Goldsmith Hall and heritage accommodation had the highest year utility charges at €668, while the utility charges for a twin ensuite room in Trinity Hall were the lowest at €468.