Student evicted from housing for complaining of pest infestation


A Maynooth University student was forced to live in a hotel after being evicted from her accommodation for complaining of a pest infestation.

And some students may have to postpone the academic year, as many are still struggling to find a place to live at the start of the first semester.

Students returned to college in the university town on Monday but many still haven’t found a place.

Speaking to Dublin Live, Abby, a student at Maynooth University, said she was granted accommodation but was evicted after complaining to the landlord about the infestation.

She said: “I had the accommodation sorted before the start of the academic year.

“I came from Mayo to settle down to find the vermin infested place. I complained to my landlord and he kicked me out.

“It was under the table, so he was able to do it. I was lucky enough to get my deposit back.

“I have searched since then. I emailed, I would say over a hundred people and one person came back to me.”

Abby is currently staying at a nearby hotel and says she plans to postpone the year as she can’t find a place to live.

“It’s been incredibly stressful. I’m about to think about rescheduling. I can’t commute because I’m from Mayo.

“Finding accommodation is not about money, it’s more of luck at this stage.

“I won’t be able to graduate if I don’t get housing. I’m currently at Glenroyal.”

Eva Couse is a second year student at Maynooth University in Cavan, who was hoping to share a home with her friends this academic year.

However, she is still looking for a place to stay as the first semester begins.

She told Dublin Live: “We started looking in May. So it’s been four months to look for a house.”

Eva said there have been numerous occasions when an owner has promised to tell her about a place, but she never heard back from them.

“It just makes it look like no one is trying to help you.

“We still kept looking. We said that in August, if we didn’t have a home together, we would start looking separately.

“We were pretty naive about all of this, thinking that we were going to build a house together.”

One of Eva’s friends got a room in the dig, but the others are still looking.

Eva said, “I don’t know what colleges are really waiting for. Are we all going to sleep on the streets?”

She goes to every day to apply for rooms but hasn’t heard back from anyone.

“I have family in Dublin so I could stay there for a while, but they have their own families and their own lives. And part of the university is becoming independent.

“At least I have that, but some people don’t even have that.”

Eva said after going through Covid all the students want is a “bit of a normal life”.

She said, “At the end of the day we will go to the courts and the lecture halls, but where do we go after that?

Local union adviser Angela Feeney said the situation facing students at Maynooth is “heartbreaking.”

She told Dublin Live: “It’s great to see Maynooth University expand and to see the number of students increasing year after year, but it’s heartbreaking to hear so many of them and their families are desperate for housing.

“Our online community bulletin board ‘Maynooth Notice Boards’ has been inundated with appeals for help more than ever this year.

“I know there is more student accommodation planned, but that’s not good for someone looking at the moment.

“I also wonder if the families who traditionally offered digs for students are a little reluctant now because of COVID. Many students have to rent in Enfield or further afield and travel from there to MU.

“We have to fix it. “

The Students’ Union of Ireland last week said students were facing postponement, couch surfing or dropping out due to the housing crisis.

USI President Clare Austick said: “There are thousands of students across the island who cannot find accommodation.

“With waiting lists of up to 200 people and more, students are exploring the possibility of staying in B & Bs, hostels and hotels.

“We are talking about the barriers that block access to education, but many students now cannot physically access education because they do not have housing. “

Dublin Live has contacted Maynooth University for comment.

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