Derelict buildings, massive rents, up close and personal with rats – welcome to student accommodation in Dublin!

Sumptuous student accommodation (All rights, Newstalk FM)

Students are people too – aren’t they?

Some landlords seem to think not.

Instead, they view them as milch cows, a source of cash to be packed in tightly and milked relentlessly for all they’re worth – and hang the consequences.

Untrammelled greed is a terrible thing to witness and a worse thing to be gripped by – but as far as concrete ramifications go, there don’t appear to be any for these unscrupulous landlords.

Cramming as many as fifteen people (or more) into a small space will eventually and inevitably lead to tragedy – mixing high occupancy rates with old buildings in bad condition is tantamount to inviting a fire.

Beyond the terrible prospect of death and serious injury, is a more mundane question.

Why is it considered permissible to charge €750 for substandard accommodation? And to treat one category of people – students – differently, that is to say much less favourably, than others?

In the current housing and accommodation crisis a far more rigorous and active housing standards inspectorate is badly needed – not only to protect against decrepit and unsanitary lettings but to combat potential fatalities.

It’s easier to sanction the living than raise the dead.

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