Accommodation concerns

SINN Féin Glens Councillor Noreen McAllister has expressed grave concerns about the standard of student accommodation currently available in Belfast.

Ms McAllister said: “I’m coming at this issue not just as a local representative but as a mother also. This is the time of year when students from across the Glens will be trying to secure accommodation for the upcoming university year. The standard of flats I have personally seen was appalling. Not only were there uninstalled smoke alarms but some walls were literally crumbling from damp. A main exit from a flat was not working which is a serious risk if a fire broke out.

“I have been in contact with the Housing Executive and Property Link as what I saw caused me grave concerns. The Housing Executive responded promptly and did an inspection of a particular property which they declared was unfit to live in. The rent being asked was a lot of money and that is simply unacceptable. That is why Sinn Féin is campaigning to have stronger legislation governing private rentals so that Health and Safety issues are addressed and private tenants are not subject to exploitation.

“I also encourage any students or their parents to raise any concerns they have over substandard accomodation.”