It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for going to college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents if they are perhaps moving out and starting college for the first time is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland).
SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant which may cover the fees (student contribution) and provide maintenance.
The limits that apply to the grant vary, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €39,875 or less.
That refers to both the parents income and the students income, however €4,500 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time e.g. during the summer will be disregarded.
If the student was getting the PUP payment because they lost their part time job due to the pandemic, this is taken into account. Currently there are no disregards allowed for PUP payments. If there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,830.
MAXIMUM STUDENT GRANT
There are actually two different maximum rates of grant. There are referred to as the adjacent and non-adjacent rate. The adjacent rate is for students living within 45km of the college and the non-adjacent rate is for students living more than 45km from the college. The adjacent rate is €3,025. The non-adjacent rate is €1,125.
There has always been a special higher rate of grant for disadvantaged students. To find out more, give us a call.
STUDENT ASSISTANCE FUND
Yes, separate from the Student Grant from SUSI the Colleges have access to the Student Assistance Fund. Students can apply directly through their college for assistance with expenses such as books or laptops. Typically, this involves completing an application form and going for a short interview in the college. There are no set amounts of funding under this scheme. The college will assess each application on its own merits.
RENTING FOR THE FIRST TIME
Don’t be tempted to pay a deposit or sign a tenancy agreement until you have seen the property. If you are signing a tenancy agreement check if you want to live in the property for the time period stated on the agreement, check for early break clauses. Make sure you have correct contact details for the landlord. If you chose to leave the property early you may lose your deposit. If you are moving in with friends check the tenancy agreement to see if one moves out are the remaining tenants liable for the full rent. This is a common clause.
The Landlord should only retain the deposit or part of it to cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The tenant should take pictures of the property before they move out as evidence of the condition they left the property in. They should also check the notice period they are required to give the Landlord. If the matter cannot be resolved then the student may refer the matter as a dispute to the RTB.
There are different rules depending on whether the property is in a Rent Pressure Zone or not. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) ?is an area?where rents?cannot be increased by more than general inflation. At the beginning of a new tenancy in a Rent Pressure Zone, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the following information:
- The amount of rent that was last set, which is the rent amount the previous tenant was paying in the rental dwelling.
- The date the rent was last set, which is the date that the tenancy commenced or the date the landlord previously set and served the notice of rent review.
- A statement as to how the rent was set in the rental dwelling having regard to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone calculator which reflects the latest HICP.
For a tenancy not located in a Rent Pressure Zones a Landlord may increase the rent in line with market value once every two years.
CONTACT SOUTH MUNSTER CITIZENS INFORMATION SERVICE
For anyone needing information, advice or who has an advocacy issue they can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in North Cork.
Phone: Fermoy 0761 07 7970 – Monday and Tuesday from 9am-5pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am-1pm; Mallow 0761 07 8000 – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-5pm and Tuesday from 9am-12.30pm; Mitchelstown 0761 07 8030 – calls being answered by Mallow. Alternatively you can email us on email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.
While we are still providing our service mainly by phone and email, we also see people by appointment in some offices, which have been kitted out with PPE. We usually arrange appointments in situations where we are unable to help over the phone. Give us a call and we will talk through the query and the appropriate way of responding. Some issues are best dealt with face-to-face and if that is the case we will arrange an appointment for you.