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Rogue Landlords

Students warned about rogue landlords

The Union of Students in Ireland is calling for a Deposit Protection Scheme to stop students being cheated by unscrupulous landlords.

THE UNION OF Students in Ireland has issued a warning for students about rogue landlords and is calling for a Deposit Protection Scheme to protect students from being ripped off.

Research by the USI indicated that unscrupulous landlords are treating students’ deposits as income – rather than as insurance that the terms of the lease will be complied with – and concluded that:

  • 40 per cent of students have had their deposit unfairly withheld
  • 75 per cent of cases reported to the Private Residential Tenancies Board are in relation to the deposit retention
  • Over 60 per cent of students have had over €200 unfairly taken off their deposit

“With the results of the Leaving Certificate due to be released later this week, many students will begin searching for accommodation and move away from home for the first time,” USI President Gary Redmond said. The union says that, on average, students will pay at least €3,500 on rent over the academic year and will hand over a large deposit.

The USI says students’ unions across the country deal with cases of unscrupulous landlords who “target students and refuse to return deposits without any legitimate reason” every year.

“Every year, hundreds of students come to Threshold because their landlord won’t return their deposit. These days a deposit can be as much as €1,000 – this is the kind of money that cash-strapped students and their parents can ill-afford to lose,” said Aideen Hayden, chair of the national housing charity Threshold.

The USI will launch its 2011 Rent Book & Accommodation Guide at the National College of Ireland Students’ Union in the IFSC later today. The guide has been produced with the support of Threshold and the Department of the Environment, and aims to provide students and parents with all the practical information needed on any accommodation issues they may face throughout the college year.

Read: Student income down by over a third since 2009 – survey>

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