Friday 21 October 2016

Disputes over deposit hitting six out of ten in scramble for houses

Student renter Gabby Luksaite
Student renter Gabby Luksaite

A new company hopes to bring an end to rent deposit disputes, as thousands of students scramble to find accommodation.

Third-level students are continuing the daunting task of house-hunting with just five weeks remaining before third-level lectures resume.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is to partner with Irish start-up Deposify - a deposit management service for landlords and tenants - after 60pc of people say they found difficulties getting their deposits returned.

Students are battling against limited accommodation and soaring rents, with just 1,318 properties available in Dublin on property website Daft.ie last night.

In Cork, just 182 properties were available to rent, while Galway had 128 vacant properties.

Gabby Luksaite, a Trinity College Student, spent six months searching for a room in Dublin.

The Galway woman (20) told the Herald that many landlords are now reluctant to rent to students.

"The main thing we found is that because we are students, landlords aren't willing to rent to us because they know there are so many people looking to rent," Gabby said.


"Most of them are looking for professionals, even though some professionals may party more than students.

"Many landlords wanted to ring our parents, meet them or get them to sign an agreement to confirm the rent would be paid."

Gabby will pay €550 a month for a room in a shared house - she counts herself lucky.

"A lot of my friends still have no houses, it's awful," she said.

"It's so difficult to find anywhere and there are so many houses which are horrible.

"We visited one house in Dublin and it was a horror story ... the landlord wouldn't go in, he just stayed outside when we viewed it."

The USI today relaunched its website homes.usi.ie in a bid to help students find somewhere to live, while start-up company Deposify hopes to make the handling of deposits easier.

"Rental deposits cause problems for landlords and tenants," Deposify founder Jon Bayle said.

"We give landlords and tenants a joint account for rental deposits that lets them manage and control how and when deposits are paid and resolve deposit-related disputes."

USI President Annie Hoey is encouraging homeowners to rent their rooms out to students and is also urging students to register with Deposify.

Homeowners are being reminded they can rent their spare room to students and earn up to €12,000 tax free.

It is hoped the tax incentive will help alleviate the shortage of affordable rental accommodation in Dublin, Galway and Cork.

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