Kevin O'Higgins Solicitors

Some 60pc of tenants report deposit issues - survey

Tuesday, 2 August, 2016
Martin Grant

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

Third-level students are in the middle of house-hunting, with just five weeks remaining before lectures resume.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is to partner with start-up Deposify - a deposit management service for landlords and tenants.

The move comes after 60pc of people said they had experienced difficulties getting their deposits returned, according to a Red C poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 people over the age of 18.

Students are battling against limited accommodation and soaring rents, with just 1,318 properties available in Dublin on property website 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) said many landlords are 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," Ms Luksaite 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."

Ms Luksaite 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.

The USI today relaunched its website 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 that 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 cities.

Irish Independent