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Majority of Students wont get their rental deposits; Threshold survey releases shocking figures

A recent survey revealed that a majority of the students didn’t get the refund of their rental deposits. They were forced to vacate their hostels in March, because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Housing charity Threshold has done this survey and found that 49% of students doesn’t got their deposits back, it also studied how the university shutdowns affected them in a negative manner.  Due to the shutdown of the hostels, students were forced to travel back to home and stay with their parents.

The survey also revealed that students are having serious concerns about the upcoming years as they were asked to pay for accommodation ahead of the new academic year.

45% of students were asked to pay above one month’s rent in advance as security deposits and another one-fifth were asked to pay four months’ rent in advance.

Chairperson of Threshold, Aideen Hayden, said the experience of students during the pandemic exposed the urgent need for legislative action.

She said that their new survey on the impact of Covid-19 on students shows that 49pc of students did not have their rental deposits refunded when they were forced to vacate their student accommodation.

“The experience of students during the pandemic points to an urgent need for the introduction of a legal definition of rental deposits, to limit rental deposits to the value of one month’s rent and to implement a deposit protection scheme, which would see deposits lodged with an independent third party,” she added.

Problematic

Meanwhile the president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Lorna Fitzpatrick, urges the Government to implement legislation and ensure that the student renters are not hit by a repeat of what happened in March.

She said that this is an extremely difficult time for students and their families.

“Many students are getting information about timetables in dribs and drabs from their institutions, which leaves them in very uncertain positions over their accommodation needs,” she said.

Fitzpatrick said that the practice of looking for more than one month’s rent upfront leaves students in a very difficult situation. It should not happen any year, but this year many students have lost their jobs because of the pandemic and are in even more trying financial positions.

At present there aren’t any legal guidelines or rules regarding how much deposit a landlord can request for. So, they are seeking this as an opportunity to make some money by buying deposits and advance rents for the future months.

The survey says that this is not at all comfortable for the students, as the enter into debt or leave their bills unpaid.

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