A third of students rely on parents or loans to cover the cost of rent, says USI
More than a third of students have no income to cover their rent, which can cost up to €500 a month.
A survey from the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) shows that almost 60pc of students spend between €256 and €500 a month on accommodation. It also found that 36pc do not have the income to cover rent.
It is believed students are being forced to resort to loans or their parents to cover the cost.
Meanwhile, students are being warned not to hand over cash as a deposit for somewhere to live.
Both the USI and the State's Residential Tenancies Board have advised students to transfer money electronically in order to avoid scams.
They have come together to launch an accommodation guide for those in the third-level system. USI president Michael Kerrigan said the sheer cost of accommodation was siphoning off most of the spare funds of students.
"The cost of accommodation is proving difficult for students and the cost of rent is leaving no money for food, travel or books," he said.
- Read more: From undercover house-hunting to 'Rent Books' - here's how Ireland's Students' Unions are battling the accommodation crisis
Mr Kerrigan said USI and the Residential Tenancies Board advised students not to hand over any money until they had received the keys and the tenancy had begun.
"In light of recent rental scams, USI is also urging students to transfer deposit money electronically or, if they have to pay by cash, to make sure they always get a receipt," he added.
The new guide, which is available at www.rtb.ie, is designed to help students budget for the year ahead and keep track of their spending in order to meet the costly demands of studying.
Students have been encouraged to check if any potential landlord either is or was registered with the RTB. Director of the Tenancies Board Rosalind Carroll said good landlords tended to abide by the law.
"It is important that students renting accommodation are aware of their rights and responsibilities and that they openly discuss them with their landlord, so that everyone is clear from the start about what is expected, which should prevent disputes arising," she said.
Ms Carroll said the majority of disputes that come to the Tenancies Board involved landlords or tenants who simply did not understand their rights and responsibilities.