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Students warned by union over rogue landlords

STUDENTS have been warned about rogue landlords who target those leaving home for the first time.

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) also called on the Government to set up a protection scheme to hold deposits and solve tenant/ landlord disputes.

The union today launched its 2011 Rent Book and Accommodation Guide which details accommodation and tenancy rights.

USI president Gary Redmond said: "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.

"On average, students will pay at least ¤3,500 on rent over the academic year and will also have to hand over a large deposit.

"Every year, students' unions across the country deal with cases of rogue landlords who target students and refuse to return deposits without any legitimate reason. With families struggling to afford the basic costs of attending college, this is not a situation that can be allowed to continue."

USI said four out of 10 students have had their deposit unfairly kept, with more than 60pc having ¤200 held by a landlord. Up to 75pc of cases reported to the private residential tenancies board are in relation to deposit retention.