The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is today encouraging students to be wary of rental scams targeting third-level students before returning to college in September. The warning comes as the Gardaí issue a statement on recent rental scams taking advantage of students across the country.
USI President Michael Kerrigan urged students to be cautious stating, “Use cheques or bank drafts to pay the deposit and keep copies of receipts of payments and any correspondence. Don’t hand over any cash to anyone, because you will not have a record or trace of your deposit. Students are handing up to two months rent as a deposit, and this kind of money being stolen can have a serious impact on a student’s ability to afford college for the coming year.”
“It’s a shame that people are taking advantage of students like this. Students should visit the accommodation they’re hoping to rent before sending over any sum of money”, said Mr Kerrigan. “Meet the landlord and ask for proof of ID if you’re unsure. If you’re worried that you’re being led into a scam, alert the Gardaí or your Students’ Union right away. It is always better to be safe. Don’t rush into any arrangement that looks too good to be true.”
The union is also advising students not to hand over money until they receive they keys, and the tenancy begins. Websites like Daft.ie are useful for renting, Students’ Union Facebook groups or free websites like homes.usi.ie for digs can be a reliable source to find accommodation too.