The USI said "On average, students pay at least €3,500 on rent over the academic year and also have to hand over a large deposit". However they also added that four out of 10 students have had their deposit unfairly kept, with more than 60% having €200 held by a landlord. Up to 75% of cases reported to the private residential tenancies board are in relation to the deposit retention… "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." Backing the USI findings Senator Aideen Hayden, chairwoman of the housing organisation Threshold, said: "Every year, hundreds of students come to Threshold because their landlord won't return their deposit. These days a deposit can be as much as €1,000 - this is the kind of money that cash-strapped students and their parents can ill-afford to lose."
Yesterday the union launched a 2011 Rent Book and Accommodation Guide which details how to find accommodation and tenancy rights. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) also called on the Government to set up a deposit protection scheme to hold down-payments and solve disputes between tenants and landlords.