Senator warns third level students of rental scams

Senator Annie Hoey image
16 August 2023
  • Introduction of transparency register would level the playing field

Labour’s spokesperson on Higher and Further Education Senator Annie Hoey said that the Government’s failure to implement a student rental housing strategy is leaving students vulnerable to exploitation.

Ahead of the start of term, third level students are being warned to be on the lookout for rental scams.

Senator Hoey said:

“Students are a prime target for rental scams, as they are often desperate to find accommodation. Government has failed to take action to protect students from these scams, and this is having a detrimental impact on their lives.

“It’s welcome to see the scamwatch campaign launched by Threshold, the Irish Council of International Students and the USI, but this should not be left to NGOs. Government should be driving awareness campaigns to protect those vulnerable to exploitation, particularly students who are moving to Ireland from abroad, and for whom English may not be their first language.

“A rental transparency register would be a huge help to students, and all renters, when safeguarding against scams.

“Labour’s Renters’ Rights Bill would introduce a register whereby prospective tenants of a property could see the rent paid by previous tenants. It’s certainly not a silver bullet but improving access to information in the rental market would be a huge step in the right direction.

“We need to have an honest conversation and the inequalities that the housing crisis is perpetuating when it comes to accessing education. These scams are working so well because students are at their wits end trying to find affordable accommodation in our cities.

“Time and again we have urged this Government to provide better, affordable, purpose built student accommodation, not the unaffordable, luxurious apartments the construction industry continues to pursue. It’s the property gold rush of our times and students are the ones paying the ultimate price.

“The Government needs to implement a student rental housing strategy, which includes measures to regulate the rental market and protect students. In the meantime, students need to be aware of the risks of rental scams and take steps to protect themselves.”

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