DIT Students’ Union Hosts Launch of USI Rent Book

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18th August 2010

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launched its USI Rent Book 2010 in DIT Aungier Street yesterday (Tuesday, August 17th). This Rent Book will provide third level students with all of the relevant information needed on any accommodation issues they may face throughout the college year.

Kevin Baynam, Legal Officer with Threshold- the National Housing Organisation, launched the publication and spoke at the event.

The USI Rent Book 2010 has been produced with support of Threshold and the Department of the Environment.

This guide is an excellent resource to students as it details to them what their legal obligations are in regard to renting accommodation. Only 9% of students can get purpose built student accommodation, which means that the majority of students live in private rented accommodation.

The Rent book also lists a number of support organisations and services that are available to them. Copies of the booklets will be made available free to all students at colleges throughout the country.

Members of the national media were present at the launch.

USI Welfare Officer, Rebecca Murphy, said:

“USI is delighted to launch the Rent Book 2010. Students hand over on average €3,500 of rent every year, as well as a sizeable deposit. Now, more than ever, students have to make sure they are protecting their rights and that they can protect their deposit and any monies paid to their landlords. It is vital that accurate records are kept of all rent that changes hands.

The USI rent book helps students to keep a record of their transactions in case of future disputes, as well as giving information on the dos and don’ts of student accommodation. It’s an invaluable resource for any student renting accommodation in the Republic of Ireland.”

Aideen Hayden, Chair of Threshold, said:

“The USI rent book is an invaluable source of information for any student thinking of renting accommodation. Threshold is delighted to be associated with it. When you’re dealing with something as important as where you live it is vital to know what your rights are, how best to ensure that your deposit is protected and what are the minimum living standards that must be met. Taking the advice set out in the Rent Book will get any student off to a good start.

Students make up about 10% of the private rented market and are an important source of income for many Landlords. While the relationship is usually a happy one, Threshold still finds that students often have difficulty in securing the return of their deposits in particular.”

DIT Students’ Union President, Ciarán Nevin, said:

The first few months of a student’s college life can throw up many new challenges. Finding suitable accommodation is one such challenge, and the lack of on-campus accommodation throughout the country can leave this a daunting task for students. DIT Students’ Union is working collectively within USI to make the move as painless as possible for students.

The rental market has changed a lot in the last few years, and there is certainly better value on offer than previously, but students still need all the protection they can get in what is a costly venture. Student’s need to be aware of all their rights and responsibilities, and we are all doing our best to ensure that students get the best deal possible.

Using the Rent Book is a key way in which students can defend themselves from unfair treatment. For example, a record of financial transactions such as in the Rent Book helps to ensure that you can get your deposit returned when the time comes.”

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