A Student’s Union in Galway has reported ” a number” of incidents that involved students paying large sums of money in deposits to ‘landlords’ by bank tranfers. In some of these occasions after paying the deposit the ‘landlord’ had become uncontactable.
With a shortage of student accommodation in Galway – students are being pressured into paying deposits fast in order to get a house – sometimes before even viewing it. It is easy for anyone to put up an advert on websites with fake pictures then asking for a holding deposit. We urge all students (and other prospective tenants too) to proceed with caution when looking for a house.
Tips: 1. Never pay a ‘holding deposit’, rent, or any money without visiting a property. Satisfy yourself that the landlord is legitimate , has the keys and the rights to rent the property.
2. The safest way is to make a payment by credit card in person at a letting agents’ office. A formal contract should be signed before any money changes hands.
3. Ask your students’ union or accommodation office about trusted or approved lists .