Calls for rent deposit protection scheme after 40 students were left waiting for deposits worth 20K

Ryan Carrick

Forty students were left waiting for €20,000 worth of rental deposits for almost 2 months from Hazelwood Student Village, Santry.

According to the students, they were promised that their deposits would be returned to them by September when they moved out of Block A after rent prices suddenly increased by 41 percent.

When contacted, Hazelwood Student Village said that the delay in returning of deposits was due to the poor state of the apartments when tenants moved out.

“Some deposits have been delayed being returned until we could identify who had left the rooms in a bad state of repair,” a spokesperson for Hazelwood Student Village said.

The accommodation is managed by Home Estates and Lettings Agency and all contact made by the tenants in Block A in relation to accommodation was made through the agency.

One of the students affected, Ana Carolina Solis, said she moved out of her apartment during the final week of August 2019 and proceeded to ask for her deposit on several occasions.

“I was asking the agency for my deposit but they always told me that they were going to give my deposit back this week. It was the same response week after week,” she said.

Following an article published by the Irish Independent, the deposits were returned to the students.

In a statement, Affordable Housing Cllr Joanna Tuffy said that this case shows the urgent need for a rental deposit scheme which Fine Gael have refused to introduce now for over three years.

“A tenancy rental deposit protection scheme was passed into law in 2015 by the Labour Party but since then Fine Gael have refused to introduce it despite repeated calls for a scheme,” Tuffy said. 

Ms. Solis said that a protection scheme is necessary as there is a lot of people in a similar situation who do not know how to go about having their deposits returned.

“A lot of people have contacted me asking me what to do,” she said. 

“In our case, I think it was easier because there were about 70 of us in the same situation. But there are a lot of people who are on their own and don’t know what to do.”

Similarly, in May 2018, a landlord who was renting 24 apartments to Brazilian students in the Hazelwood complex had not returned deposits to nearly 40 tenants three months after he lost the contract for running the complex.

Ryan Carrick

Image Credit: HazelWood