It’s no secret that that the renting situation in Ireland – and most specifically Dublin – is a total nightmare right now, but most of us like to think that once we finally secure a place, we’re away in a hack.

Unfortunately, however, that hasn’t been the case for a staggering 60 percent of renters in Ireland.

According to a survey conducted by the Union of Students in Ireland in association with Red C, more than half of tenants surveyed claimed they experienced difficulties when seeking the return of their deposit from respective landlords.

And, unfortunately for third-level students, it appears they are easy targets for landlords who have failed to register with the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

While acknowledging that this isn’t the case across the board, President of the Union of Students of Ireland Annie Hoey did highlight the various way landlords have attempted to manipulate the system.

“I think we find sometimes unscrupulous landlords who don't register with the PRTB, that target students and then … say oh this is broken or did you not know there was a cleaning charge,” she explained.

“Very often students are transient groups and they don't have time to be staying around, waiting for this deposit to be returned, as they go off to work, on J1's.”

Commenting on the results of the survey, Fintan McNamara of the Residential Landlords Association has condemned the behaviour of a small number of landlords, but fears the results of the survey will see the introduction of a ‘custodial deposit scheme’ where a deposit is paid to an independent body.

Insisting that these schemes have failed when implemented in the UK, Mr. McNamara  has instead argued for the imposition of fines for landlords found to be withholding deposits.