Gardaí are advising people to be wary of accommodation rental scams, particularly at this time of year when students are returning to college.
Caution is advised, if the rent sounds too good to be true.
The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) rent index provides students with important benchmark information and is an authoritative guide as to the actual rents being charged by landlords adjacent to all Universities, ITs and other Third Level colleges. www.prtb.ie
Use online maps to verify the existence and address of the property.
Always meet a prospective landlord in the accommodation to be rented.
If you are dealing with an agent, check if they are from a reputable agency.
Ask for identification, a drivers licence & business card etc, a legitimate agent will be happy to provide you with i.d.
Beware of incorrect contact details and phone numbers.
Make sure you have seen inside the property before paying a deposit and are happy with its condition. If there is anything in less than perfect condition, bring it to the Landlords attention. Take a photograph of it for record purposes. Ensure keys fit and open door locks.
Pay the deposit to the Landlord and not the persons leaving the property.
Use cheques or bank drafts to pay the deposit and keep copies of receipts of payments and any correspondence.
If you are suspicious in any way, contact the Gardaí immediately.
For further crime prevention information see the Campus Watch booklet