Students who have paid up front for accommodation they cannot now access because of COVID-19 need to be refunded - according to Mayo Sinn Féin TD Rose Conway-Walsh.
The newly elected TD stated: "Over the past couple of weeks I have been contacted by many students across Mayo who have paid rent for accommodation, including gas and electricity, who now find they have paid for something they are denied.
"Many of these students have lost their part-time jobs and in many cases, their parents have lost their jobs too. They need this money.
"It is imperative that all student accommodation providers, both public and private, should provide these students and their families with refunds. We need a uniform approach to be adopted by providers in terms of granting refunds to students who left accommodation early due to COVID 19.
"It is important for students in purpose-built accommodation to know that their licences are covered under the Residential Tenancies Act. Where landlords are denying refunds of pre-paid rent or deposits beyond the required notice period, they should make formal complaints to the Residential Tenancies Board.
"My colleague, Sinn Fein Housing Spokesperson, Deputy Eoin O’Broin, is in touch with USI and the Irish Universities Association on this issue and has requested that the Ministers for Housing and Education make a clear statement calling for full refunds from all student accommodation providers."