The Italian frontier and customs police, the Guardia di Finanza, are conducting a blitz on landlords who let accommodation to students. They have found that 70 per cent of the 8,000 rooms and flats being let to students are not registered as let and the income received from rents is not being declared on tax returns. Only about 20 per cent of contracts are being registered and only one landlord in ten is within the law with both registration and tax declarations. The tax being evaded is estimated to be as much as 50 million.

To track down the evading landlords, the Guardia di Finanza cross checked flats officially declared as unoccupied with the records of the service companies supplying gas and electricity to the same addresses. They then visited the properties and gave the occupants a questionnaire to detail the conditions of their tenancy.

Student rents in Rome vary from 180 per month for a room in a shared flat in Monteverde to as much as 315 per month for a room in a similar flat on the Via Tiburtina near La Sapienza university