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Residential Tenancies Board dealing with four to five illegal eviction cases a week

The RTB director said that the it was working to make sure landlords were “doing the right thing” across a number of areas when it came to renting.

Image: Shutterstock/witsanu deetuam

THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES board is dealing with four to five illegal eviction cases a week, according to its director.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Rosalind Carroll said that the RTB was working to make sure landlords were “doing the right thing” across a number of areas when it came to renting.

“The individual landlord out there we need to educate them as to what they should be doing,” she said.

That continues in terms of the averages we’re seeing this year we’re seen 133% increase in the number of rent review disputes taken to us.

Where a resident and a landlord are in dispute, either party can ask the RTB to intervene to resolve it.

The RTB has no powers to go out and investigate on their own initiative, and so they need people to make a complaint or take a case so that they can act.

“But we want more people to take cases because we’re coming off a low base so in terms of the number of cases coming to us we’re still only looking at about 400 cases per annum,” she said.

A lot of these cases have to do with rents being raised too high. Under rent pressure zone legislation introduced last year, landlords in many areas (like Dublin, Cork and other cities and towns) can only raise rents by a maximum of 4% per year.

Carroll said that illegal eviction cases – like ones where the landlord changes the locks – were the most serious to come before the RTB.

“The most serious case coming to us would be an illegal eviction where somebody went in and changed the locks or something like that,” she said.

At the moment we’re seeing maybe four to five a week coming into us. Most of those we resolve informally by us intervening and calling a landlord and therefore they never end up in a court process.

Maximum damages of €20,000 can be awarded when a case comes before the RTB.

She said people come to the RTB for many reasons.

“Sometimes the landlord tenant relationship may have broken down completely, it could be for many, many different reasons that it would come to us but we would never support the idea that you can go in and change the locks,” said Carroll.

She also said that Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy was looking into introducing legislation that would allow the RTB to act on its own initiative.

“The minister has said… that we will have the powers, that the RTB will have powers to get out and investigate and proactively enforce where we can go out and find cases,” she said.

Carroll was speaking on the publication of the RTB’s rent index report, which showed that rents across the country have risen annually by 9.5%.

Read: Rent rates in Limerick city are rising the fastest in the country

Read: ‘It’s deeply, deeply depressing’: There are still over 3,300 children homeless in Ireland

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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