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Landlord who refused to register tenancy hit with €3,000 fine

Tomas Ronan, from Kilcock, had refused to recognise the authority of the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

A DUBLIN LANDLORD has been hit with a fine of €3,000 for failing to recognise the authority of the Private Residential Tenancies Board.

The legal action was launched by the PRTB as a last resort, after the body had sent the landlord a number of warning letters telling him he was obliged to register his tenancy.

Last September, the PTRB issued proceedings against Tomas Ronan of Courtown Park, Kilcock in Kildare for failing to register a tenancy relating to a property in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, and the case was heard before Judge John O’Neill on Monday.

The PRTB’s Rosaleen Keane told the court that the case had been flagged by the Department of Social Protection as the tenant at the address was being paid rent supplement by the State.

The tenancies board then contacted Ronan to inform him of the need to register, but after several warnings, the landlord asserted that the PRTB had no authority to compel him to do so.

The judge rejected Ronan’s assertions, and ordered him to pay costs of €3,075 on top of a fine of €3,000.

By law, all landlords are required to register their tenancy agreement and provide the tenant with a rent book or written lease, along with receipts for rental payments. Registration can cost between €90 and €375 (for multiple tenancies in one building).

Director of the PRTB said that access to the Department of Social Protection’s Rent Supplement database had proven hugely beneficial in recent years. New software enabling the body to systematically track unregistered landlords whose tenants are receiving the payment was rolled out in 2011.

“We contacted 34,000 Landlords in 2013 following receipt of referrals from various sources including the Department of Social Protection,” Caulfield said.

“As with the landlord most recently convicted we afforded him several opportunities to comply with the legislation and register. Where those opportunities are not availed of our policy is to commence prosecutions.”

A total of 34 criminal convictions were secured by the body in 2013, and Caulfield said they intended to bring further cases before the courts in 2014.

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