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Landlord convicted of breaking the law after accepting rent supplement

Two landlords had criminal proceedings brought against them.

Image: Shutterstock/www.BillionPhotos.com

TWO LANDLORDS HAVE received criminal convictions and fines totalling €11,000 for not registering their tenancies.

Both had their cases brought against them by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), bringing to 21 the number of convictions against landlords in the last 18 months.

Both were heard by Judge John O’Neill last week.

In the first case proceedings were taken against Barry Jones of Warrenstown, Drumree, County Meath for failing to register a tenancy at Manor Street, Dublin 7.

Counsel for the PRTB said that they had sent Jones two notices before a further two solicitor’s letters were sent. Judge John O’Neill convicted Jones of an offence under Section 144(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and imposed a fine of €3,000, as well as awarding costs in favour of the PRTB in the amount of €2,500 plus VAT.

The tenancy remained unregistered at the time of the court hearing.

In the second case Mary Callaghan of Hansfield, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, was convicted of a similar offence in respect of a tenancy relating to a property at Linnetsfields Square, Castaheany, Dublin 15.

The tenancy was reported to the PRTB when the Department of Social Protection began to pay rent supplement. She was sent two notices and two solicitor’s letters before the matter ended up in court.

After criminal proceedings began, there had been contact with the PRTB with regard to registering the tenancy and the court was informed that the PRTB had issued the defendant a tenancy registration form to assist her.

Notwithstanding this, the tenancy remained unregistered at the time of the court hearing. The defendant did not attend court and was convicted in her absence. She was fined €3,000 and ordered to pay €2,500 plus VAT in legal costs.

Judge O’ Neill remarked that he found the PRTB to be “very reasonable” and questioned why the defendants would not pay the “modest registration fee”.

The landlords in these cases were both contacted by the PRTB on a number of occasions and given a number of opportunities to register their tenancies.

“When they still failed to do so we were left with no option but to proceed with Criminal prosecutions,” said PRTB director Anne Marie Caulfield.

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