Source: Shutterstock/Mr Doomits
THE NUMBER OF disputes between landlords and tenants brought to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) increased by 10% last year, according to its annual report.
The RTB received 6,398 applications for dispute resolution, while it also was contacted 260,188 times via phone, emails and web-chat channels.
The main reasons disputes were brought to the RTB involved rent arrears/overholding comprising 26% of complaints, the validity of a notice of termination at 22%, and deposit retention at 20%.
In 2018, 42% of all notices of termination submitted by landlords were deemed to be invalid, while some 45% of all disputes raised were withdrawn or settled before a hearing took place.
The number of people contacting the RTB for information and services increased by 6% in 2018 – up by almost 50% on 2015, just three years previous.
In one case, which required dispute resolution, a landlord was awarded almost €11,000 following “significant damage” to their rental home.
This included “deliberate disconnection of and damage to pipes and plumbing that caused flooding in the bathroom and kitchen”.
Another case saw €3,900 awarded to a tenant in “overpaid rent” because the tenant was threatened with the sale of the property if they did not pay an illegal rent increase.
The tenant was paying €1,200 in rent per month but was advised if they did not agree to pay €1,500 per month the property would be sold and they would be evicted.
After passing through the Oireachtas this year, new legislation was introduced in a phased process to improve protections for tenants and landlords.
Rosalind Carroll, director of the RTB said: “It is important to acknowledge the new legislation introduced in June this year will continue to enhance the role of the RTB in the proactive monitoring and regulation of the market.”
“This along with our information, disputes and research services will allow the RTB to continue to provide support services to ensure that we can have an effective regulated sector, that is fair, accessible and beneficial for all.”