Residential Tenancies Board Finds improper conduct
Nine sanctions have been issued against landlords by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) after improper conduct was uncovered, mainly in relation to the raising of rent above the legal limit.
440 Active Investigations
At present, the RTB currently has over 440 active investigations in to alleged improper conduct by landlords. Thus far, investigations by the RTB on-going since 2019 have led to over €300,000 in overcharged rent being returned to tenants by their landlords, as well as almost €38,000 in sanctions paid by landlords to date.
Of the nine most recent sanctions that were issued, eight relate to properties in Dublin and one in Louth. The fines range from €500 to €2,684, and all nine landlords of these properties acknowledged their improper conduct from the outset of the investigation. These admissions of liabilities were taken in to account by the RTB when deciding the type of penalty and fine imposed, it said.
Under Irish legislation, the RTB has the power to inspect premises owned by landlords, to compel people to assist with the investigation by producing certain documents, and/or attending an interview or oral hearing.
Rent Pressure Zones
When rent pressure zones were first introduced in Ireland in 2016, the legal limit that a landlord was permitted to raise rent by was 4%. Now, a household’s rent can’t increase by more than the rate of general inflation or 2% a year, whichever is lower.
Speaking about these investigations, RTB director Niall Byrne said: “Because of the potential financial impact on individual tenants, the RTB is currently prioritising investigations into breaches of Rent Pressure Zone requirements.
“If landlords find themselves in a situation where they are not compliant with rental law, I would urge landlords to take action early to remedy the situation so they do not become the subject of an investigation, which could result in sanctions and costs of up to €30,000.”
Mr Byrne further added that the RTB would continue to publish the details of these investigations “in the interests of assuring the public that the RTB is actively regulating the residential sector.”
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*