This site uses cookies

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more...

Dispute Resolution Process FAQs

Expand All Collapse All

Disputes FAQs

Who can make a Dispute application to the RTB?

An application for Dispute Resolution can be made by registered landlords and all tenants (regardless of whether the tenancy is registered or not) and Third Parties, who are affected by a landlord’s failure to enforce their tenant’s obligations (e.g. another tenant or a neighbour affected by a tenant’s anti-social behaviour) can also take a case against the landlord.

Are there any categories of Landlord and Tenant case that the RTB cannot hear?

Yes. The RTB do not have jurisdiction to deal with disputes in the following circumstances:

  • In respect of a dispute where landlord also resides in the dwelling (Rent a Room Scheme)
  • In a tenant v tenant dispute
  • In instances where a tenancy never came into existence (eg. Tenant never moved in)
  • Where a dwelling is let under license agreement
  • Where the dispute matter is before the Courts
  • A dwelling where the spouse, parent or child of landlord also resides (and no lease in place)
  • Holiday lettings
  • Where the dwelling is wholly or partly used for carrying on a business
  • Local Authority housing
  • A dwelling occupied under Shared ownership lease
  • Where the term of the tenancy exceeds 35 years

How do I make an application for Dispute Resolution?

You can apply online. If you are a new customer, log on to www.rtb.ie and create a new account. You can then use this account to create a dispute application online. Existing online Registrations customers can use the same account that they created when registering their tenancies to create a dispute application. Alternatively you can call the RTB and request that a dispute application form is posted out to you.

How much does a Dispute Resolution Application cost?

The fees for Dispute Resolution are as follows:

Adjudication Hearing - €15 via online and €25 via paper application

Mediation Hearing and Telephone Mediation - Free

I have an existing case with the RTB. Can I access my case file and upload evidence online?

If you applied for Dispute Resolution via a paper application, you can request access  to your case on your online account. When you have created your new account, navigate to Disputes and choose Request Dispute Access from the available options and enter your case reference number. If the details corresponding with the case within our system match those that you have entered in your online profile, you will gain automatic access to your case and will be able to view your case file and upload evidence online. If you are having difficulty accessing the existing case, please call the RTB on 0818 30 30 37 

Can the RTB provide advice to case parties?

The RTB has replaced the Courts for the vast majority of Landlord and Tenant disputes. Due to its quasi-judicial role, the RTB remains strictly impartial and does not provide advice to either party in dispute beyond general information, in relation to the Residential Tenancies Act. However, the RTB has produced a Good Landlord Good Tenant Guide, which sets out their rights and responsibilities under the Act

Good Landlord Guide

Good Tenant Guide

What options do I have for resolving my dispute through the RTB?

Parties may choose either Mediation or Adjudication in order to resolve their dispute.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the fastest growing and most efficient method of dispute resolution in Ireland.  It saves time, money and reputatation. It is a a respectful, non adversarial win-win approach.  The RTB now offer Free Telephone Mediation as a convenient way to address disputes quickly and effectively. Mediation is highly successful in achieving mutually agreeable resolutions.

How does the Telephone Mediation Process work?

An impartial, trained Mediator will work with both sides to assist them in reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution of the issues under dispute. Both sides are contacted individually by telephone and, through a series of calls, the Mediator facilitates the parties in coming to an agreed resolution within a short period of time.   

You will not have to speak with the other party to the dispute. The Telephone Mediation process is a lot quicker than the Adjudication process and is less formal, less adversarial and requires far less paperwork.  Parties may also opt for a face to face Mediation hearing.  This will require that parties attend the Mediation hearing in person.

How does the RTB Adjudication process work?

At an Adjudication hearing, an Adjudicator will enquire fully into all matters relevant to the dispute and consider the testimony and evidence provided by both the parties in dispute. Either party may send a representative or make a written statement if they cannot attend on the day of the hearing but they must inform the RTB of this in advance. If the case respondent chooses not to attend the hearing, the case can proceed in their absence and the Adjudicator’s Determination will be binding on them if the applicant’s claim is upheld. Following the hearing, the Adjudicator will prepare an Adjudication report, which will contain his or her Determination i.e. decision in relation to the dispute. This report is sent to the parties. It is open for the parties to appeal the Adjudicators decision within the allowed appeal period if they are not happy with the outcome. If the adjudicator’s report is not appealed, it forms the basis for a legally binding Determination Order by the Board of the RTB.

Which process should I choose?

The RTB cannot advise parties as to whether they should opt for Adjudication or Mediation. 

Can parties make an agreement at an Adjudication hearing?

Yes. It should also be noted that parties are also given the opportunity to reach an agreement at an Adjudication hearing, if they wish to do so. Parties have a 10 day ‘cooling off’ period after a hearing to withdraw from any agreement reached at that hearing and if they withdraw, the Adjudicator will then make the Determination i.e. a decision in relation the case, which can be appealed to a Tribunal in the normal manner. However, if neither party withdraws from the agreement during the ‘cooling off’ period then the agreement will form the basis for a binding Determination, which cannot be appealed to a Tribunal.

What is the average processing time of a dispute application?

The new Telephone Mediation service is designed to be substansially quicker in terms of dealing with issues by facilitating an agreement between parties.

The RTB prioritises rent arrears cases where tenants are overholding as well as illegal eviction and serious anti-social behaviour cases deemed to be of an emergency nature. 

The average processing time for such cases is approximately 5 months, this is from application received to Determination Order issued where no appeal is received. The average waiting period for a hearing to be scheduled is currently 3-4 weeks. In general, the processing time will be slower if the applicant does not have up to date contact details for the respondent party.

Where are RTB dispute hearings held?

The RTB operates on a national level and Mediation and Adjudication hearings are held in the following centres; Dublin City (RTB HQ), Cork City, Galway City, Limerick City, Sligo Town, Athlone and Wexford Town.

Who can attend RTB Mediation/Adjudication hearings?

Mediation and Adjudication hearings are held in private and parties may bring legal or other representatives to the hearing, at their own expense, but this is not necessary. Parties must inform the RTB in advance, who will be accompanying them to their hearing.

Telephone Mediation as an informal dispute resolution approach does not require anyone but the parties involved.  If both parties engage in the Telephone Mediation process and no resolution is achieved, parties may refer the case to a formal Tenancy Tribunal hearing which will involve the submission of evidence and attending a public hearing.

Does the RTB provide an interpretation service at hearings?

Yes. An interpretation service will be supplied by the RTB free of charge, if required, to either party but this must be requested in advance.

I have just received notification that a case has been taken against me. Can I settle the matter in advance of a hearing?

The RTB encourage parties to come to their own agreement at any stage of the disputes process. If you wish to put a settlement proposal to the applicant party, the RTB will gladly forward it to the applicant for their consideration. It is a matter for the applicant then to accept your proposal and withdraw the case, or proceed to hearing.

I am a respondent to a case and the applicant has agreed to accept my settlement proposal and withdraw their case. How do I pay?

If you have the applicant’s address or bank account details, you can transfer any monies agreed directly to them. Alternatively, you can send a cheque or postal order to the RTB and we will arrange to forward it to the other party. Any cheque or postal order should be made out to the party to the dispute, and not the RTB. If there is more than one party, you will need to provide separate cheques/postal orders for each.

Can I take a case against a fellow tenant to the RTB?

No. However, you can take a third party case against your landlord for failing to enforce the other tenant’s obligations under Section16 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

I don’t know the address of the other case party. Can the RTB process my case?

The onus is on the applicant to provide the home address of the case respondent [i.e. the person(s) you are taking the case against] on the application form. The RTB may not be able to process the case without this information as it will not be possible to send notifications to the respondent.

All RTB notices must be served by post.  If the current address of the respondent in your case is not available to you, the RTB will do a search of available databases to locate an up to date address, however, the RTB may be unable to process your dispute in cases where there is no PPS number.  An address provided by you for the respondent must be their current address of residence.  If an address for service is not provided by you, and the RTB is unable to locate an address for the respondent parties, your case will not be heard as it will not be possible to send notifications to the respondent.

I don’t know who my landlord is. Can I take a case against the letting agent instead?

No. Tenants should note that a case can only be taken against a landlord not their letting agent. Tenants should seek the landlord details from their letting agent. Tenants are entitled to obtain this information under the Rent Book Regulations which are enforced by the relevant City or County Council. Tenants can make a complaint to their local Council. If an agent does not give the contact details to pursue a case, tenants may complain to the National Property Services Regulatory Authority, the supervisory body for agents.

What kind of evidence is usually submitted by case parties at hearings?

The onus is on the case parties to make their case at the hearing and to submit relevant documentation in support of their case by the required deadlines. Landlords would be expected to submit evidence of rent arrears or of unpaid utility bills or receipts for damage repairs to justify withholding tenants’ deposits. Tenants should likewise be able to provide receipts for proof of deposits or rent paid. This documentation will be copied in full to both parties and it is matter for each party to delete or black out any confidential information e.g. bank account details, addresses, phone nos. etc. For further information, please see our Guide to evidence

I believe that the dwelling that I am living in is below the minimum standards for rented accommodation. Can I take a case to the RTB?

A tenant can take a case against their landlord regarding Standard and Maintenance of dwelling. However, the enforcement of Minimum Standards for Rental Accommodation is dealt with by the various Local Authorities. If you believe that the dwelling is sub standard, you can contact your Local Authority and request that they carry out an inspection. Any subsequent enforcement against a landlord who fails to comply with the Housing (Standards for Rented Housing) Regulations is a matter for the Local Authorities. A portion of the RTB registration fees are given over to the Local Authorities to carry out such inspections, but other than funding, we have no further function in relation to inspection or enforcement. 

My Landlord wants to increase my rent. Can they do this?

Private Rented Dwellings:

A landlord can only review the rent once in any 24 month period, and cannot review within 24 months of the commencement of the tenancy except in limited circumstances such as a complete refurbishment of the property which affects the market rent of the dwelling.  

The Residential Tenancies Act prohibits the landlord from setting a rent that is in excess of market rent.  If a landlord intends reviewing the rent, they must inform you, in writing, of any review in rent, 90 days before the review is due to take effect.  A valid notice served by the landlord must state the amount of rent and the date to which it is to have effect.  A landlord is also required to notify the PRTB of the revised rent so that the registrations details can be updated. 

Where a valid notice of a rent review has been served by the landlord then either party can submit a dispute to the RTB before the new rent is to have effect or before expiry of 28 days from the tenant receiving that notice, whichever is the later.  There is no time limit where an invalid notice is served.

Approved Housing Bodies Rented Dwellings:

Approved Housing Bodies carry out rent reviews in accordance with the tenancy agreement. Where there is no tenancy agreement a rent review can be carried out once per year. The Approved Housing Bodies landlord is required to send a notice as soon as practicable.

Please note that Approved Housing Bodies cannot submit a Dispute Resolution Application for Rent more than Market Rate.

What is Market Rent?

Private Rented Dwellings:

Market rent is defined as a rent that a willing Tenant not already in occupation would give and a willing Landlord would take for the dwelling, having regard to other terms of the tenancy and the letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character to the dwelling and situated in a comparable area to that in which it is situated. 

Approved Housing Bodies Rented Dwellings:

The rents set for Appoved Housing Bodies do not come under the remit of the RTB.

Please note that Approved Housing Bodies cannot submit a Dispute Resolution Application for Rent more than Market Rate.

I believe that the rent increase is in excess of the market rate. Can I take a case to the RTB?

Yes, you can take a case to the RTB. If the landlord has served you with a valid written notice of rent increase, you must submit your application to the RTB before the new rent is to have effect or before the expiry of 90 days from the date of the notice, whichever is the later. Please note that you must continue to pay your rent until your case is determined. 

Please note that Approved Housing Bodies cannot submit a Dispute Resolution Application for Rent more than Market Rate.

My neighbours who are in private rented accommodation are behaving in a manner that is anti-social. Can the RTB help?

The third party applicant must first attempt to resolve their dispute directly with the landlord before making a formal application for RTB dispute resolution. The tenant will also be invited to the dispute hearing to be given an opportunity to defend the allegations and will receive copies of case documentation. A detailed note on Third Party Disputes is available in this document Third party dispute information. Any complaints of a serious anti-social or criminal nature should be reported to the Gardaí in the first instance. 

Will the other party to the dispute see my application and submitted documentation?

Yes. The Dispute application and any other supporting documentation/evidence submitted will be copied to the other party in the Dispute so the onus is on the applicant to delete or black out any confidential information. The RTB will not circulate the parties’ contact details and any credit card details on the application form. However, the onus is on parties to black out any details they do not wish to be circulated when submitting evidence.

Is there any time limit for me to take a disputes case to the RTB?

The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 imposes time limits on certain cases being taken to the RTB. Cases that solely refer to Invalid Notice of Termination must be referred to the Board within 28 days of receipt of the notice. Time limits also apply in respect of cases dealing with a rent dispute following the termination of a tenancy. In all other cases the Statute of Limitations will apply, i.e. the case must be referred before the expiry of six years from the accrual of the cause of action. 

My landlord is threatening to evict me. Can they do this?

In order to Terminate a tenancy a landlord must serve a valid Notice of Termination on the tenant. If the tenant does not vacate upon the expiration of a valid Notice of Termination, then a dispute application should be submitted to the RTB for resolution. A landlord found by the RTB to have illegally evicted a tenant may be required to pay substantial damages to the tenant. Please see our Sample Notices of Termination page for more detailed information.

Sample Notices of Termination

I think the Notice of Termination that I have received is invalid? What can I do?

A dispute regarding the validity of a Notice of Termination must be submitted to the RTB within 28 days of the date of service. There are some example notices of termination on this website which you may find of assistance. Click here.

In order for a Notice of Termination to be valid, it must:

  1. Be in writing.
  2. Be signed by the landlord or his or her authorised agent or, as appropriate, the tenant.
  3. Specify the date of service.
  4. State the reason for termination (where the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months or is a fixed term tenancy).
  5. Specify the termination date and also that the tenant has the whole of the 24 hours of this date to vacate possession.
  6. State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board within 28 days from the receipt of the notice

My tenant has lodged a RTB complaint and is refusing to pay their rent. Can they do this?

Tenant must continue to pay their rent in full until the tenancy ends and while any RTB dispute is ongoing. If the tenant is in receipt of Rent Supplement contact the Community Welfare Officer for the area who may be able to suspend the Rent Supplement 

Can an Adjudicator order that a tenant vacate the rented dwelling?

Regardless of the circumstances of a case, an Adjudicator can only order a tenant to vacate a rented dwelling on the expiration of a valid Notice of Termination, which is fully in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Please refer to the Sample Notices of Termination page for more information.

I have received the Adjudicator’s report but I am not happy with the outcome. What can I do?

You may submit an appeal application for a RTB Tenancy Tribunal within 10 working days from receipt of the Adjudicator’s report containing their determination, enclosing the appropriate appeal fee.

However, where you have reached an agreement at Adjudication and did not notify the RTB that you were withdrawing from that agreement during the 10 day cooling off period post-hearing you may not submit an appeal.

I am not happy with the way the Adjudicator handled my case. What can I do?

Adjudicators operate independently of the RTB, in accordance with a Code of Practice, and in compliance with the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. If a case party is not satisfied with the hearing of a case or an Adjudicator’s report and determination, they have a right to apply for an appeal to a RTB Tenancy Tribunal within 10 working days of receiving their report.

Please note though that where an agreement is reached at adjudication the ‘cooling off’ period is 10 days from the date the agreement was made and if one or either of the parties wishes to refer the case to a Tenancy Tribunal they must do so within the 10 day cooling off period.

As Adjudicators are appointed as independent under the Act, RTB management or staff cannot engage in any correspondence with case parties in relation to the handling of cases by independent Adjudicators. 

The other party has not complied with the RTB’s Determination Order. What can I do?

Where the terms of a Determination Order have not been complied with within the specified timeframe, a party can opt to enforce their own Determination Order through the Circuit Court under Section 124 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Alternatively a party can apply to the RTB to initiate enforcement proceedings against the other party. Such proceedings can involve Court proceedings against a non-compliant party, which could result in a criminal conviction being secured against them by the RTB. All judgements are registered and thus are likely to affect the person’s credit rating, employment prospects and visas for foreign travel. 

I am a tenant who has been notified that a receiver has been appointed to the rented dwelling. What should I do?

  • A tenant should seek a copy of the receiver’s deed of appointment or a letter from the appointing financial institution confirming the appointment having been made to the relevant property before making any rental payments to the receiver or redirecting any standing order to the receiver’s account.    
  • Once the tenant is satisfied that the receiver is officially appointed then rent must continue to be paid;    
  • At the commencement of a new tenancy and before paying a deposit to a receiver, the tenant should seek written confirmation from the receiver that the deposit is to be repaid at the end of the tenancy (provided all rental payments are made and the property is left in good condition);    
  • Where a Deposit has been paid to a Landlord ( prior to the appointment of a receiver)  he/she remains obliged to refund the deposit (provided all rental payments have been made and the property is left in good condition).