RTB customers are encouraged to use online services such as webchat and email, as far as possible, during the emergency period, as there may be some delays to the RTB phone lines. Email contacts for all RTB Business Units and access to our Web Chat facility can be found on the RTB website here. Our telephone lines remain open too, from 9am to 5pm, but we are requesting that all our customers try and seek solutions through our online and email services in the first instance.
Customers are also being asked to use online tenancy registration instead of paper applications as the RTB will be limited in its ability to process paper applications during this time. Handling paper presents its own health and safety risk, so the RTB are asking landlords not to send paper applications during this time as processing times will be impacted. For those who need to lodge a dispute resolution application, the RTB would also advise that parties use the online dispute application option instead of using paper application forms. If there are any issues with tenancy registrations or dispute resolution applications, we would advise customers to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, accordingly.
For now, all adjudication and tribunal (appeal) hearings have been adjourned; however, the RTB is looking to implement a new evidence-based adjudication process, which would not require the case parties to attend a hearing. The RTB is also researching how tribunals could potentially take place virtually and, wherever possible, will look to implement technological changes once they are legislatively sound, ensuring that they work and are accessible for our customers. The RTB is also researching options to conduct hearings via video conferencing. Any update to these developments will be posted on the RTB website.
The RTB is encouraging those who are experiencing issues in their tenancies to use the RTB’s telephone mediation service, which is a free service to help landlords and tenants resolve a dispute in a mutually beneficial manner and does not require parties to leave their home. If you are interested in telephone mediation or would like to change your adjudication case to telephone mediation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the RTB website here for more information. The RTB is continuing to prioritise those applications with issues such as rent arrears & anti-social behaviour where a notice was served prior to the emergency period, and unlawful termination of tenancies.
The RTB encourages tenants and landlords to discuss problems promptly, keep lines of communication open and respect each other’s positions. If the problem cannot be resolved, registered landlords and all tenants can apply to the RTB for dispute resolution.