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Enforcement FAQ's

Disclaimer

This document is a brief summary of the more common issues for landlords and tenants. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to, nor a legal interpretation of, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (“the Act”). Even though care has been taken in the preparation and publication of this guidance note the Residential Tenancies Board, nor its servants or agents assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided in this guidance note and do not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions contained therein.

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Enforcement - General

When can enforcement proceedings be initiated?

Enforcement proceedings can be initiated when:

  • The compliance period* (that is the time within which the other party has to comply with the order) has elapsed; and
  • The other party has failed to comply with one or more terms of the Determination Order made by the RTB.   

*The compliance period runs from the date of issue of the Determination Order. Specifically, this refers to the date on the cover letter enclosing the Determination Order and not to the date the Order was made by the Board. For example, if a Determination Order refers to a compliance period of 7 days (i.e. X has 7 days to pay Y rent arrears) and the Determination Order is posted on 1 January (the date on the letter enclosing the Determination Order), the compliance period elapses on 8 January.

Who can initiate enforcement proceedings?

It is open to a party seeking compliance (PSC) with the terms of a Determination Order to take their own proceedings against a non-compliant party (NCP).

The legislation governing enforcement proceedings is the Residential Tenancies Act 2004:

  • Civil proceedings (under S.124 of the Act) can be instituted in the Circuit Court.

Alternatively, the RTB may initiate enforcement proceedings at the request of the PSC. However, enforcement by the RTB is discretionary under the Act and decisions on whether or not to pursue enforcement are made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the RTB Enforcement Policy.

Enforcement - If you are a Party Seeking Compliance (PSC)

How can the RTB assist if I wish to initiate enforcement proceedings?

The RTB can assist by providing you with a further original Determination Order and post tracking confirming delivery of the Determination Order to the non-compliant party to enable you or your solicitor/agent to commence enforcement proceedings in the Courts.

Please note that the RTB cannot provide you with legal advice in relation to taking these proceedings. A party taking their own proceedings can represent themselves in the Court or can engage the services of an independent solicitor.

Can I request the RTB to initiate enforcement proceedings on my behalf?

Yes. Requests for enforcement must be made on a RTB Enforcement Application Form

Due to the significant volume of requests received each year and the time involved in a full review of the case prior to Board's consideration, delays are to be expected. Please note that the Board cannot accede to every request.

What will the Enforcement Section do when I make a request?

The Enforcement Section commences the enforcement process by writing to the non-compliant party and informing them that a request for enforcement has been received, of the process for enforcing an Order and the possible consequences of non-compliance. This is a 14 day warning letter and if compliance is not secured as a result of this communication with the non-compliant party, a submission is made to the Board for a decision on whether or not the case is suitable for enforcement. Enforcement under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 is discretionary and any decision made by the Board is final. 

In circumstances where a case is approved by the Board for enforcement, the file is then passed to the solicitors acting on behalf of the RTB and a court date is sought.

Please note it will be a number of months following receipt of your request before the RTB are in a position to commence the enforcement process. Priority is given to over-holding, illegal eviction and cases of serious anti-social behaviour; and even in such circumstances the process is lengthy and you may wish to consider taking your own proceedings.  

Can I request an update or progress report from the RTB?

The RTB are not in a position to provide regular updates to case parties due to current resource constraints and the number of cases currently being processed.

However, we will inform you by post of any relevant developments when they occur and of all decisions reached by the Board.

If the non-compliant party complies or part complies after I have made a request what should I do?

The RTB must be notified immediately in writing or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie and provided with full details of the terms complied with. The RTB may then terminate or suspend any enforcement proceedings. 

It should be noted that failure to notify the RTB of full/part compliance may result in a party seeking compliance being liable to the RTB for costs of commencing unnecessary legal proceedings.

I wish to withdraw my request or initiate court proceedings myself, what should I do?

To withdraw a request or opt to initiate enforcement proceedings yourself you must notify the RTB immediately in writing or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie  so that the RTB enforcement process can be halted. 

It should be noted that failure to notify the RTB of same may result in a party seeking compliance being liable to the RTB for costs of commencing unnecessary legal proceedings.

My contact details have changed subsequent to making a request, what should I do?

You should notify the RTB immediately in writing or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie if your contact details change.  Failure to do so may jeopardise the RTB enforcement process.

Enforcement - If you are a Non Compliant Party (NCP)

What are the consequences if I do not comply with an Order?

If you do not comply with one or more terms of a Determination Order either the RTB or the party in favour of whom the Determination Order is made may initiate civil proceedings against you in the Courts.

A Circuit Court Order may be obtained under Section 124 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 directing you to comply with the terms of the Determination Order. If there is continued failure to comply, an Order can be obtained for attachment and committal. While such matters rest with the discretion of the Court, an application for attachment and committal may result in imprisonment. The judgement of the court may also be registered; these judgements may then be published in the various Trade Gazettes, the reporting of which can have adverse financial consequences for you at a future date (including the ability to secure loan approval from lending institutions).

What can I do if I am unable to comply with an Order?

If you are unable to comply with an Order we would encourage you to contact the other party and negotiate an alternative settlement arrangement with a view to having them withdraw/suspend enforcement proceedings against you. If you are unable to contact the other party the RTB may assist you by forwarding initial correspondence only to them or by acquiring permission from the other party to provide you with contact details.

The RTB does not become involved in brokering settlement agreements or negotiating between parties to a dispute. In the event that an arrangement is reached, settlement should take place directly between the parties to the dispute themselves and the RTB should be advised in writing of same.

What if I receive a notice from the RTB regarding enforcement proceedings?

If, contrary to the information provided to the RTB, you consider that you are in fact compliant with the terms of the Determination Order, you should provide evidence of such compliance to the RTB in writing or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie within the timeframe provided the letter received by you.  

If you are not compliant we strongly recommend that you comply with the terms of the Order or seek legal advice about the matter given the serious consequences and implications, of having proceedings brought against you for your failure to comply with the Board’s Determination Order.

What happens if I ignore a notice from the RTB regarding enforcement proceedings?

If you ignore the notice, the RTB will continue with the enforcement process.

It should be noted that failure to respond and comply may leave you liable to the RTB for costs if legal proceedings are commenced against you.

My contact details have changed, what should I do?

You should notify the RTB immediately in writing or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie if your contact details change. 

What happens if my contact details change and do not inform the other party or the RTB?

In addition to publically available records, the RTB have data sharing arrangements with a number of public bodies such as the Department of Social Protection and in most cases, can track the current addresses of non-compliant parties. 

Any delay as a result of not engaging in the process may lead to additional costs being awarded against a non-compliant party in court.

I have received a notice from the RTB’s solicitors, what should I do?

If you have received a notice from the RTB solicitors you should contact them immediately at the contact number provided on the letter as they have been directed to commence legal proceedings and will continue to progress proceedings through the Courts unless they receive evidence from you that you have complied with the terms of the Determination Order. It should be noted that failure to respond and comply may leave you liable to the RTB for costs of the legal proceedings against you.