The is no legal obligation on the RTB to enforce its Orders however non-compliance with Orders is taken extremely seriously. The Board will provide Legal Assistance to enforce its Orders in as many cases as possible.
The Board may offer Legal Assistance to parties allowing them to pursue court proceedings where the terms of the Determination have not been complied with. Decisions on whether or not to offer Legal Assistance are made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the Board's own limited resources and the Board’s criteria as stated in the Board’s Policy on enforcement.
Enforcement is an important function of the RTB. When landlords, tenants and third parties bring disputes to the RTB through mediation, adjudication or tribunal, they receive a legally binding Determination Order. The majority of these are complied with but where they are not, the RTB takes non-compliance with Determination Orders very seriously.
On receipt of a request for Legal Assistance with Order Enforcement Form enforcement, the RTB initially tries to secure enforcement by sending a letter to the non-compliant party reminding them of the terms of the Determination Order and requiring them to make arrangements to comply. If this approach is unsuccessful, then in line with available budgets and the Boards criteria, the RTB will provide Legal Assistance for the following cases;
- Overholding / Overholding with Rent Arrears.
- Rent Arrears that are equal to or over €3,000 or 3 months’ rent of the respective tenancy, whichever is less.
- Deposit Retention greater than or equal to 50% of full deposit.
- Unlawful termination of tenancies including cases determined to be an abuse of the termination process.
- Overpaid rent in Rent Pressure Zone cases: where rent increases are more that 4% in a Rent Pressure Zone.
- Third-party cases with anti-social behaviour where damages are awarded.
- Cases where the non-compliant Party, has a history of breaching the Residential Tenancies Act.
There are criteria where the Board may not provide Legal Assistance, which include;
- Value for Money threshold criteria - A minimum threshold of €400 (apart from deposit retention cases, although the sum to be enforced must represent 50% or over of the actual deposit)
- Where the RTB is satisfied that there are insurmountable service difficulties.
- Where there are terms of an agreement that are unenforceable in the Courts and/or are in contradiction of the Residential Tenancies Act.
- Where the landlord seeking compliance has not registered the tenancy with the RTB.
- If the applicant has not completed all the mandatory information in the Order Enforcement Application form.
- If the applicant has exceeded the maximum of 5 order enforcement cases per year, to receive legal assistance for enforcement.
- If an agreement is reached in contravention with the Rent Pressure Zone criteria.
- If the requesting party has outstanding Determination Orders that s/he has not complied with.
- If settlement is agreed and subsequently complied with, then the case for Legal Assistance will not go forward and/or will be withdrawn.
The RTB may take a percentage of cases that fall outside of the definitive criteria where hardship or other extenuating circumstances warrant consideration. These will be considered on a case by case basis where there is funding available within the RTB budget.
If you wish to request Legal Assistance from the RTB to pursue enforcement of your Determination Order you can download an application form here or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.