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Frequently Asked Questions

Registration FAQ (General)

What is the tenancy registration system?

The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provides that landlords must apply to register tenancies with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). Part 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 which deals with the registration of tenancies has been in operation since 1st September 2004. Each application shall be contained in the Register of Tenancies which is maintained by the RTB.

What is the Register of Tenancies?

The Register of tenancies is maintained by the RTB in accordance with Part 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. Section 136 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provides the information which must be contained in an application to register a tenancy with the RTB. Please click here to access the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

The information on the register will be used to provide aggregate data on the rented sector. Personal details such as the tenant name, landlord name, rent, etc. will not be made public.

What is the published register?

The RTB maintains a published register online which is available for public inspection. The published register will not contain any information that could lead to the disclosure of the identity of the landlord or tenant(s) or the rent payable. Click here to access Publish Register

What is an RT number?

Each tenancy registered with the RTB will be allocated a unique identifier number (Registered Tenancy or RT number). When a complete application with the appropriate fee has been processed by the RTB this RT number, will be issued in a confirmation letter, to both the landlord(s) and the tenant(s). This confirmation letter is important and it should be kept in a safe place. The RT number will be required when dealing with the RTB. It may also be required by the Revenue Commissioners if claiming deductions for tax purposes. A new RT number will be issued for each new tenancy registered with the RTB.

How do I check if a tenancy is registered with the RTB?

The published register is available on the homepage of the RTB website under publications.

This lists the addresses of tenancies registered with the RTB at a particular point in time.

Click  here to access Publish Register.

What happens if I don't register?

It is a legal requirement that landlords must register tenancies with the RTB. Please see the penalties applicable under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. You should also note that until such time as a tenancy has been entered onto the RTB's register of tenancies, the RTB is precluded from dealing with any dispute relating to the tenancy that may be referred to it by the landlord. Click here to go to the Registrations Enforcement FAQs for further information.

What is a further Part 4 tenancy?

Part IV (part 4) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 contains the security of tenure measure for tenants based on 4-year cycles whereby tenancies that have lasted more than 6 months become 'Part 4 tenancies'. Unless there is a breach of the tenancy obligations, they may only be terminated by the landlord during the following 3½ years where one or more of the 6 grounds listed in the Table to section 34 of the Act arises. Please click here to access the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

At the end of the 4-year period, the tenancy is deemed terminated and a new tenancy comes into being where the dwelling continues to be let to the same tenant(s). This new tenancy is known a 'further Part 4 tenancy' and, if not terminated by the landlord within the following 6 months, may only be terminated during the remainder of the successive four years where one of the grounds in the Table to section 34 arises, or an actionable breach of obligations.

Each tenancy must be registered with the RTB. When the Part 4 tenancy is deemed to be terminated at the end of the four year cycle and a further Part 4 tenancy comes into being, this tenancy must be registered with the RTB. 

Re-Registration of Tenancy (Further Part 4 Tenancy)

Registration lasts the length of the tenancy but subject to a maximum duration of four years.

"Further Part 4" refers to tenancies that have existed for 4 years (or longer). When a tenancy has been in existence for four years it must be re-registered with the RTB. The landlord is obliged to register these tenancies.

The tenancy commencement date of a "Further Part 4" is the expiry of a four year period. For example the tenancy commencement date for a Further Part 4 when the original tenancy began on the 1st September 2006 will be the 1st September 2010. The original tenancy will have expired on the 31st August 2010.

For example if a tenancy commenced on the 25th November 2006 and lasted four years then on the 25th November 2010 the tenancy expired. The Landlord then has one month from the 25th November 2010 to re-register the tenancy and pay the standard fee. After the 24th December 2010 the application to register form will be late and the late fee is applicable. 

How often do I have to register?

The RTB registers tenancy agreements.Registration lasts the length of the tenancy. But it is subject to a maximum duration of four years. When a tenancy has been in existence for four years it must then be re-registered with the RTB.

If, for example, a tenant occupies a rented dwelling under a one year lease but remains on in the dwelling after the one year period, there is no need to register that tenancy again with the RTB. Registration is not an annual requirement.

What dwellings are exempt from registration with the RTB?

The registration of some tenancies in certain dwellings (a “dwelling” means, a property let for rent or valuable consideration as a self-contained residential unit and includes any building or part of a building used as a dwelling and any out office, yard, garden) is exempt

(a) a dwelling that is used wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on a business (the exemption does not apply to a dwelling that is for example above a retail unit)

(b) a dwelling to which Part II of the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982 applies,

(c) a dwelling let by or to a public authority

(d) a dwelling, the occupier of which is entitled to acquire, under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Ground Rents) (No. 2) Act 1978 , the fee simple in respect of it,

(e) a dwelling occupied under a shared ownership lease,

(f) a dwelling let to a person whose entitlement to occupation is for the purpose of a holiday only

(g) a dwelling within which the landlord also resides (i.e. landlord and tenant share the same self-contained property)

(h) a dwelling within which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord resides and no lease or tenancy agreement in writing has been entered into by any person resident in the dwelling

(i) a dwelling the subject of a tenancy granted under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 or under Part III of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1931 or which is the subject of an application made under section 21 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 and the court has yet to make its determination in the matter

Will the RTB provide confirmation of exemption from the tenancy registration system

No, the RTB will not routinely provide for individual confirmation of exemptions from the tenancy registration system.

What is an update?

If there is a change in one of the particulars of the tenancy after it has been registered with the RTB this is considered to be an update to a tenancy.

For example, if some of the tenants are replaced by new tenants (but at least one of the tenants remain in the rented property) then this would be considered an update to an existing tenancy.

However if there is a change of rent a landlord is required to notify the RTB within one month of that change and when doing so, you are required to advise of any other change of the tenancy details that have arisen in the interim.

No fee is payable when providing an update of tenancy details. Please note you cannot update the tenancy commencement date. If the wrong tenancy commencement date was erroneously provided on the application to register then a correction must be submitted in writing to the RTB.

What is a dwelling?

A "dwelling'' is a property let for rent or valuable consideration as a self-contained residential unit. It includes any building or part of a building used as a dwelling and any out office, yard, garden or other land appurtenant to it or usually enjoyed with it.

It excludes a structure that is not permanently attached to the ground and a vessel and a vehicle (whether mobile or not).

What is a tenancy?

A tenancy includes a periodic tenancy and a tenancy for a fixed term. A tenancy may be oral or in writing or implied. It also includes a sub-tenancy. It can include a tenancy or a sub-tenancy that has been terminated.

Please note that since the 15 July 2009 the definition of tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 no longer includes tenancies where the term of the tenancy is more than 35 years. If the term of a tenancy exceeds 35 years then it is not a tenancy which must be registered with the RTB.

What is a lease?

A lease is an instrument in writing containing a contract of tenancy in respect of a dwelling. It does not matter whether the written instrument is under seal or not.

What is a licence?

A licence is not a tenancy and therefore (save for one exception) the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 does not apply to such an arrangement. A licence can be best described as a permission to enter onto and/or occupy a dwelling (without which a trespass would occur). Examples of a licence are a person staying in hotel, hostel or guesthouse or a person sharing a house with the owner.

For a detailed overview of licensees in private rented accommodation and the application of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to them, please click here to view a RTB leaflet on "Licensees in Private Rented Accommodation"

What is a sub-tenancy?

When a tenant moves out of a dwelling and becomes landlord (in effect) to a new sub-tenant. That tenant must obtain the consent of his or her landlord before creating a sub-tenancy.

The tenancy commencement date will be the same date as the date that the original tenancy commenced on.

Subletting is not applicable to Approved Housing Body Tenancies. 

Are landlords eligible for tax relief on interest paid on borrowing to purchase investment properties?

Landlords should be aware that the Finance Acts have been amended to explicitly provide that compliance with the registration provisions contained in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 is a condition of eligibility for mortgage interest relief on residential properties.

It is a matter for individuals to satisfy themselves that they are in compliance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The RTB will not routinely provide letters confirming exemption from the 2004 Act.

The RTB is obliged under legislation to supply the Revenue Commissioners with information.

Click here to view the Revenue Commissioners' website for further information.

Why have I not received a letter from the RTB confirming registration?

Confirmation letters are being issued to landlords and tenants in all registrations processed by the RTB generally on a fortnightly basis. However your application will be considerably delayed if you fail to complete the RTB1 paper application fully and accurately and/or you fail to pay the correct registration fee.

Forms which require assisted completion by the RTB will not receive a confirmation letter until registration has been possible.

What is a BER Certificate ?

From the 1st of January 2009 a BER certificate is compulsory for all homes being rented (barring those which are exempt but you should consult the SEI website for further information). A BER is similar to the energy label for a household electrical appliance like your fridge. The label has a scale of A-G. A-rated homes are the most energy efficient and G the least efficient.

Please click here to access the SEAI website.

I lease my property to a management company who in turn rent out the property to individual tenants; I have no relationship with the tenants of the management company. Do I need to register?

In the above scenario there are two actual tenancies and they both need to be registered. Under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, the landlord is legally obliged to register the tenancy where the dwelling is leased to the management company and the management company is legally obliged to register the tenancy with the individual tenant(s). Each tenancy will then have a unique RT number assigned to it.

The above applies in all arrangements where the dwelling is sub-let and is ultimately a residential dwelling other than for those dwellings excluded in section 3 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 .

The consent of the landlord is required before the management company may sub-let the dwelling.

If the management company enjoys a Part 4 tenancy or further Part 4 tenancy, the management company must sub-let its entire interest in the property to the sub-tenant. Section 32 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 provides that a purported sub-tenancy of part only of a dwelling the subject of a Part 4 tenancy (or further Part 4 tenancy) is prohibited and will be deemed to be void pursuant to section 32(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

If however a company is employed by the landlord merely to locate tenants and/or to manage aspects of the tenancy on behalf of a landlord then there is no requirement to register the contract (agreement) between the landlord and the company. The only agreement which must be registered in this instance is the agreement between the landlord and the tenant(s). The company is acting as an authorised agent on behalf of the landlord.

You should obtain legal advice as to whether your agreement falls into the first category of agreements requiring two separate registrations or the second category in which there is only one registration requirement.

Applying to Register a Tenancy

What is meant by an incomplete application to register a tenancy?

An application to register a tenancy must have all the mandatory (required) fields completed. The information provided on the application must be accurate and correct. If incorrect information is provided or information is missing from the application form then that application to register the tenancy will be incomplete. Equally if the incorrect fee is submitted that application to register a tenancy will be incomplete.

While the RTB makes every effort to assist applicants in registering a tenancy ultimately it is the responsibility of the landlords to ensure that the application to register is complete and received on time by the RTB. The RTB cannot register incomplete applications and, as that tenancy will not be entered on the Register of Tenancies, an RT number (registration number) will not issue.

What is a draft application to register a tenancy ?

It is created when a landlord or an agent for a landlord has begun to fill in information on an online application but has not completed the application. This application has not been fully processed by the RTB on-line. No payment has been deducted and no entry has been made in the Register in respect of that application.

Once the application has been submitted to the RTB using the on-line application process it will be checked to confirm that it is complete. Once it has been verified as complete it will proceed to payment. Only when payment has been cleared will the application to register a tenancy be finalised with the RTB and a RT number will issue.

What is meant by an active registration ?

This is an existing tenancy that is registered with the RTB at a rented dwelling

What is meant by an inactive registration?

An inactive registration is a tenancy that is no longer in existence but has been registered with the RTB. A tenancy will become inactive when: All of the tenants have moved out. The four year cycle has ended (if the tenancy continues then it must be re-registered as a further part 4 tenancy. The RTB has been instructed that the tenancy no longer exists

How do I calculate floor area?

When completing this question please give approximate floor area of the rental unit not the floor area of the full premises unless the full premises is the subject of this registration application. To convert from square feet to square metres the following values should be used: 1 sq. foot = 0.0929 sq. metres 1 sq. yard = 0.8361 sq. metres

Who is a landlord?

A landlord is the person entitled to receive the rent paid in respect of a dwelling by the tenant. For the purposes of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 a landlord does not include the person who receives the rent as an agent for the landlord.

Who is an authorised agent ?

The person who is authorised by the landlord to act on his or her behalf in relation to the tenancy.

Who is a tenant?

A tenant is a person who is entitled to the occupation of a dwelling under a tenancy.

What is the tenancy commencement date?

The tenancy commencement date will depend on the circumstances of each individual tenancy.

THE FOLLOWING IS PROVIDED FOR GUIDANCE PURPOSES ONLY.

If there is a written tenancy agreement (a lease) the tenancy commencement date will usually be clearly stated in that written tenancy agreement.

However the tenancy commencement date may, for example, be the date on which:

  • it is agreed that the tenant is entitled to take up occupation of the dwelling in question or
  • the tenant actually takes up occupation of the dwelling.

For registration purposes the tenancy commencement date is important as a completed application to register a tenancy must be received by the RTB within one month from this date for the registration fee of €90 to apply.

If a fully completed application to register a tenancy is not received within this one month period then a late fee will apply.

Please note that the operative date for the RTB (formerly PRTB) is the 1st September 2004. If a tenancy existed at that time, the tenancy commencement date, for the purposes of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, is the 1st September 2004. This date applies regardless of the actual date that the tenancy commenced.

What is a company?

A company is a separate legal entity to the people who manage it.

Whereas for the purpose of completing a registration application form please note that an individual is a natural person, as opposed to a company which is a legal person.

For more information please click here to go directly to the CRO website.

What is a CRO Number?

This is the number which has been assigned by the Companies Registrations Office to the company in question.

Who are the Local Authorities ?

When completing the registration form you must indicate in which local authority area the rented dwelling is located. The authorities are:

City Councils - Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Waterford.

Borough Councils - Clonmel, Drogheda, Kilkenny, Sligo and Wexford

County Councils - Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary (NR), Tipperary (SR), Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow

Town Councils - Arklow, Athlone, Athy, Ballina, Ballinasloe, Birr, Bray, Buncrana, Bundoran, Carlow, Carrickmacross, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Castlebar, Castleblaney, Cavan, Clonakilty, Clones, Cobh, Dundalk, Dungarvan, Ennis, Enniscorthy, Fermoy, Kells, Killarney, Kilrush, Kinsale, Letterkenny, Listowel, Longford, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Monaghan, Naas, Navan, Nenagh, New Ross, Skibbereen, Templemore, Thurles, Tipperary, Tralee, Trim, Tullamore, Westport, Wicklow, Youghal

What is a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) ?

PPSN (formerly known as RSI number) is unique to each individual and is used to distinguish between individuals with similar names or addresses. The PPSN must be provided for each person as required on the form. However if as a landlord, or an agent acting on behalf of a landlord, you have made a reasonable effort to obtain the PPSN of a tenant but it has not been provided, or alternatively the tenant does not have a PPSN, this should be noted as appropriate on the registration application.

You must not use a PPSN assigned to one person for a different person.

Please note that it is in a landlord's interest to obtain a PPSN for a tenant as if there is subsequently a dispute it may facilitate the RTB in obtaining an address for a tenant.

The PPSN is usually identified on tax and welfare statements and P60s. If you do not have a PPSN number please contact your local Department of Social Protection (DSP) office. Use of the PPSN is governed by law. The PPSN Code of Practice is available from the DSP and on their website (www.welfare.ie).

Please click here to access www.welfare.ie

What is a management company ?

In the case of apartment blocks/complexes, the management company is responsible for the day-to-day management of the block/complex. In some instances, the management company engages a management agent to perform the functions of managing the properties on behalf of the management company.

Registration Fees

What are the registration fees ?

The following fees are applicable to the registration of tenancies:

A. If the tenancy commencement date is on or after the 1st January 2011

€90 per tenancy provided the completed application to register is received by the PRTB within one month from the tenancy commencement date.

A late fee of €180 applies where an application to register a tenancy is received more than one month from the tenancy commencement date.

€375 (composite fee) for multiple tenancies in the one building being registered at the same time by the one landlord within one month of the commencement date of the first tenancy. If, in the 12 months following the payment of a composite fee, one of the tenancies included in the set of multiple tenancies ends and a new tenancy is created, the application to register that new tenancy does not have to be accompanied by a fee provided it is made within one month of the commencement of that tenancy.

No fee is payable where two payments in respect of the tenancy have been made to the Private Residential Tenancies Board in the previous 12 months. No fee is payable for an update of details of a tenancy already registered.

B. If the tenancy commencement date is on or before the 31st December 2010

€70 per tenancy provided the completed application to register is received by the PRTB within one month from the tenancy commencement date.

A late fee of €140 applies where an application to register a tenancy is received more than one month from the tenancy commencement date.

€300 (composite fee) for multiple tenancies in the one building being registered at the same time by the one landlord within one month of the commencement date of the first tenancy. If, in the 12 months following the payment of a composite fee, one of the tenancies included in the set of multiple tenancies ends and a new tenancy is created, the application to register that new tenancy does not have to be accompanied by a fee provided it is made within one month of the commencement of that tenancy.

No fee is payable where two payments in respect of the tenancy have been made to the Private Residential Tenancies Board in the previous 12 months. No fee is payable for an update of details of a tenancy already registered.

What is one month ?

For the purposes of registration a "month" is defined as meaning a "calendar month". A calendar month is a full month from the 1st to the end of the month (inclusive). For example a tenancy commences on 10 January 2013. The complete registration application with the appropriate fee must be received by the PRTB by the 9 February 2013. If the form is received on 10 February 2013 then the application is late and the late fee will have to be paid.

How can I pay my registration fees?

Registration fees may be paid in the following ways:

  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Bank Draft
  • Postal order
  • Cheque

For security reasons payment by cash is not permitted.Cheques will take a minimum of 3-5 working days to clear and RT numbers (registration numbers) cannot issue until such time as payment has been received by the RTB.

After I have registered with the RTB

What do I do with the confirmation letter?

Landlords and tenants must quote the registration number given in the letter in any future correspondence with the RTB relating to that tenancy.

In addition, landlords may use the confirmation letter as a receipt for payment of the registration fee, where appropriate. Landlords may be requested to provide this confirmation letter to the Revenue Commissioners when seeking mortgage interest relief on residential properties.

What do I do if my tenant leaves my rented dwelling?

If all of the tenants move out of the rented dwelling then it is deemed to be the end of the tenancy.

When there is a new tenancy (ie new tenant(s) move in) a landlord must register the new tenancy with the RTB within one month of the tenancy commencement date.

The tenancy registration form is available to download by clicking here. However you may also register on-line by clicking here.

If at least one of the tenants remain in the rented dwelling and the other tenants are replaced by new tenants, then this would be considered an update of the tenancy details.

What happens if I change the Rent?

A landlord must inform the RTB of a change in the rent payable in respect of a dwelling within one month of the change occurring.

What happens if one of the tenants moves out and is replaced by a new tenant?

When updating the RTB of a change in rent landlords should at the same time notify the RTB of any other change to the registered tenancy details e.g. a replacement tenant. No fee is payable for informing the RTB of these changes.

What is duration of the registration?

Once a tenancy is registered it remains a registered tenancy for as long as the tenancy remains in existence. However if a tenancy continues for in excess of four years then it is necessary to re-register that tenancy on the expiration of four years. Once the tenancy is terminated, any new tenancy created in respect of the dwelling must be registered with the RTB.

What do I do if the dwelling ceases to be let?

If the tenancy ends and the dwelling is no longer available for rent then the RTB should be notified so that the record can be removed from the active registrations on the Register. This may only be done by written notification by the landlord or his or her authorised agent. In certain instances written authorisation to show that an agent is authorised to act in behalf of a landlord must be provided to the RTB. No refund of the registration fee is payable in such circumstances.

Technical Support Questions

How can I pay the fee and who do I pay?

When you have entered all details of the tenancy / tenancies, you should confirm on the "Summary" screen that the application is complete. The sections at the bottom of the screen show the individual areas which need to be completed in order to proceed to the payment screen.

If your application is showing as complete in all areas, you will need to click the required statement in order to proceed to the payment screen. "By ticking this box you are declaring that all the information provided is correct to the best of your knowledge". This will allow you to proceed to the payment screen where you can select those complete applications you wish to pay for.

What details am I required to Register?

In addition to the tenancy details, to register on-line you will need to set up an on-line account. Payment on-line is currently available through credit / debit cards only.

Please note that Credit/Debit cards are processed through the secure Relex system used by all major financial institutions. Your card details are immediately wiped following payment.

Can I pay for multiple tenancies online?

You can enter as many tenancies as you need to resister and then select any combination of those showing as "Complete" in order to proceed to payment for them.

What is the procedure for online payments?

If you are a new customer please click the "Create an online account" button. You will be brought through a step by step process for the creation of an online account, the registration of tenancies and the payment of the fee.

An Account ID will be generated for you. Your Account ID is a unique number that identifies your account. You will need it to login to the online system. In order to activate your account, you will need to provide your email address in the registration process. This account ID will be confirmed by in the activation email. You will need your account ID, together with the password and PIN you select, in order to access your account in future.

If you are an existing customer please click the "Login" button. Please note that you will require your Account ID, Password and PIN.

Where do I get my Account Reference Code?

This will be provided as part of your account setup process.

Do I use the same Account Reference Code every time I register a tenancy or access my account online?

Yes

I've lost my Account Reference Code, and I have do not have the email address I used to registered.

You will need to contact the RTB where you will be asked a number of validation questions to confirm your identity prior to your account ID notified to you.

When you access your account, you should ensure that your email address is updated to allow you to use the self-service facilities available for forgotten password or PIN.

What is the PIN number?

The PIN number is the 6-digit number you selected when setting up the account and is used as part of the security on account access.

Where do I get my PIN?

You select your PIN when setting up your on-line account.

If you have lost your PIN please click here

What is my Secret Question and Answer?

The Secret (or Security) Question and Answer provides you with a further level of security beyond your normal Account ID, password and PIN. One of the ways your are protected from unauthorised access is by asking for verification of account information, such as First Name, Last Name and PPSN. Your security question will allow you to use the self service facilities in case you do not have your password or PIN number.

My Computer crashed while I was paying - what do I do?

You should log in to your account. If your payment was successful, your application will no longer appear on the "Existing Applications" screen and will be visible as an "Existing Registration". If it was not successful you can proceed again to pay online for the relevant tenancies.

How will I receive my receipt?

You can print off your receipt from the online system.

Dispute Resolution

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.

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 Dispute application cost?

The current fee for Dispute Resolution method of Adjudication is €15 when submitted online and Paper Application is €25.

There is no fee for the Dispute Resolution of Mediation.

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

If you applied for Dispute Resolution after 1 May 2012, you should be able to access your case documentation online. 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 or 01 702 8100.

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 adjudication or mediation in order to resolve their dispute. Both dispute resolution mechanisms usually involve a hearing with the parties and either an independent adjudicator or mediator in attendance. Some cases are processed by evidence submitted only.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is the fastest growing and most efficient method of dispute resolution in Ireland. It saves time, money and reputation. It is a respectful, non adversarial win-win approach. The RTB now offer 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?

This is a telephone option for your convenience and for ease of resolution between parties. 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. Telephone Mediation does not rule out other options if an agreement is not reached. 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, who have 10 working days within which to submit an application for appeal to a RTB Tribunal, if either party wishes to exercise this right. 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. Mediation is the quickest and easiest route if both parties agree to engage in the process. Parties may also opt for an adjudication. Adjudication involves the submission of evidence ahead of a hearing with an independent decision maker, known as an Adjudicator.

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 when the adjudication report issues to the parties.

What is the average processing time of a dispute application?

The new Telephone Mediation service is designed to be substantially 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 4-5 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 adjudication/mediation 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 adjudication/mediation hearings?

Adjudication and Mediation 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 involve. If both parties engage in the Telephone Mediation process and no resolution is achieved, parties may refer the case to a formal Tribunal hearing which will involve the submission of evidence.

Does the RTB provide an interpretation service at hearings?

Yes. An interpretation service will be supplied by the RTB, 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 Section 16 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.

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 RTB replaces the Courts in dealing with legal disputes between landlords and tenants so 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

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

I live in the landlord’s home. Can I take a dispute case to the RTB?

No. Disputes in ‘rent a room’ tenancies, where the tenant shares a dwelling with the landlord do not come under the legal jurisdiction of the RTB.

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?

A landlord can only increase the rent once in any 24 month period, and cannot increase 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 increasing the rent, they must inform you, in writing, of any increase in rent, 90 days before the increase 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 RTB 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 BODY RENT REVIEWS

Rent reviews are determined by the tenancy agreement between the tenant and the approved housing body. Where the tenancy agreement does not provide a provision for rent review, then the original legislation from the 2004 Act applies, i.e. every 12 months. The notice period however, is not specified, meaning neither 28 days or 90 days apply. The Act says "as soon as practicable". 

What is Market Rent?

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.

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 within 28 days of receipt of this notice. Please note that you must continue to pay your rent until your case is determined.

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. 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, they are overholding and a dispute should be submitted to the RTB for resolution. A landlord found by the RTB to have illegally evicted a tenant (by changing the locks and denying access to the dwelling or turning off the utilities) may be required to pay substantial damages to the tenant. Please see our information leaflet for more detailed information on termination of tenancies.

Terminating a tenancy

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

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

  1. Be in writing. (an email will not suffice)
  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.
  7. Be accompanied by a statement/statutory declaration where required

Please ensure you give the adequate Notice. The first day of a period of notice is the day after service. 
Therefore if the Notice is served on the Monday the period of Notice is counted from the Tuesday. 
The notice periods depend on the length of the tenancy and the reason for issuing the notice in some circumstances. 
Whilst not a specific requirement under the Act, it may be prudent to give an additional couple of days notice to ensure that the party receives the required notice periods.

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

Tenants 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, a RTB 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 Example notices of termination and other important guidance on the termination of tenancies Terminating a tenancy

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 Tribunal within 10 working days of issue of the adjudicator’s determination, enclosing the appropriate appeal fee. 

However, you may not submit an appeal, 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.

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 Tribunal within 10 working days of receiving their report. 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).

Tribunals

Tribunal FAQ's

What is a Tenancy Tribunal hearing?

The Tenancy Tribunal hearing will be a full hearing of all the relevant facts of the dispute. Even though your case has already been heard by an Adjudicator or you have attended a Mediation hearing, you, and the other party, will be given the opportunity to present your case in its entirety and the Tenancy Tribunal will make a decision on the information presented to it.

When will a dispute be referred to a Tenancy Tribunal?

A dispute will be referred to a Tenancy Tribunal if any of the parties wish to appeal the Adjudicator’s decision within 10 working days of the date the Adjudicator’s report is served on the parties or in the event that Mediation is unsuccessful and any of the parties request a Tribunal hearing. In certain exceptional cases the RTB may refer a dispute directly to the Tribunal, e.g. where there appears to be imminent risk of damage to the dwelling or danger to one of the parties.

How soon should I submit my Appeal against an Adjudicators Determination?

Appeals against an Adjudicator’s Determination must be made within 10 working days from the date the Board serves on you the Adjudicator’s Report containing his/her decision i.e. 10 working days from the date you receive the Adjudicator’s Report through your letterbox. The Appeal must be posted to the RTB on or within the 10 working days. The onus is on you to ensure that your Appeal is within the permitted period. The 10 days is working days so does not include Saturday's, Sundays or Bank Holidays. The RTB uses post tracking, and this service is used in order to calculate the correct date by which the RTB should have received your appeal.

Who may Appeal from an Adjudication?

Only the original parties (Applicant/Respondent) to the particular dispute may lodge an Appeal. An appeal may be lodged by a party’s nominated representative. Notice parties do not have a right to appeal the decision of an Adjudicator.

How much does it cost to make an Appeal?

Please see "How to Appeal"

How do I make an Appeal?

Please see "How to Appeal"

Can I Email/Fax an Appeal/Referral and send the Fee in the Post?

No. To lodge a valid appeal/referral the fee must accompany the complete documentation and be on time.

What happens if I do not Appeal within the allowed time?

The appeal period cannot be extended. Please see Appeals for more information.

If your Appeal has not been lodged within the required time, the Board will proceed to make a Determination Order under section 121 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and this will be binding on the parties to the dispute.

What happens if my Appeal is lodged in time and with the correct fee?

Before an Appeal can be deemed to be a valid Appeal, the Board of the RTB must consider and grant the Appeal. You will be notified of the Board's decision and only then will the case be referred to a Tenancy Tribunal.

How soon can I expect my case to be listed for hearing?

Due to the large volume of cases coming before the RTB, it is expected that, after lodging a valid appeal, the average timeframe after which your case is likely to be scheduled is within three to four months following the Board granting approval of the appeal. In exceptional cases the date assigned for your Tribunal can be changed but only on receipt by the RTB of compelling evidence of the reasons why you need to have the date of your hearing changed. Therefore, if you are genuinely unavailable for any given period of time please tell us as soon as the appeal has been granted in order for avoid the need for rescheduling.

When will I know when my Hearing is due to be held?

You, and the other party/parties to your dispute, will be notified at least 21 days prior to the date on which the Tribunal hearing is due to be held. A Notice of Tenancy Tribunal Hearing will be issued to you and will include the date, time, venue and purpose of the hearing. In certain circumstances parties may be given a lesser period of notice if:

  • One or more of the parties requests a lesser period and the other party consent to such requests.
  • The dispute concerns alleged behaviour by one of the parties that poses an imminent danger of death or serious injury or imminent danger to the fabric of the dwelling concerned or the property containing that dwelling.

If, for any reason, e.g. holidays, you are unavailable at a particular time, it would be helpful if you could inform the Tribunal Section of the RTB in advance of the issue of the notification letters to you. While every effort will be made to take these into consideration when scheduling the Tribunal, no guarantee can be given that the RTB will be in a position to allow for the dates provided. As already stated, once a date for the Tribunal has been set, it will not be possible to postpone it, save in exceptional circumstances and with compelling evidence.

Where is my hearing likely to be held?

The RTB holds Tribunal hearings both regionally and in Dublin. Your Tribunal hearing will be held at a venue within a reasonable distance from the location of the dwelling, the subject of the dispute.

Can I withdraw my Appeal from Adjudication?

Yes. An appeal can be withdrawn by an appellant at any time prior to the Tribunal making a determination on the matter. If you wish to withdraw your Appeal prior to the hearing date you must write to the Board stating your wish to do so. However, if the matter is being dealt with by the Tribunal at a hearing, it will suffice for you to indicate orally to the Tribunal that you are withdrawing the matter.

Upon being notified of a withdrawal, the Tribunal is required to enquire whether the other party to the dispute objects to the withdrawal and, if such an objection is forthcoming, the Tribunal will sit to decide on any application for costs of the other party against you. In the event that the other party, upon being notified of the withdrawal, does not object, the Board will proceed to make a Determination Order under section 121 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 based on the Adjudicators decision and this will be binding on the parties to the dispute.

Is Legal Representation necessary?

The RTB now replaces the Courts in a majority of cases in relation to landlord and tenant disputes. The RTB was set up to deal with disputes on an informal basis and is intended to minimise expense in the resolution of landlord and tenant disputes. Accordingly, legal representation before the RTB, should not be necessary but parties are free to arrange for representation.

If a party intends to have legal representation at a Tribunal hearing before the RTB, notification of this should be given to the RTB within 7 days of the notification of the hearing date. Costs of legal or other professional representation before the RTB will only be awarded in exceptional circumstances and with the consent of the Board of the RTB.

Who decides the Appeal?

The Appeal will be assigned to three Tribunal Members appointed by the Board, one of which will act as the Chairperson of the Tribunal. The Tribunal Members, who are members of the Dispute Resolution Committee, will hear the dispute and make a decision based on the evidence before it. The Chairperson of the Tribunal will usually, though not necessarily be a RTB Board Member.

Will I be informed of the identity of the Tribunal Members?

Yes you should be informed either orally or in writing, however the substitution of Tribunal members may take place before or at the Tribunal hearing.

Will all matters dealt with at the Adjudication be heard at the Tribunal?

This Tribunal will be a full hearing of all the facts of the dispute (i.e. a hearing de novo ) however, the parties may, by mutual consent, agree to limit the hearing to specific matters or issues arising from the adjudication, or to include matters that have arisen since the hearing.

Either before the hearing or at commencement, parties should endeavour to reach agreement on uncontroversial issues of facts. In similar fashion if possible, parties should also try to reach a wider agreement so as to limit the issues for decision by the Tribunal.

Can I access the Tribunal’s previous decisions in order to prepare my case?

Access to the Tribunal’s previous decisions and Determination Orders are available on the website at www.rtb.ie/disputes . Parties should bear in mind that each case will be decided on the facts of the particular dispute but parties may use earlier decisions as an aid to presenting their case.

Should I submit the documentation I intend to rely on before the hearing?

You should make sure that you give a copy of all evidence to the RTB at least 10 days before the hearing or at the earliest possible date after that. Such documents may consist of invoices, photographs, bank statements, the lease agreement (s), Notice of Termination etc. All submissions of evidence relevant to the case will be copied over to the other party. Documentation of no relevance to the tenancy in question should not be submitted and and will not be copied to the Tribunal unless you can show the relevance of the evidence submitted. Documents marked “without prejudice” will not be circulated.

How do I prepare my case?

An important factor in preparing your case for presentation to the Tribunal is to arrange the facts of the dispute in a straightforward and chronological order, so as to present the case in a clear and comprehensive manner. It would be of assistance to the Tribunal if documentation submitted as evidence was clearly categorised and a cover note, setting out the contents of the evidence, were attached. Where there are numerous documents these should be bound, paginated and five identical copies sent to the RTB 10 days in advance of the hearing. All submissions of evidence relevant to the case will be copied over to the other party. Documentation of no relevance to the tenancy in question should not be submitted and will not be copied to the Tribunal unless you can show the relevance of the evidence submitted.

What documentation may not be permitted into evidence?

The relevance of the documentation to the tenancy/dispute is the primary issue to bear in mind when submitting documentation. Specified documentation may not be permitted into evidence if it is not appropriate or relevant to the dispute. Please note that information/documentation submitted, including correspondence addressed to the RTB, will be circulated to all parties to the dispute, to include representatives, as well as the Tribunal. The onus is on the parties to redact (or refrain from submitting) information that they do not want to be circulated and also that documentation of no relevance to the tenancy in question should not be submitted. Documentation that is not being circulated will not be held on file and will be immediately returned to the party submitting the evidence.

What type of documents should I submit to the RTB prior to the hearing?

If your tenancy is the subject of a written lease agreement, whether still in force or expired, you should submit a copy of this document.

 You should submit a copy of all correspondence sent or received by you or your Agent, relating to the dispute.

 If the dispute relates to rent, you should submit a copy of your rent book, rent receipts, relevant bank statements, proof of any agreement relating to rent, your own note setting out arrears of rent due or rent overpaid and all other documentation which you intend to refer, in support of or in defence of your case.

 If the dispute concerns damage to the dwelling, the contents of the dwelling or to your personal property, you should submit a copy of all receipts for repairs or replacements carried out, along with copy photographs, original inventory for the dwelling, list of damaged items and receipts for original purchase of items and all other documentation which you intend to refer, in support of or in defence of your case. Please note that quotations may not be accepted as proof that repairs were carried out.

 If the dispute concerns a Notice of Termination, you should submit a copy of the Notice of Termination with you and a copy of all correspondence sent or received relating to the Notice of Termination to include warning letters and all documentation evidencing attempts to have any breaches of landlord/tenant obligations remedied within a reasonable time (if applicable).

 If the dispute relates to monies due on foot of utility bills, you should submit a copy of with the relevant gas bill, electricity bill or other utility bill and a copy of all related correspondence.

Please note that, having submitted copies of the documentation/evidence relevant to your case, you should bring with you to the Tribunal hearing the original of any documents previously submitted.

What evidence should I include (based on the type of dispute)?

The document located here explains suggested evidence requirements where the dispute concerns:

  • Deposit Retention
  • Alleged damage to property or standard and maintenance of the dwelling
  • Notice of Termination
  • Alleged Rent Arrears
  • Unlawful Termination / Illegal Eviction

The document can be viewed by clicking the link below.

What evidence should I include if the dispute concerns the following

I forgot to submit certain evidence prior to my hearing; can I bring it to the Tribunal on the day?

The Tribunal will only consider evidence given in on the day in exceptional circumstances and only if necessary in the interests of justice.

Can I subpoena someone to appear at the hearing?

The Tribunal may summon/ask witnesses to appear before it. If you want a witness to be subpoenaed to appear on your behalf you must ask the RTB at least 10 days before the scheduled hearing date. The Tribunal will consider the subpoena request and, if granted, a subpoena will be issued. Witnesses are entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if before the High Court. The Tribunal may direct that a witness be reimbursed all or part of his/her reasonable expenses in attending before the Tribunal – and, if so, usually to be paid after such attendance and giving of evidence.

Appeals

Appeals from Adjudication

Who may Appeal from an Adjudication?

Only the original parties (Applicant/Respondent) to the particular dispute may lodge an Appeal. An appeal may be lodged by a party’s nominated representative. Notice parties do not have a right to appeal the decision of an Adjudicator.

How soon should I submit/lodge my Appeal against an Adjudicators Determination?

Appeals against an Adjudicator’s Determination must be made within 10 working days from the date the Board serves on you the Adjudicator’s Report containing his/her decision i.e. 10 working days from the date you receive the Adjudicator’s Report through your letterbox. The Appeal must be posted to the RTB on or within 10 working days. The onus is on you to ensure that your Appeal is within the permitted period. The 10 days are working days so do not include weekends or bankholidays. The RTB uses post tracking, and this service is used in order to calculate the correct date by which the RTB should have received your appeal.

Referral (Appeal) from Mediation

How much does it cost to make an Appeal?

Please see "How to Appeal"

Can I Email/Fax an Appeal/Referral and send the Fee in the Post?

No. To lodge a valid appeal/referral the fee must accompany the complete documentation and be on time.

How soon should I submit/lodge my referral (Appeal) after concluding my Telephone Mediation?

Please see 'Telephone Mediation Process'

Who may send a referral following a Mediation?

Please see 'Telephone Mediation Process'

How do I make an Appeal/Referral?

Please see How to Appeal

What happens if I do not Appeal the Adjudicator’s Decision or my Appeal form is not lodged/submitted in time?

The 21 day appeal period cannot be extended. If the Adjudicator’s Determination is not appealed or your Appeal has not been lodged within the required time, the Board will proceed to make a Determination Order under section 121 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and this will be binding on the parties to the dispute.

Enforcement

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.
  • Criminal proceedings (under S.126 of the Act) can also be taken and such proceedings are instituted in the District 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 may be made in writing to the RTB or by email to enforceorder@rtb.ie and must give the Case Reference number; the date of issue of the Determination Order; details of the term(s) of the Order which have not been complied with; and what steps you have taken to recover monies due.

Due to limited resources and the significant volume of cases currently being processed, considerable delays can be expected in the processing of your request for enforcement by the RTB.

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 criminal or civil proceedings against you in the Courts.

There are serious consequences to such proceedings, as follows:

  • Criminal proceedings may be pursued under Section 126 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. This section provides that a person who fails to comply with one or more terms of a Determination Order is guilty of an offence. Upon conviction, you may face a fine of up to €3,000 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months. In addition, parties convicted of a criminal offence run the risk of having entry restrictions imposed on them, should they attempt to travel to some foreign countries. It should also be noted that on conviction, the Court may award the applicant party the costs that were expended in the investigation and prosecution of the offence.
  • 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 in 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.