Contact us by phone at 0818 776297 or 01 6753724 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Investigations & Sanctions
- What can be investigated?
- How can I notify the Investigations and Sanctions Unit about a potential breach?
- What happens when the Investigations and Sanctions Unit is notified of a potential breach?
- As a landlord how can I ensure I am in compliance with the law?
The RTB has a new investigations and sanctions unit dedicated to investigating potential breaches of rental law by a landlord in relation to:
- Failure to comply with the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) requirements. This occurs by increasing rent by more than is allowed under the calculation set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.
Prior to 16 July 2021 in a RPZ rent could only increase by up to 4% per year or 24 months in an area newly designated as an RPZ.
After 16 July 2021 in a RPZ rent can only increase by up to the percentage difference between the Harmonised Index of Consumer Pricing (HICP) on the date that the rent was previously set and the date the new rent is set. After 11th December 2021, when setting the rent at the start of a tenancy in an RPZ or when carrying out a rent review in an RPZ, rent increases are capped at 2% per year on a pro rata basis, where HICP inflation is higher
- Seeking to rely on an exemption to the RPZ requirements, which does not comply with those requirements i.e. falsely claiming that a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation occurred or that no tenancy existed in the dwelling in the 2 years prior to the date the tenancy commenced.
- Failure to notify the RTB about the reliance on an exemption to the RPZ requirements within 1 month from the setting of the rent.
- Failure to register a tenancy with the RTB within 1 month of the tenancy commencing.
- Citing in a Notice of Termination a reason for terminating the tenancy that is false or misleading in a material respect.
- Seeking a deposit in excess of one month’s rent, this applies in the case of a tenancy created from 9 August 2021 onwards.
- Seeking an advance payment of more than one month’s rent, this applies in the case of a tenancy created from 9 August 2021 onwards.
- Failure to notify the RTB of changes to certain details of the tenancy (including new rent set, tenant details, landlord details) within 1 month of the change taking effect.
- Failure to offer a tenant their tenancy back when terminated for certain specific reasons (detailed below), where:
|Reason for Termination||Timeframe|
|The Landlord intends to sell the dwelling||9 months|
|The landlord or a member of the landlord’s family intends to occupy the dwelling||12 months|
|The Landlord intends to substantially refurbish/renovate the dwelling||when completed|
|The Landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling||12 months|
- the tenant provided their contact details to the landlord, in writing, within 28 days from the date of service of the Notice or on final determination of a dispute, if relevant,
- the reason is no longer relevant,
- the tenancy was not otherwise validly terminated, the dwelling is available for reletting within the timeframes set out below from the date the tenancy ended
The Investigations and Sanctions Unit can start an investigation either as a result of information received from members of the public or as a result of information gathered from records that the RTB has access to under the Residential Tenancies Act.
If you are aware of a potential breach of rental law as outlined above you can bring it to the attention of the Investigations and Sanctions Unit in one of three ways as set out below. For further information please see the Guide to Making a Compliant which can be found here
1) You can call us on 0818 776297 or 01 6753724.
You can raise a concern by calling our dedicated Investigations and Sanctions Information Helpline – 0818 776297 or 01 6753724. Your name and contact details will not be recorded and you will not receive any further up-dates on your referral or any actions that the RTB may take on foot of your information.
2) You can email us at email@example.com.
Please make sure to include the address of the property and, if possible, the name and address of the landlord in your email. Your name and contact details will be recorded for the purposes of requesting follow up information, should this become necessary, but your name and contact details will not be disclosed to the landlord as part of the Investigations and Sanctions Process. You will not receive any further up-dates on your referral or any actions that the RTB may take on foot of your information.
3) You can make a Formal Complaint.
A Formal Complaint can be made in writing by filling out and returning the RTB Sanctions and Alleged Breach Complaint form. If you require further information or wish to contact us before submitting your formal complaint, please phone our Investigations and Sanctions Information Helpline at 0818 776297 or 01 6753724.
If you make a Formal Complaint, you will be informed whether or not an investigation will take place and will be informed, once an investigation has been completed, of the result.
The Formal Complaint form will be sent to the landlord as part of the Investigations and Sanctions Process, but no contact details other than your name, will be disclosed to the landlord.
The below is a brief overview of the Investigations and Sanctions Process. If you are a landlord who has received a Notice of Investigation or if you would like more detailed information about the process, the RTB has developed the Investigation and Sanctions Guide: Guidance for Landlords on the RTB Investigations and Sanctions Process which can be found here.
If you have submitted a Complaint or a Concern to the Investigations and Sanctions Unit and you would like more detailed information about the process, the RTB has developed the Guide to Making a Complaint which can be found here
All information received is reviewed by the Investigations and Sanctions team to ascertain if an investigation can take place.
The landlord will be notified if an investigation commences and will be given the opportunity to acknowledge their breach(s).
If a formal complaint has been received both the complainant and the landlord will be informed whether or not an investigation will take place.
The landlord will also be given the opportunity to submit relevant evidence to prove that a breach has not occurred.
The investigation will be conducted by specially appointed RTB Authorised Officers. During the investigation the Authorised Officer may write to the landlord or any other person they believe may be able to provide evidence or information to assist in the investigation. This may include the complainant (if any), estate agent, letting agent, neighbours, professional experts etc. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, bank statements, letters, photos, advertisements and witness statements. They may also conduct an Oral Hearing if necessary.
Once the Authorised Officer has completed the investigation they will produce a Draft Report setting out an account of the investigation and details of the findings and will send this to the landlord and the complainant (if any).
The landlord and the complainant (if any) will then have 21 days from the date of receipt of the Draft Report to make submissions in writing to the Authorised Officer on the Draft Report.
The Authorised Officer will consider any such submissions made and make any alteration to the Draft Report if, in their opinion an alteration is warranted.
The final Investigation Report, and any submission received on the Draft Report, will be submitted to an independent Decision Maker.
The Decision Maker will consider the final Investigation Report and if they agree that a breach has occurred, they can apply a caution or a fine on a landlord of up to a maximum of €15,000 and costs of €15,000. This fine is paid to the Exchequer.
The landlord can appeal the decision of the Decision Maker to the Circuit Court within 21 days of the giving by the Board to the landlord of the decision notice
Sanctions are confirmed by the Circuit Court and, once confirmed, will be published on the RTB website here.
Landlords and tenants both have responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.
It is the responsibility of landlords and tenants to make sure that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act. If you are unsure if a part of the legislation applies to you, you can call our general Helpline on 0818303037 or use our webchat service on onestopshop.rtb.ie for information about the Act and how it applies to landlords and tenants.
You can also download The Good Landlord Tenant Guide here. This is a guide to the Residential Tenancies Act which the RTB has published to help landlords and tenants to understand how the legislation applies to them.
For information on how the RTB handle your personal data, please refer to the RTB Privacy Statement.