PUBLICATION OF RTB ANNUAL REPORT 2017 AND STRATEGIC PLAN 2018-2022
- Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) launches Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and Annual Report for 2017
- RTB Strategic Plan sets out expanded regulatory enforcement role and proactive approach to dispute prevention
- Demand for services continued to increase with a record 170,000 calls and 61,000 email queries – Annual Report 2017
- Rental sector comprises of 340,000 tenants, 714,000 occupants and 174,000 landlords
12th July 2018
The 2017 Annual Report shows another year with record demand for services including 170,000 calls, an increase of 31% since 2016. Despite this increase, 82% of calls were answered within 20 seconds. In addition, the RTB responded to over 61,000 email queries (up 18%) and received nearly 6,000 applications for dispute resolution services, an increase of 20% since 2016. This increase in dispute applications has remained steady at only 1-2% of the total number of registered tenancies.
This year the Annual Report provides additional analysis on the outcomes of cases brought to the RTB in 2017. This shows that 77% of all notices of rent review determined on were found to be invalid and a total of €1.6m in Rent Arrears (not including damages) was awarded to landlords, an average of €3,400 per landlord. In the area of deposits, for over 90% of cases, the deposit was fully or partially refunded to the tenant.
Information is also available on why notices of termination were served showing that the majority of landlords (44%) served notice for rent arrears, while 20% served noticed because they intended to sell their property.
Reflecting on the analysis, RTB Director, Rosalind Carroll said “We have learnt a lot through the analysis of the disputes that are being brought forward. Through this information we can look at the issues that are arising for landlords, tenants and third parties and use it to adopt a proactive approach to dispute prevention through education and awareness”.
The Strategic Plan also launched today provides the longer-term vision for the organisation to support changes in the rental sector. The plan sets out the focus of the RTB for the next five years. This will see the RTB move forward and develop to become a proactive regulator of the rental sector, expanding its role beyond being just a quasi-judicial body.
The management of this change along with a focus on dispute prevention through education and information and evidence based research are some of the priorities in the Strategic Plan that the RTB have identified that aim to move the rental sector to one that is well functioning, fair and beneficial to all.
With the size and scale of the sector, the RTB continues to explore opportunities to effectively engage with the growing proportion of the population in the rental sector. At the end of 2017, there were 339,447 registered tenancies, 714,000 occupants and 174,000 landlords in the sector with 70% of landlords owning one property. Throughout the year the RTB made changes to improve and expand the channels available for customers through webchat, expanded opening hours and a new website to make information more accessible.
As part of the priorities within the Strategic Plan, the RTB will be investing over €5m in new ICT systems and infastructure in an ambitious digital transformation programme to radically change the way the RTB works and how it interacts with customers.
Rosalind Carroll continued “As an organisation we are thinking about change and how we can interact better. The digital transformation programme we have embarked on represents the biggest investment that the RTB has made since its establishment in 2004 and will bring new opportunities for smart regulation, data analytics and innovation in how we communicate”.
“One of the most significant changes for both the RTB and the rental sector with the enforcement powers coming down the line, is the expansion of the role of the RTB to allow us to proactively enforce the legislation and play a more active and direct regulatory role in the sector. A key focus of our strategic plan factors is on how the RTB will support landlords and tenants through this change and help them to understand their rights and responsibilities in what is a complex regulatory framework”.
Press Queries to Marie@mkc.ie / 087-1255572 or Graham@mkc.ie / 085-2088343.
Notes to Editors
About the RTB
The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) is a public body established to support and develop a well-functioning rental housing sector. In operation since 2004, the RTB remains one of the only rental housing regulators in Europe and plays a significant role in the provision of services and information to support those who live and work in the sector and to the public.
The RTB provides the following services to support and develop a well-functioning rental housing sector:
• Maintaining a published register of rented tenancies. Registration of a tenancy is an essential part of tenancy management and a key element in regulating the supporting the rental sector.
• The provision of information and education on the rights and responsibilities of those living and working in the rental sector is an important role of the RTB.
• Dispute Resolution Service offers options of resolution – mediation and adjudication – to those with issues relating to a rented tenancy.
• Registration compliance and Determination Order Enforcement to ensure compliance with legal obligations.
• Research conducted by the RTB provides accurate and authoritative data and information on the rental sector, which assists in policy decision making.