RTB Publishes Details of Sanctions Imposed on Landlords who have Breached Rental Law

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  • Details of 38 sanctions imposed on landlords for breaches of rental law have been published on the RTB website today. This brings to 76 the total number of sanctions imposed since 2019.
  • As a result of successful investigations by the RTB, over €338,000 in overcharged rent has been returned to tenants by landlords and financial sanctions in excess of €60,000 have been paid by landlords since 2019.
  • Over 85% of the 76 sanctions for improper conduct published to date are for breaches of Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) limits on rents.
  • Recognising that the vast majority of landlords and tenants want to have a good relationship, the RTB works to help landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. In keeping with this commitment, the RTB has recently published a template Residential Tenancy Agreement designed to help landlords and tenants get their tenancies off to the right start.

28 October 2022: Today, the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has published particulars of 38 sanctions which have been imposed on landlords as a result of the RTB’s ongoing investigations activities.

This is the third time that the RTB has published sanctions since, in 2019, being granted regulatory powers to investigate and sanction landlords who have breached certain aspects of rental legislation. These particular breaches of rental law are called ‘improper conducts’ (more information in the Editor’s notes).

A total of 76 sanctions have been published to date. Sanctions that have been imposed, which have not been appealed by landlords, must be confirmed by the Circuit Court. All sanctions published have been confirmed by the Circuit Court and all applicable appeal periods have passed. Other sanctions are in the process of confirmation and will be published once that process is complete.

A dedicated webpage where all sanctions are published is available here.

RTB Investigations

Where certain rental laws have not been complied with, landlords may be subject to regulatory action by the RTB, including, potential investigation and sanction. For a list of the improper conducts that can be investigated please see our website here Investigations and Sanctions | Residential Tenancies Board (rtb.ie) or further below in the Editors’ Notes.

The RTB may commence an investigation, either as a result of complaints or information received from members of the public, or on its own volition.

As of today, the RTB has a pipeline of over 460 investigations which are at varying stages of the investigations process. During 2021, 169 investigations into potential improper conduct were approved by the RTB. Of these, 80% (135) were initiated on the RTB’s own volition and 20% (34) were based on formal written complaints from the public. The breakdown of the types of investigations that were approved in 2021 is shown in Table 1 in the Editor’s Notes.

Details of the 38 Sanctions published today

The RTB currently prioritises allegations of breaches of RPZ restrictions, which is reflected in the 38 sanctions published today. To date, over 85% of the published sanctions have been for breach of RPZ regulations.

It is important to note that an investigation might cover multiple improper conducts. For example, a landlord may be sanctioned because they set the rent higher than what is permitted in a Rent Pressure Zone, and they also failed to register their tenancy with the RTB. The below table provides a breakdown of the 38 published sanctions.

Improper conduct sanctioned  

Breach of RPZ Requirements  

Failure to Register  

Failure to Offer Back 

Failure to Notify the RTB of Changes to a Tenancy 

Failure to Notify the RTB of Reliance on a RPZ Exemption  

Number of instances sanctioned* 



*An investigation may be for more than one kind of improper conduct so these numbers will add up to more than 38.

Where a landlord has committed an improper conduct, they can be sanctioned by an independent Decision Maker with a written caution and/or a monetary sanction up to €15,000 and/or costs up to €15,000.

All decisions to sanction must be confirmed by the Circuit Court. The RTB has a legal obligation to publish sanctions that have been confirmed by the Circuit Court once all legal and administrative procedures have been completed. The RTB does so here and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis.

Landlord acknowledgements

Of the 38 landlords who were sanctioned, 32 opted to acknowledge the alleged improper conduct at the beginning of the investigation. By taking this approach, the landlords simplified the process and demonstrated that they were co-operating with the investigation. This was taken into consideration by the RTB’s Decision Maker, together with any steps taken by the landlord to rectify the breach of rental law, when they were deciding on the type of sanction and the amount of any monetary penalty.

Six landlords did not acknowledge the alleged breach of legislation, and this was taken into account by the RTB’s Decision Makers when deciding to sanction.

Sanction outcomes

The 38 sanctions published today range from a written caution up to a fine of €3,963.76.

As a direct result of all the investigations conducted by the RTB to date:

  • Over €338,000 in overcharged rent has been returned to tenants by landlords.
  • The rents in these cases have also been reset to amounts in compliance with the legislation preventing these, and any future tenants, from being overcharged.
  • Over €60,000 has been paid by landlords in sanctions to date. All sanction amounts are paid to the Exchequer. 

Commenting on today’s published sanctions, Niall Byrne, Director of the RTB, notes:

“We know that the vast majority of landlords want to comply with their obligations and to have good relations with their tenants. Our research data supports this positive view and the RTB is very happy to acknowledge this fact. However, there is also a small proportion of landlords who do not abide by the law and who cause harm to their tenants. Neglectful and badly-intended landlords also damage the reputation of the responsible landlords across Ireland who comply voluntarily with the law and who work every day to ensure their tenants are treated fairly and with respect. The RTB is committed to ensuring that these people are identified and are held to account for their improper conduct.  

The RTB acknowledges that rental law can be complex and intimidating to both landlords and tenants. To help landlords get things right with their tenancy agreements, the RTB has created a new template Residential Tenancy Agreement template. This is intended to help landlords be confident that they are providing tenants with all the required information and that their tenancies get off to a good start.”

RTB Residential Tenancy Agreement

Today, the RTB has also published a new resource specifically for landlords in the form of a template Residential Tenancy Agreement. This new template lease agreement was created to help landlords and tenants get their tenancies off to the right start. It also includes a sample inventory report.

The template contains the basics of a residential tenancy agreement to help landlords and tenants set out the terms of their relationship. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to enter into a written tenancy agreement so that they are clear on the obligations that they owe each other. This template is suitable for new residential tenancies created on or after 11 June 2022, with the exception of tenancies provided by AHBs, including cost rental tenancies, and Student Specific Accommodation.

The RTB reminds people to be aware of potentially fraudulent rental advertisements and tenancy agreements. If an individual responds to a private rental advertisement and receives forms purporting to be from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage or the RTB in return, they should not engage further with them. Anyone who believes they have mistakenly provided personal information or paid a deposit in response to these types of fraudulent advertisements and false rental applications/tenancy agreements calls should immediately alert An Garda Síochána.

The RTB’s Residential Tenancy Agreement template can be found here and the sample inventory report can be found here.

Landlords encouraged to check they are complying with rental law

The RTB strongly encourages landlords to ensure they are complying with rental law and keeping the details of their tenancies up to date with the RTB. Please visit www.rtb.ie regularly for all the latest information on the latest on the rental legislation.

All landlords should carry out the following checks to ensure they are compliant:

  • Check that all your tenancies are registered. If any tenancies are not registered, register them immediately.
  • Annual tenancy registration came into effect on 4 April 2022. This means that landlords must register their tenancy every year, within one month of the anniversary of when that tenancy began. Please click here for more details.
  • RTB online accounts have changed. Please click here where you will find full details to assist you with the process of creating your RTB account and linking your tenancies.
  • Check the details on all your tenancies and correct them if necessary.
  • Ensure that any rent changes and any other changes to the tenancy details are notified to the RTB within a month of a new rent taking effect using your RTB online account here or by filling in a tenancy update form.
  • Check if your rental property is in a designated RPZ and check that any rent increases that you have carried out are within the legal guidelines using the correct RPZ Calculators:
    • For rents reviewed before 16 July 2021 please use the RPZ Calculator here.              
    • For rents reviewed on or after 16 July 2021 please use the RPZ Calculator here. Please note that the 2% cap to rent increased in RPZs applies in rents set after 11 December 2021.                     
  • If you have raised the rent above the amount allowed on the RPZ Calculators, and you are relying on a RPZ exemption to do so. check if the criteria for RPZ exemption applies to you and submit a RPZ Exemption Form to the RTB, if necessary.
  • If you have raised the rent above the amount allowed on the RPZ Calculators, and you don’t meet the criteria for a RPZ Exemption, arrange to reset the rent to the correct amount, refund any overpaid rent to the tenants and update your tenancy registration with the new rent.

Reporting potential breaches to the RTB

If any tenant or member of the public is aware of a potential breach by a landlord of rental law, you should bring it to the attention of the RTB. For more information on how to report a potential breach please click here.


Notes to Editors

About the RTB

The Residential Tenancies Board, also known as the RTB, is a public body set up to regulate the rental housing sector.

Our role is to maintain a national register of tenancies, provide information to the public, tenants and landlords to ensure tenancies run smoothly and prevent issues occurring, resolve disputes between tenants and landlords, initiate an investigation into improper conduct by a landlord and provide data and insights to inform policy.

Our remit extends to the private rental sector, approved housing bodies (AHBs), cost rental tenancies and the student specific accommodation sector.

Overview of Investigations in 2021

Approved Investigations

Table 1 provides a breakdown of the types of improper conducts that were approved for investigation. There was a total of 169 investigations approved in 2021. These investigations covered 187 instances of alleged improper conduct (one investigation may cover more than one instance of improper conduct) in 2021.  

Table1. Breakdown of Alleged Improper Conducts by Type of Allegation (n=187) for Investigations Approved in 2021, by

Frequencies and Percentage of Total Investigations Approved (n=169)*

Type of alleged Improper Conducts


% Investigations Approved

Rent raised above the amount allowed by RPZ restrictions**






Failure to offer a tenant a tenancy back



False or misleading Reason on Notice of Termination (NoT)



Total alleged Improper Conducts (Total investigations approved)

187 (169)

* An investigation may cover more than one allegation of Improper Conduct which is why the number of types of allegations are different than the number of investigations.

** RPZ refers to Rent Pressure Zone.


By the end of 2021, 132 investigations had been submitted to the independent Decision Makers, appointed under the law to review investigation findings, for a decision on a sanction.

The RTB issued 90 decisions to the relevant landlords and there were no appeals. This figure includes the decisions from investigations that were started in 2020.

Confirmation and Publication of Sanctions

The decision to impose a sanction must be confirmed in the Circuit Court. The COVID-19 pandemic saw restrictions placed on court access. To date, 76 cases have been confirmed in the Dublin, Kildare, Louth, and Galway Circuit Courts.

Once a sanction has been confirmed, all appeal periods have passed, and all administrative processes have been completed, the RTB publishes particulars of the sanction on the RTB’s website. To date, there have been a total of 76 sanctions published on the RTB’s website.

Investigations and Sanctions Process

The powers of the RTB to investigate and sanction certain breaches of tenancy law by landlords (called improper conducts) commenced on 1 July 2019 with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act (as amended) 2019.

As a high-level summary, the investigations process includes:

  • The RTB 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. All information received or sourced by the RTB is assessed to determine if an investigation can proceed.
  • Once the RTB decides to investigate, a Notice of Investigation is issued to the landlord, giving them the opportunity to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Under the legislation, the landlord has 21 days to respond to this Notice and this may be extended by a further 21 days if it is appropriate to allow the landlord sufficient time to answer to the best of their ability.
  • RTB investigators (Authorised Officers) are tasked with carrying out the investigations. They have wide-ranging and significant investigative powers provided for in the Act including the power to inspect premises, compel persons to assist with the investigation by producing certain documents or attending an interview or oral hearing.
  • The landlord has the opportunity to acknowledge committing the improper conduct. If a landlord acknowledges, this is taken into consideration at the decision stage. An acknowledgement of improper conduct and the extent and timeliness of any steps taken by the landlord to end the improper conduct and to remedy its consequences may also be taken into consideration by independent Decision Makers.
  • If a landlord does not acknowledge the conduct, the investigation will proceed, and a draft report will issue to the landlord (and if applicable the complainant). They both have 21 days to make submissions on the draft report before the final report and the submissions are sent to the Decision Maker.
  • The RTB investigations and sanctions regime allows proportionality to be applied to the sanctioning of potential breaches. For instance, if a landlord acknowledges the improper conduct or not, this is taken into consideration, amongst other factors.
  • The Decision of the Decision Maker is issued to the landlord (and if applicable the complainant) and the landlord may appeal this decision to the Circuit Court within 21 days of receipt of the Decision.
  • Once the appeal period passes, the RTB must apply for confirmation of a Decision to Sanction by the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court sets the date for the confirmation of the Sanction according to the availability of the Court. Once confirmed by the Court, the decision is issued to the landlord and the complainant, if applicable.

For a more detailed overview of the RTB’s investigations process, click here.

Improper Conduct (what can be investigated by the RTB)

The RTB can only start an investigation into alleged breaches of rental law called improper conducts. If the alleged breach is not one of the improper conducts listed below, the RTB cannot start an investigation and it is likely a matter for dispute resolution, or in the case of a failure to maintain a properties’ standards, for the relevant local authority. The improper conducts that the RTB can investigate include: 

  • 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. 

How to Report an Improper Conduct to the RTB

A potential breach of rental law in relation to any of the improper conducts that the RTB can investigate can be brought to the attention of the RTB in one of three ways: 

  1. By calling the dedicated phone line on 0818 776297 or 01 6753724 
  2. By emailing RTB at investigations@rtb.ie
  3. By making a formal complaint. The formal complaint form can be found on our website at https://www.rtb.ie/legislation-change/investigations-and-sanctions

Further information on what the RTB can investigate as well as the Investigations and Sanctions process can be found on the RTB website at https://www.rtb.ie/legislation-change/investigations-and-sanction