An illegal eviction occurs where a landlord through force, intimidation or otherwise (such as cutting off utilities, changing locks etc) denies a tenant from accessing a rented dwelling or removes a tenant's belongings from the dwelling whether or not a valid notice of termination has been served. The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 outlines very precisely the conditions under which a tenancy may be terminated by a landlord and the steps and procedures that must be followed. A landlord can never take the law into his/her own hands.
In the case of rent arrears, a landlord must give 14 days notice to the tenant to make good the arrears. If, after this period, the rent arrears have not been paid, the landlord can issue 28 day notice of termination. If this is not complied with the recourse for the landlord is to make a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancies Board.
What to do
- If your landlord threatens or attempts to remove you from your property contact your local Threshold office immediately. A landlord may not take the law into his/her own hands.
- Contact the Gardaí and inform them that you are being illegally evicted from your home
- Contact the Private Residential Tenancies Board and inform them of the fact that you are being illegal evicted. Inform your landlord that you have been in contact with the PRTB.
- Take a sound recording of the illegal eviction
- Prepare for a possible PRTB hearing: keep a log of events, record vehicle number plates, incoming phone numbers, Garda numbers
- Make a list of any items you have been denied access to or that have been damaged or lost during the illegal eviction.
- Take photographs.