Referring a dispute to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB)
If you have a tenancy covered under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and you have a tenancy dispute that you cannot resolve, then you may wish to refer a case to the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).
Examples of disputes include deposit retention, standards and repairs, invalid notice, illegal eviction, breach of obligations, rent more than market rate, landlord refused consent to become a tenant etc.
Some disputes have a specific time frame within which you need to submit your application. If you have received a notice of termination and wish to challenge it you only have 28 days from receipt of the notice to submit an application.
Landlords can only refer a dispute if your tenancy is registered with the PRTB. You will still be able to refer a dispute even if the tenancy is not registered.
A third party affected by the actions of a tenant can also refer a dispute to the PRTB.
It costs €25 to refer a dispute and you need to complete an application form which you submit with any supporting documentation such as notices, lease/rent book, receipts, witness statements, photos, audio/visual recordings, text transcripts etc.
Whilst there is no requirement for you to have legal representation, you may choose to arrange this. Costs of representation are normally not awarded.
The dispute resolution process consists of two stages. The first stage is either by mediation or adjudication (either in person or by paper) as chosen by the parties and these are confidential. The second stage is a tribunal hearing which takes place in public these are for appeals from the first stage and more serious cases.
Parties have 21 days to appeal from the first stage if they dispute the findings. If no appeal is made the PRTB will issue a determination order which is legally binding. If an appeal is made and allowed then the tribunal decision may be appealed to the High Court on a point of law only.
The PRTB may award damages of up to €20,000 and arrears of rent of up to €20,000 or twice the annual rent, whichever is greater (A maximum of €60,000 can be awarded for rent arrears).
Should a determination order not be complied with you need to contact the PRTB to seek enforcement through the Circuit Court.
What to do
- If you have a dispute with your landlord or agent try to resolve it informally
- If it cannot be resolved refer your dispute to the PRTB
- Read Threshold's Guide to the PRTB Dispute Resolution Service