How you can take further action
Whilst many landlord and tenant disputes can be resolved informally, in some cases you may wish to take further action, or your landlord may take a case against you to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) which offers a dispute resolution service. Examples of the type of disputes that can be referred to the RTB include rent increases, standards and repairs, notice of termination and illegal eviction. For some disputes, there is a specific time frame within which you must submit an application. For example, if you have received a notice of termination you have 28 days from receipt within which to refer the matter to the RTB.
Your landlord can only refer a dispute to the RTB but only if the tenancy in question has been registered. If your tenancy has not been registered, you can report this to the RTB; you the tenant will still be able to refer a dispute to the RTB even if the tenancy is not registered. If you are neither a landlord nor tenant but a third party affected by the actions of a tenant, you can also refer a dispute to the RTB.
If both parties are in agreement the issue can be dealt with through free mediation to try to help you both reach a solution.
If one or both parties do not want to avail of mediation, the matter may be dealt with through adjudication. There is an administration fee of €15 if you apply online or €25 for a paper application. You should complete the application form and submit it with any supporting documentation such as notice of termination of tenancy, lease/rent book, receipts, witness statements, photos, audio/visual recordings, text transcripts etc. If submitting a dispute online you firstly need to set up an account which you can do by clicking here.
In referring a dispute to the RTB there is no guarantee that your case will be successful as a decision will be made based on the case presented by the parties including evidence and witnesses that may be provided. While there is no requirement to have legal representation at a hearing, you may choose to arrange this however the cost of representation is not normally awarded.
Should you receive findings from an initial decision that you wish to appeal you have 10 working days from receipt to submit an appeal and we would recommend you get advice before doing this. It costs €100 to appeal a decision to Tribunal (€85 if appealing online.)
If no appeal is made, the RTB will issue a determination order which is legally binding. If an appeal is made and accepted, then the RTB will convene a Tribunal to hear the case. The decision of the Tribunal may only be appealed to the High Court on a point of law.
The RTB can 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 will need to contact the RTB to seek enforcement through the District Court or take a case yourself.
What to do
- If you have a dispute with your landlord or agent try to resolve it informally
- If it cannot be resolved informally refer your dispute to the RTB
- Read Threshold's Guide to the RTB Dispute Resolution Service