Who are the RTB? And what do they do?

The RTB or Residential Tenancies Board (previously PRTB) was established in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and it acts as an independent body to help regulate the Irish rental sector.

Their main functions are to; mediate and provide dispute resolution between landlords (both housing bodies and private landlords) and tenants and apply the laws set out in the 2004 act. They also provide a ‘live register’ of tenancies and carry out research in the Irish rental market.

So what does this mean to me? Well, if you are a tenant this board gives you a vehicle to deal with any problems occurring during your tenancy, such as rent increases that are not in line with current market rent or improper notice to quit orders to name but a few.

And if I’m a landlord? This board gives you a ‘back up’ to help apply the laws set out under the residential tenancies act and can help deal with issues such as antisocial behaviour of tenants and the non-payment of rent. The downside of the adjudication process is that due to the amount of cases open it can be a slow process at times.

So what does it cost? Every tenancy needs to be registered with the RTB, there is a registration charge of €90 per tenancy. Landlords that fail to do so can be fined (up to €3,000, or even face up 6 months in prison). However, not every tenancy needs to be registered, for example; businesses, a room within a landlord occupied home, holiday lettings and section 50 student rentals are 4 of the main lettings that fall outside the act.

So besides registration are there any other costs involved? Only if you are involved in a dispute. To open up an adjudication case with the RTB costs €15 (if done online) and €25 if done on paper, a mediation case is free of charge. A case can be opened by the tenant, landlord or even a neighbour.

Some landlords have reported that their tenants regularly threaten to open up a RTB case on them. What should you do if this happens to you? Well, if you have acted within the laws then you have nothing to worry about. The RTB is there to ensure the ‘rental rules’ are applied not to vilify landlords or tenants.

The RTB should be seen as a backup if the relationship between the landlord and tenant has broken down rather than a first port of call at any sign of dispute. All issues arising during a tenancy should first try to be resolved between the parties and I believe that an open line of communication between the landlord (or their agents) and the tenant is essential to a good tenancy.

Using a good agent to select the right tenant is the most important step in the process. if you need to find a good tenant call Bookaroom on 051858182