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FAQs

RTB (formerly PRTB)

  1. Who are the RTB? The RTB or  Residential Tenancies Board was set up to maintain a register of all residential tenancies in Ireland and provide a dispute resolution service between landlords and tenants.
  2. How much does RTB registration cost? It costs €90 to register a tenancy which must be registered within 30 days of commencement. A late registration fee of €180 applies if the tenancy is not registered within the 30 days
  3. Can I register on-line? Yes, on-line registration is available at www.rtb.ie
  4. How do I contact the RTB? Phone the RTB: 9:00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday – 0818 30 30 37 Tenancy Registration queries: registrations@rtb.ie Registration Enforcement : enforcement@rtb.ie Dispute Resolution queries: disputes@rtb.ie Tribunal queries: tribunals@rtb.ie Determination Order Enforcement: enforceorder@rtb.ie The RTB does not have a public office so you cannot call into them
  5. Is the RTB only for tenants? No, Any landlord who has registered their tenancy with the RTB can also avail of the RTB dispute resolution services. Third parties such as neighbours can also use the dispute services of the RTB. A tenant can avail of the dispute resolution services of the RTB even if their landlord is not registered
  6. How often do I have to register with the RTB? Registration lasts for the duration of the tenancy or up to a maximum of four years if the original tenancy is still active.
  7. What happens if I don’t register with the RTB? A person, if convicted under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 for failing to comply with a notice, faces a fine and/or imprisonment, along with a daily fine of €250 for a continuing offence, the current fine is up to €4,000 and or 6 months imprisonment. Where prosecution proceedings have been instituted and on conviction the RTB will at least seek reimbursement of costs.
  8. What is the register of tenancies? This is public register of tenancies. It only lists the property address and not the landlords details
  9. Does the RTB share information with other bodies? The RTB receives information from a number of sources including the Department of Social Protection, Local Authorities, Elected Representatives, Residents Associations, Tenants, Landlords and Members of the Public. The RTB provides information to a number of other Public Sector bodies in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 as the legislation pertaining to the body in question. Those include the Department of Social Protection, the Local Authorities and the Revenue Commissioners.
  10. Can a tenant check if a property is registered? The published register lists the addresses of all tenancies registered with the RTB
  11. Who can refer a dispute to the RTB? Disputes can be referred by a wide range of parties including: · Tenants · Sub-tenants · Landlords (but only where the tenancy is registered) · Licensees (in certain circumstances) · Certain third parties who may be affected by a landlord’s failure to enforce tenants’ obligations (e.g. neighbours)
  12. What disputes will the RTB deal with? These are some examples of the issues the RTB will deal with but other matters may also be dealt with: · Refund or retention of deposits · Breaches of tenancy obligations (by either landlords or tenants) · The charging of rents above market rent · Timing of rent reviews · Failure to follow the correct procedure to terminate a tenancy · Invalid reason for terminating a tenancy · Termination notices · Tenants and sub-tenants remaining in occupation despite receiving a valid termination notice · Claims for costs and damages from either the landlord or the tenant arising from failures by either party to comply with their obligations · Claims for costs or damages or both by a landlord or tenant claiming improper termination of a tenancy · Failure to comply with a determination order made by the RTB · Penalisation of tenants by landlords, e.g. for referring a dispute to the RTB · Claims for rent arrears or other charges
  13. Do I have to have a lease agreement by law? No a lease agreement is not required by law. The RTB rules will still apply to the tenancy even if there is no lease agreement in place
  14. Are there different types of lease? Yes, the most common types of leases are a Fixed Term Lease (e.g. a 12 month lease) and Periodic Term Lease (referred to as a Part 4 Lease)
  15. What is a Fixed Term Lease? The most common type of tenancy in Ireland is the fixed term tenancy. The tenancy runs for a specific or fixed period of time and is usually covered by a written lease agreement. The duration of the lease depends on the agreement reached between the landlord and the tenant. A 12 month fixed term tenancy is common practice in Ireland.
  16. What is a Periodic Tenancy? A periodic tenancy does not have a defined end date i.e. the agreement is not for a set period of time. The period of the tenancy may be weekly or monthly depending on when the rent is paid. Many periodic tenancies tend not to have formal written lease agreements in place. Under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 a landlord may terminate or end a periodic tenancy during the first six months without having to specify a reason. Once a tenancy has lasted for more than six months the tenant automatically obtains what are known as part 4 rights. This means that subject to meeting their tenancy obligations e.g. paying the rent, the tenant may stay in the property for an additional 3.5 years (i.e. four years in total). This is often referred to as a part 4 tenancy. The landlord may only terminate the tenancy in certain circumstances.
  17. What are Part 4 rights? The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 introduced what are known as ‘Part 4’ rights which are automatically acquired by a tenant when they have lived in a rental property for 6 months or more, (regardless of which type of lease the tenant has) and they have not been issued with a valid notice of termination by the landlord or agent. These rights mean that subject to meeting their tenancy obligations for example, paying the rent, the tenant may stay in the property for a total of four years (the initial 6 months plus an additional 3.5 years). This is referred to as Part 4 Tenancy. The implications of ‘Part 4 rights (for example in relation to serving notice) vary depending on whether the initial lease was a periodic or a fixed term lease.
  18. What clauses should a lease contain? Generally most leases will also contain clauses which highlight the following points. The tenant must pay the rent in full without any deductions The tenant cannot sublet without the landlords written permission. The rental property can only be used as a private residence and not for business purposes The tenants must not cause annoyance to neighbours The tenant must pay the utility bills for which they are liable e.g. Electricity, Gas, Refuse, Cable TV. The tenant must take reasonable precautions to prevent damage to the property. All parties who sign a lease are responsible for all the obligations under the lease, including the payment of the full amount of rent
  19. How do I end a tenancy? To validly terminate a tenancy a landlord: Must serve a valid notice of termination (explained below) Must provide a valid reason for terminating the tenancy (such as a breach of your tenancy obligations, for example non-payment of rent or serious anti-social behaviour) Must give the correct amount of notice
  20. How to end a tenancy due to rent arrears. Where a landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy due to rent arrears the following three-step procedure must be followed: Give the tenant reasonable Notice that they have breached their obligation to pay rent; Serve a 14-day Warning Notice for failure to pay rent. Serve a 28-day Notice of Termination of the Tenancy.
  21. What is anti-social behaviour? Anti-social behaviour is defined as behaviour that constitutes the commission of an offence, causes danger, injury, damage or loss, or includes violence, intimidation, coercion, harassment, obstruction or threats. It also includes persistent behaviour that prevents or interferes with the peaceful occupation of neighbouring dwellings by others in the building or its vicinity. (source PRTB) If the tenant has not complied with a RTB order to make a payment to you it is possible to apply to the RTB to request enforcement of the order. There is however no requirement on the RTB to enforce every order.
  22. Can I enforce a RTB order myself? You can apply to the courts to have a RTB order enforced. You would however be liable for the legal costs of doing so. A tenancy must be registered with the RTB within 30 days of the tenancy commencing Registration costs €90
  23. What is a Notice of Termination?

The person ending the tenancy (it can be either landlord or tenant) must serve a Notice of Termination (a written notice) on the other party and that notice must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 in terms of the content of the notice itself and the amount of notice given. The content of the notice will depend on whether it is served by the landlord, or tenant, the length of the tenancy and the reason for the termination.

In order to be valid a Notice of Termination must:
· Be in writing
· Be signed by the landlord or by his/her authorised agent
· Specify the date of service
· State the reason for termination (where the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months)
· Specify the termination date (the tenant has the whole of the 24 hours of this date to vacate possession)
· State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the Private Residential Tenancies Board within 28 days from the receipt of the notice.

27. Can a Notice of Termination be sent by e-mail

No, Notices sent by e-mail are not considered valid under the act.

28. Reasons Notice of Terminations can be invalid?

• Insufficient Notice given – The first day of a period of notice is the day after service. Therefore if the Notice is served on the Monday the period of Notice is counted from the Tuesday. Whilst not a specific requirement under the Act, it may be prudent to give an additional couple of days notice to ensure that the party receives the required notice periods
• In relation to the 14 day warning letter for rent arrears, the 14 days must actually expire before the Notice of Termination is served.
• One step missing in the 3 step procedure for serving a notice of termination for rent arrears.
• Notice omitting wording that the tenant has a whole of 24 hours to vacate possession and that any issue as to the validity of the notice may be referred to the RTB within 28 days of the receipt of the notice
• Additional requirements set out in Section 34 (4), (5) and (6) not included.
Source RTB

29. How long does it take the RTB to hear a case?

The process is slow, while the time it takes to conclude a case has improved do not expect a resolution in anything less than 6 months.

30. How do I take a case against my tenant in the RTB?

Go to RTB.ie and submit a dispute application via your on-line account. (you will need to create an account if you do not already have one)
Alternatively call the RTB on 0818 30 30 37 and request a paper based dispute application form

31. How much does it cost to take a case to the RTB?

The fee for Dispute Resolution is €25 for paper applications and €15 for online applications. An Appeal to a Tenancy Tribunal hearing is €100 for paper applications and €85 for online applications.

32. Can the tenant take a case against my letting agent?

No, a case can only be taken against the landlord. Even if the agent represents the landlord at a case it is the landlord who is legally liable for the outcome.

33. Can I chase rent arrears from a past tenant?

Yes, You can submit a case to the RTB in the normal way. In order for the RTB to track the former tenant you will need to have provided their PPS number when you registered the tenancy.

34. Can the RTB make the tenant leave?

As part of the dispute process the RTB can instruct a tenant to vacate a property once due process can be adhered to. In certain circumstances the order to vacate can be enforced by the sheriff if not complied with.

35. Is there a time limit on taking a case to the RTB?

The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 imposes time limits on certain cases being taken to the RTB. For instance
1. Notice of Termination – Cases that solely relate to an invalid Notice of Termination must be referred to the Board within 28 days of receipt of the notice. Time limits also apply in respect of cases dealing with a rent dispute following the termination of a tenancy.
2. Rent Increase – Where a valid notice of a rent review has been served by the landlord then either party can submit a dispute to the RTB before the new rent is to have effect or before the expiry of the 28 days notice from the tenant receiving that notice.

In all other cases the Statute of Limitations will apply, i.e. the case must be referred before the expiry of six years from the accrual of the cause of action.
Please note that a person can apply to the RTB for an extension of time for a referral of a dispute by showing good grounds for such extension (s.88 of the RTA) Source: RTB

36. Do I need a solicitor at a RTB hearing?

This is a personal choice, there is no obligation to have a solicitor present. It depends on a number of factors including how strong a case you think you have. Have you followed all the correct procedures? Are you confident and good enough at presenting to represent yourself at the hearing?

37. What is RTB Mediation?

The mediation process is designed to be supportive and non-confrontational. A mediator assists the parties to explore each other’s respective positions and reach a resolution of the dispute to which both are agreed. The hearing is confidential. Telephone mediation is now available from the RTB

38. What is a RTB Adjudication?

A RTB Adjudicator is appointed to the case and examines the evidence of the parties and investigates the dispute fully. The Adjudicator will decide how the dispute is to be resolved. The hearing is confidential.

39. What is a RTB Tribunal?

A Tribunal takes place if any party wishes to appeal the Adjudicator’s decision within 21 days of issue of the Adjudicator’s report or in the event that mediation is unsuccessful and any of the parties request a Tribunal hearing. In exceptional circumstances the PRTB may refer a dispute directly to the Tribunal, e.g. where there appears to be imminent risk of damage to the dwelling or danger to the parties.
A Tribunal hearing is a public hearing.

40. How I serve notice on my tenants?

The person ending the tenancy (it can be either landlord or tenant) must serve a Notice of Termination (a written notice) on the other party and that notice must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 in terms of the content of the notice itself and the amount of notice given. The content of the notice will depend on whether it is served by the landlord, or tenant, the length of the tenancy and the reason for the termination.

In order to be valid a Notice of Termination must:
· Be in writing
· Be signed by the landlord or by his/her authorised agent
· Specify the date of service
· State the reason for termination (where the tenancy has lasted for more than 6 months)
· Specify the termination date (the tenant has the whole of the 24 hours of this date to vacate possession)
· State that any issue as to the validity of the notice or the right of the landlord to serve it must be referred to the Private Residential Tenancies Board within 28 days from the receipt of the notice.

41. How much notice must I give a tenant?

Duration of Tenancy Notice by Landlord
Less than 6 months 28 days
6 or more months but less than 1 year 35 days
1 year or more but less than 2 years 42 days
2 years or more but less than 3 years 56 days
3 years or more but less than 4 years 84 days
4 or more years 112 days

42. What happens when a tenant won’t leave?

If a Notice of Termination is not complied with and the tenant does not leave, the only recourse is to refer a dispute to the RTB about the tenant’s failure to comply with a valid Notice of Termination. The landlord may not take the law into his own hands. A dispute case referred to the RTB about an illegal eviction will be given priority and there are procedures in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 under which the RTB may apply to the Circuit Court for an interim or interlocutory injunction to restrain the landlord and re-instate the tenant pending the RTB’s determination of the dispute.

43. What is breach of Minimum Standards?


Every rental property must meet certain minimum standards set down in law. The enforcement of Minimum Standards for Rental accommodation is dealt with by the local authorities. However a tenant can take a case against their landlord regarding standard and maintenance of a dwelling

44. How do I get the money I was awarded in a RTB case?

If the tenant has not complied with a RTB order to make a payment to you it is possible to apply to the RTB to request enforcement of the order. There is however no requirement on the RTB to enforce every order.
45. Can I enforce a RTB order myself?
You can apply to the courts to have a RTB order enforced. You would however be liable for the legal costs of doing so.

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