There has been significant change in the rental and housing markets since we published our last strategic plan.
We have achieved a lot during this period of our last strategic plan. Our Strategic Plan 2018-2022 is intended to help improve services further and also to expand our role and services.
The rental sector has grown significantly since our last strategic plan, with over 340,000 tenancies registered with the RTB at the end of 2017. Tenancies are also lasting longer. It is likely that this growth will continue and that renting will no longer be a transitional tenure that a small percentage of the population live in. Therefore, the role of the RTB is more important than ever, but we recognise we need to change with the sector.
A significant programme of change has also been agreed with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. One of the most important changes will be the expansion of the role of the RTB to no longer just provide dispute resolution services, but to also have a new regulatory enforcement role where the law is not adhered to. This means the RTB will now be able to proactively investigate potential breaches, with the power to apply sanctions if breaches are found. This will establish the RTB as an effective regulator for the market as a whole.
For 2018-2022, our strategic priorities are to:
- Focus on the customer.
- Deepen our understanding of the sector.
- Empower stakeholders with information.
- Be an effective regulator for the market.
- Ensure we have the organisational supports in place to deliver for the sector.
Other areas of priority include continuing to deliver and improve our core services for our customers, including landlords, tenants and those working in the sector. To support this, the RTB will be investing over €5 million in our I.T. infrastructure, which will allow us to improve our services dramatically, but also allow for smarter regulation and better data. We will also focus using this data and research to better understand the market and inform policy for the sector.
We want to reaffirm our strong commitment, belief and confidence in what we were created to do, which is to support the development of a well-functioning rental sector. Ireland is already unique in having the RTB as a public body dedicated to the rental sector, and we will spend the next five years as a Board and an Executive team building on this strength.