Investigations and Sanctions

The new Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 establishes an investigations and sanctions process that will allow the RTB to proactively monitor and enforce key areas of the legislation

Investigations & Sanctions

Contact us by phone at 0818 776297 or 01 6753724 or by email to investigations@rtb.ie

  1. What can be investigated?
  2. How can I notify the Investigations and Sanctions Unit about a potential breach? 
  3. What happens when the Investigations and Sanctions Unit is notified of a potential breach? 
  4. As a landlord how can I ensure I am in compliance with the law?

What can be investigated?  

The RTB has a new investigations and sanctions unit dedicated to investigating potential breaches of rental law by a landlord in relation to:

  1. Failure to comply with the Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) requirements. This occurs by increasing rent by more than 4% in an RPZ in a 12-month period (24 months for an existing tenancy in an area newly designated as an RPZ).
  2. Seeking to rely on an exemption to the RPZ requirements, which does not comply with those requirements i.e. falsely claiming that a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation occurred or that no tenancy existed in the dwelling in the 2 years prior to the date the tenancy commenced. 
  3. Failure to notify the RTB about the reliance on an exemption to the RPZ requirements within 1 month from the setting of the rent. 
  4. Failure to register a tenancy with the RTB within 1 month of the tenancy commencing.  
  5. Citing in a Notice of Termination a reason for terminating the tenancy that is false or misleading in a material respect.  
  6. Failure to notify the RTB of changes to certain details of the tenancy (including new rent set, tenant details, landlord details)  within 1 month of the change taking effect.
  7. Failure to offer a tenant their tenancy back when terminated for certain specific reasons (detailed below), where:
    • the tenant provided their contact details to the landlord, in writing, within 28 days from the date of service of the Notice or on final determination of a dispute, if relevant,
    • the reason is no longer relevant,  
    • the tenancy was not otherwise validly terminated, 
    • the dwelling is available for reletting within the timeframes set out below from the date the tenancy ended:

     

    Reason for Termination Timeframe
    The Landlord intends to sell the dwelling 9 months
    The landlord or a member of the landlord’s family intends to occupy the dwelling  12 months
    The Landlord intends to substantially refurbish/renovate the dwelling when completed
    The Landlord intends to change the use of the dwelling 12 months


How can I notify the Investigations and Sanctions Unit about potential breaches? 


The Investigations and Sanctions Unit can start an investigation either as a result of information received from members of the public or as a result of information gathered from records that the RTB has access to under the Residential Tenancies Act.  

If you are aware of a potential breach of rental law as outlined above you can bring it to the attention of the Investigations and Sanctions Unit in one of three ways; 

1) You can call us on 0818 776297 or 01 6753724 

 You can raise a concern by calling our dedicated Investigations and Sanctions Information Helpline – 0818 776297 or 01 6753724. Your name and contact details will not be recorded and you will not receive any further up-dates on your referral or any actions that the RTB may take on foot of your information. 

2) You can email us at investigations@rtb.ie.  

Please make sure to include the address of the property and, if possible, the name and address of the landlord in your email. Your name and contact details will be recorded for the purposes of requesting follow up information, should this become necessary, but no identifying information ie. contact information and personal data, will be disclosed to the landlord as part of the Investigations and Sanctions Process. You will not receive any further up-dates on your referral or any actions that the RTB may take on foot of your information. 

3) You can make a formal complaint  

A formal complaint can be made in writing by filling out and returning the RTB Sanctions and Alleged Breach Complaint form. If you require further information or wish to contact us before submitting your formal complaint, please phone our Investigations and Sanctions Information Helpline – 0818 776297 or 01 6753724. 

If you make a formal complaint you will be informed whether or not an investigation will take place and will be informed, once an investigation has been completed, of the result. 

No identifying information ie contact information and personal data apart from your name, will be disclosed to the landlord as part of the Investigations and Sanctions Process.

What happens when the Investigations and Sanctions Unit is notified of a potential breach? 

The below is a brief overview of the Investigations and Sanctions Process. If you are a landlord who has received a Notice of Investigation or if you would like more detailed information about the process, the RTB has developed the Investigation and Sanctions Guide: Guidance for Landlords on the RTB Investigations and Sanctions Process which can be found here.

The review of information and commencement of an investigation 

All information received is reviewed by the Investigations and Sanctions team to ascertain if an investigation can take place.  

The landlord will be notified if an investigation commences and will be given the opportunity to acknowledge their breach(s). 

If a formal complaint has been received both the complainant and the landlord will be informed whether or not an investigation will take place. 

The landlord will also be given the opportunity to submit relevant evidence to prove that a breach has not occurred.  

The conduct of an investigation

The investigation will be conducted by specially appointed RTB Authorised Officers. During the investigation the Authorised Officer may write to the landlord or any other person they believe may be able to provide evidence or information to assist in the investigation. This may include the complainant (if any), estate agent, letting agent, neighbours, professional experts etc. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to, bank statements, letters, photos, advertisements and witness statements. They may also conduct an Oral Hearing if necessary.  

The result of an investigation 

Once the Authorised Officer has completed the investigation they will produce a Draft Report setting out an account of the investigation and details of the findings and will send this to the landlord and the complainant (if any).

The landlord and the complainant (if any) will then have 21 days from the date of receipt of the Draft Report to make submissions in writing to the Authorised Officer on the Draft Report.  

The Authorised Officer will consider any such submissions made and make any alteration to the Draft Report if, in their opinion an alteration is warranted. 

The final Investigation Report, and any submission received on the Draft Report, will be submitted to an independent Decision Maker.

The Decision Maker will consider the final Investigation Report and if they agree that a breach has occurred, they can apply a caution or a fine on a landlord of up to a maximum of €15,000 and costs of €15,000. This fine is paid to the Exchequer. 

The landlord can appeal the decision of the Decision Maker to the Circuit Court within 21 days of the giving by the Board to the landlord of the decision notice 

Sanctions are confirmed by the Circuit Court and, once confirmed, will be published on the RTB website. 

I am a landlord, what do I need to do to be in compliance with rental law? 

Landlords and tenants both have responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act. 

It is the responsibility of landlords and tenants to make sure that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act. If you are unsure if a part of the legislation applies to you, you can call our general Helpline on 0818303037 or use our webchat service on onestopshop.rtb.ie for information about the Act and how it applies to landlords and tenants.  

You can also download the Good Landlord/Tenant Guide here. This is a guide to the Residential Tenancies Act which the RTB has published to help landlords and tenants to understand how the legislation applies to them.  

For information on how the RTB handle your personal data, please refer to the RTB Privacy Statement.