Investigations & Sanctions function
*This section of the Act has not yet commenced*
The new Act provides the RTB with more effective powers to directly regulate the rental sector, particularly in relation to Rent Pressure Zones and associated Rent Exemptions, and in relation to Notice of Terminations. The legislation sets out a complaints, investigations and sanctions process that will allow the RTB to proactively monitor and enforce the legislation, in relation to these three key areas.
The introduction of these new powers of investigation and the related sanctions regime, give the RTB a more active and direct regulatory role in the rental sector and will allow the RTB to support landlords in complying with the legislation.
The changes introduced in the new Act, allows the RTB to investigate, with or without a complaint, potential breaches (“improper conduct”). These potential breaches will be investigated by the RTB and where it is found “improper conduct” has occurred, the RTB can apply a caution or a sanction on a landlord of up to €15,000. It is important to note that the sanctions regime allows proportionality to be applied to potential breaches and offers landlords the opportunity to acknowledge the breach at an early stage.
The RTB has the powers to proactively conduct its own investigations, but the RTB will be able to accept information from any members of the public and/or organisations who wish to report a suspected breach as described above.
What potential breaches can a complaint be made about?
*This section of the Act has not yet commenced - full details will be available on the RTB’s website in July 2019.*
The below is an indicative list of the breaches where a complaint may be made;
• Failing to comply with the RPZ requirements including attempting to increase the rent above 4% in an RPZ and seeking to falsely rely on the exemptions to the RPZ contained in the Act;
• Failing to register the tenancy on a yearly basis and/or notify the RTB where the amount of rent changes during the year; and
• Failing to offer a tenant their tenancy back where it has been terminated for certain specific grounds which are no longer relevant eg property not sold, family no longer in occupation.
How do I report potential breaches of legislation?
*This section of the Act has not yet commenced.*
In July 2019, the RTB will have in place a dedicated phone line, to speak to a customer service agent and make an anonymous report of potential breaches. The RTB team can assist you during the call and will explain the process. The RTB will not be recording any of your details, you will not receive any further up-dates on your referral and any actions that the RTB may take.
A formal complaint can be made in writing. In July 2019, the RTB will be launching both an online and downloadable form. A person reporting a suspected breach will be required to provide their personal details when making a formal complaint, and they need to be aware that their personal information will be shared with the landlord as part of the investigation process.
More details on reporting possible breaches will be available in July 2019.