From the 26th February 2018, the enforcement of RTB Determination Orders will move from the Circuit Court to the District Court. As there are more District Courts nationwide which sit more often than the Circuit Court, this will provide for quicker access to the Courts at a significantly reduced cost.
Enforcement is an important function of the Residential Tenancies Board. When landlords, tenants and third parties bring disputes to the RTB through mediation, adjudication or tribunal, they receive a legally binding Determination Order. The majority of these are complied with but where they are not, the RTB takes non compliance with Determination Orders very seriously. This change in moving from the Circuit to the District Court is therefore an important and welcome change in terms of trying to address these issues more quickly.
What to do if a Determination Order is not complied with?
If an order is not complied with, there are two options for enforcement.
1- You can make an application for the RTB to take enforcement in the courts on your behalf. More information on this is below and can be downloaded here.
2-You can take your own enforcement proceedings in the Court. In order to support parties who wish to take their own enforcement proceedings, the RTB have developed a step-by-step guide to the new process in the District Court which can be downloaded
The RTB will take a large amount of the requested enforcement cases, but it does not have the budget to take them all. To help lower the cost of enforcement for the RTB, the RTB has created new way of supporting enforcement cases by creating a panel of solicitors who will take enforcement proceedings on behalf of the RTB. While the budget for RTB activities is limited, it is expected that by reducing the cost of enforcement proceedings and by the change to the District Court this will allow the RTB to provide legal assistance in a higher number of cases. If you wish to request the RTB to provide assistance to you to pursue enforcement you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form. Decisions on urgent cases are prioritised first, these includes cases concerning overholding, serious rent arrears, non return of deposits and unlawful termination.
What if you have an existing case going through the Circuit Court?
The District court will be responsible for all new enforcement cases from the 26th February. If you already have a scheduled date for enforcement within the Circuit Court this should go ahead as planned in the Circuit Court. All other cases will be dealt with in your local District Court.
It is important to note that the majority of landlords and tenants do comply with Determination Orders however, the RTB recognises that, where they don’t, the impact can be considerable. The RTB will continue develop and improve the enforcement process by taking as many cases as possible with the budget available as well as supporting parties to take their own proceedings.