The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), formerly the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), was established in 2004. Its remit is to regulate and support the rental housing market by;
- Operating a national system of tenancy registration
- Providing a quasi – judicial Dispute Resolution Service for tenants and landlords
- Conducting Research and providing advice to the Minister in relation to matters impacting on the sector. This includes producing a quarterly rent index based on one of the most extensive rental databases in the country
Our remit has also recently been extended to Approved Housing Bodies, which are not-for-profit housing providers or housing associations and provide housing for about 30,000 tenants. This change (and hence the name change) means that both tenants and landlords of these properties enjoy certain provisions of the Residential Tenancies Acts, including access to the disputes resolution services we operate.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004(as amended) provides a statutory dispute resolution process for the resolution of disputes between landlords, tenants, and certain third parties, by way of independent mediation or adjudication facilitated by the Board. There is a facility to refer the matter (in the case of mediation) or appeal, in the case of adjudication to a Tenancy Tribunal established by the Board. Following the conclusion of this process the Board makes a legally binding Determination Order. The Act provides that a party or the Board may take legal proceedings to enforce the determination order if not complied with. The Board takes very seriously the issue of non-compliance with its orders and while not obliged to take enforcement, has done so in over 1200 cases in the last 3 years. In agreeing to cover the cost of enforcement the Board has regard to its published Policy and criteria on enforcement. Once the Board agrees to an enforcement request the case is then submitted to its Solicitors for enforcement proceedings.
The Board is now seeking to establish a panel of solicitors around the Country willing to provide legal representation to parties where the Board has sanctioned enforcement on their behalf. The Panel is expected to be in existence for a period of 3 years. Currently enforcement is through the Circuit Court however, an amendment to the Act provides for enforcement to be taken in the District Court. This amendment is expected to be commenced by the end of the year. Consequently, it is expected that panel members will be enforcing orders in the District Court and experience of advocating in the District court is required. Copies of the application form and the terms and conditions of the Panel are available on the Board’s website (www.rtb.ie).
The terms and conditions include the fee structure that is being put in place by the Board. The Board wishes to have a limited number of solicitors on the Panel and selection for the Panel will be based on the applications received. The Board also reserves the right to interview solicitors for the Panel. Solicitors selected for the panel will be expected to comply with the Board’s Best Practice Guidelines copy of which is available with the application form. The Board will provide training in respect of enforcement and Solicitors must participate in training provided by the Board before they can be placed on the Panel.
The Board would be pleased to receive applications from solicitors with a real commitment to the work and experience in advocacy before the District Court. Experience in providing legal services to residential landlords and tenants is desirable but not necessary.
To apply submit a completed application in the format provided by e-mail (typed applications only) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Solicitors should note a training event has been provisionally arranged for early March 2017 in Dublin and should submit their application by 31st January 2017.