A rental property by Sinn Féin TD Johnny Guirke has not been registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), the Irish Independent is able to reveal.
r Guirke has four rental properties across the country – two in Co Longford, a house in Co Meath and a property in Co Galway.
A search of RTB’s database of registered tenancies this week revealed that while the two houses in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford and the house in Oldcastle, Co. Meath are listed, his house is in Cois
na hAbhainn in Galway was not.
When asked to comment, Mr Guirke said this property was managed by a letting agency which had taken on the responsibility of registering with the RTB.
“This property was originally registered. However, I have heard that this registration has become invalid due to a mistake by the landlord,” said Meath’s TD.
“As soon as I became aware of this, I corrected this immediately and the property is re-registered with the RTB.
“I take my responsibilities very seriously and I regret that this mistake happened.”
It comes after Fianna Fáil TD Robert Troy, who resigned as junior minister on Wednesday after facing intense scrutiny for failing to include several properties in his Oireachtas declaration of interest, also failed to register one of his rental properties at the to register RTB.
A flat he owns above Ballynacargy Post Office in Co Westmeath has been rented since last November but Mr Troy admitted it was not listed as a rent on the RTB until last week.
He said the rental is being handled by a rental agent and after investigating inquiries from journalists about his property interests, he learned it had not been fully registered.
The Longford-Westmeath TD said he addressed the anomaly “immediately” and it has now been registered. He also paid a fee of 90 euros for the new registration nine months late.
Landlords who fail to register a lease can face a fine of up to €4,000 and up to six months in prison after new laws were introduced last April.
Mr Guirke owns two three-bedroom houses on the Abhainn Glas estate in Edgeworthstown, owned by his company Moylagh Construction, and a four-bedroom house at Cluain Loinn in Oldcastle.
All three are registered with the RTB.
“I own four rental properties, which I have always fully declared to SIPO [Standards In Public Office Commission]’ said Mr Guirke.
“I manage three of these properties directly.”
Mr Guirke did not respond to questions about when he became aware of the problem with the Cois na hAbhainn property and when it was resolved.
All tenancies that fall within the RTB’s area of responsibility must be registered within one month of the start of the tenancy.
Landlords must register a lease every year, even if the tenant has lived in a property continuously for several years.
Applications can be submitted online or by post.
A spokesman for RTB said applications submitted by mail often “take a while” to be included in the register.
The basic fee for registering a private rental apartment is €40 per year, with a late fee of €10 for each month late.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/sinn-fein-td-johnny-guirke-says-letting-agent-error-behind-failure-to-register-rental-property-with-rtb-41938003.html Johnny Guirke, TD of Sinn Féin, speaks of a “landlord error” behind not registering rental properties with RTB