Eight landlords from Dublin and another from Drogheda were fined and/or warned for failing to implement rent caps in designated rent pressure zones and other breaches of tenancy law.
They were all fined a total of €9,648 because the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) called it “improper conduct”.
In 90 percent of the cases, the landlords were sanctioned because they did not comply with the upper rent limits in rent pressure zones (RPZ) and/or did not register as landlords with the RTB as required by law.
In one case, a landlord in Lucan, Co. Dublin was fined €500 for failing to implement the rent caps in the RPZ and failing to return the tenancy to the tenant.
In another case, a landlord from Dublin 18 was fined €2,684 because he also failed to implement the rent cap.
While landlords face a maximum fine of €15,000 and/or court costs for violating tenancy law, in the most recent sanctions published today by RTB, landlords “all chose to investigate the alleged misconduct at the outset,” according to RTB .
“By taking this approach, landlords simplified the process and showed they were cooperating with the investigation. This was taken into account by the RTB decision-maker, together with any measures taken by the landlord to remedy the breach of tenancy law, when deciding on the type of sanction and the amount of any fine.”
In total, landlords have been fined €38,000 and repaid more than €300,000 to tenants on excessive rents since RTB opened investigations into inappropriate landlord behavior since 2019 and sanctioned 38 landlords so far.
The names and addresses of the landlords and the properties concerned can be found on the RTB website.
More than 440 preliminary investigations into alleged tenancy law violations are ongoing as of Wednesday.
RTB Director Niall Byrne said: “The RTB’s expanded regulatory powers allow us to conduct investigations if a landlord is found to have engaged in any of the defined tenancy law violations known as improper conduct.
While the vast majority of landlords strive to maintain good relations with their tenants and comply with tenancy law, those who break the law and violate tenants’ statutory rights will be held accountable by RTB.”
“Rent Pressure Zones are seen as a protective measure for tenants during the current housing crisis and it is important that RTB actively works to ensure this important public interest measure is adhered to. Due to the potential financial impact on individual tenants, RTB is currently prioritizing investigations into breaches of Tenant Pressure Zones requirements. To date, over 90 percent of published sanctions relate to this serious violation of tenants’ legal protections,” he added.
But because the landlords cooperated in the investigation, the fines and penalties imposed were less severe, he added.
But he said the names of violators would continue to be released as a further deterrent.
“To reassure the public that RTB is actively regulating the apartment rental sector and taking action where necessary, we will continue to post details of sanctions on our website on an ongoing basis.”
“Should landlords find themselves in a situation where they will not complain under tenancy law, I would urge landlords to take remedial action early so that they do not become the subject of an investigation which could result in penalties and costs of up to €30,000. “
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/nine-landlords-are-fined-or-cautioned-for-breaching-tenancy-laws-41552794.html Nine landlords are fined or warned for violating tenancy law