Court report on getting a PRTB determination implemented

Brendan Burgess

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This is a case I watched in the Dublin Circuit Court this morning

2016/08511 John Scanlon - V - Patrick James Fogarty : Brendan D. O'Connor & Co. Solicitors

The property was let in 2008.
Arrears began in 2011, and since then payments have been sporadic.
6 Oct 2015, an initial date was set for a PRTB hearing, but the tenant said it did not suit him, so a new date was set
17 October 2015- Tenant did not appear at hearing
27 October 2015 -PRTB issued its determination
€20,000 arrears due
Notice of Termination was valid

December 2015, the landlord went sale agreed on the premises, but the sale fell through.

The determination was not appealed.
In June 2016, the landlord found ads online where the tenant was trying to sublet it.

A contract for sale closed in June
The tenant vacated the premises in December I think.
The tenant appeared in court on 27 February and wanted to oppose the judgement
The case was adjourned because some 90 day notice period had not expired. The judge had directed the former tenant to file and affidavit of defence.

The judge made an order today against the tenant for €20,890 with costs.

The barrister presenting the case was excellent. Very clear. All the paperwork in order. Very systematic.
 

Brendan Burgess

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What is the point in having a RTB if the tenant can simply ignore the determinations and continue living in the property?

I have no idea what legal fees this landlord has incurred in getting the tenant out and getting a judgement for the arrears.

And he will probably have great difficulty and expense in enforcing the judgement.

The system should be changed so that once the RTB determination is issued and not appealed, the landlord can take possession of the premises and put the tenant out on the street.

The landlord should not have to go to the expense of going to the Circuit Court to get the adjudication enforced.

Brendan
 

cremeegg

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It is all very well Brendan saying what should happen, but landlords have to deal with the situation as it actually exists.

And we will have to continue dealing with the existing situation until such time as it is changed. There is no sign that the situation you have outlined will be changed.

The simple reality is that there is a small chance of a catastrophic situation developing for any landlord, i.e. that a tenant will stop paying and not leave.

Many potential landlords simply will not let their properties. Others will resort to extra legal means to gain possession of their property.

As a practical suggestion, a RAS or HAP tenant is unlikely to do this. That is because they have a right to be housed by the council, which they could forfeit if there was a determination against them. I don't know the legal basis for this, but I had a difficult situation with a tenant on RAS some years ago. Ultimately they behaved because they were very afraid that their place on the council housing list would be lost if they had a PRTB order against them.

For most landlords, other than get out of the business, the only thing they can do to protect themselves is to be very careful not to take a certain type of tenant.
 
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mtk

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What is the point in having a RTB if the tenant can simply ignore the determinations and continue living in the property?

I have no idea what legal fees this landlord has incurred in getting the tenant out and getting a judgement for the arrears.

And he will probably have great difficulty and expense in enforcing the judgement.

The system should be changed so that once the RTB determination is issued and not appealed, the landlord can take possession of the premises and put the tenant out on the street.

The landlord should not have to go to the expense of going to the Circuit Court to get the adjudication enforced.

Brendan
many thanks fro taking the time to shine a light on this nonsense
 

Sarenco

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Hi Brendan

I have heard on the grapevine that the RTB are now initiating (and funding) an increasing number of Court proceedings to enforce their determinations against over-holding tenants. I suspect that there is a realisation within the RTB that over-holding is becoming an increasing problem and that many tenants are simply "playing the system".

I'm not sure how I feel about the discretionary nature of the RTB's mandate in this regard but I definitely wouldn't be comfortable would the idea of a landlord evicting a tenant without first obtaining a Court order.
 

Daffodil

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I know this is an old thread but the situation in this area has definitely not improved - in fact from my experience it's getting worse. The RTB waiting times to get a dispute resolved are getting longer and longer. I'm trying to get a non paying tenant out of my property for nearly a year now and it's all down to RTB delays plus they keep giving the tenant leave to adjourn hearings etc and leave to appeal. It should be the case that if a tenant stops paying rent they should be removed immediately, fined for non-payment, have their credit rating affected (as mine is being affected because of mortgage arrears) and also put on a black list of rogue tenants. Everyone wants to blame landlords for the housing crisis but there are plenty of tenants out there playing the system. Why would any tenant bother paying rent these days as it is virtually impossible for the landlord to remove the tenant - at least for months. Perhaps if every tenant decided to stop paying rent then it would have an knock on affect and the government might sit up and finally take notice as a lot of politicians are landlords - they don't like to be hit in their pockets.

A specific Housing Court is definitely the answer - RTB is not fit for purpose.
 

Feemar5

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Re HAP tenants - if a HAP tenant fails to pay their contribution of the rent to the Housing Payment Agency then the agency stops payment to the landlord - that is made quite plain in the rental agreement. I know of cases where the landlord actually paid the tenant's contribution so that he could get the HAP part of the payment in order to pay the mortgage. The PRTB seems totally inadequate in dealing with rent arrears - we need a new system that is fair to both tenant and landlord.
 

PaxmanK

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It's obviously a concern for most landlords now and the cause of many leaving the market.
RTB report out today and hidden in there is that the number of landlords is decreasing. They have been fugding that figure for a couple of years and this year even the fudging couldn't hide it.
And they would do well to remember that forcing them out, they are unlikely to return, ever.
 

Brendan Burgess

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The PRTB seems totally inadequate in dealing with rent arrears - we need a new system that is fair to both tenant and landlord.
What was the situation like before the RTB?

Is the RTB slower or faster than the courts? If we had no RTB, I would imagine that it would be even slower in the current environment where the courts don't like evicting people and making them homeless.

I agree that the system should deal with non payers quickly but is it the RTB that is to blame?

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

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I see that the RTB has said today

This demonstrates the need for the sector to continue to be monitored closely. It will be important that the new legislation coming into effect in 2019, equips the RTB with sufficient powers to investigate and apply sanctions where there are contraventions to the rent restrictions in Rent Pressure Zones and that these powers can be implemented effectively.”

So they are hoping to go after landlords with more vigour. But no mention of going after defaulting tenants.

Brendan
 

Bronte

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What is the point in having a RTB if the tenant can simply ignore the determinations and continue living in the property?
LOL BB, seriously haven't I been banging that drum on here for years. Determination orders from the RTB are worthless to landlords.

(really appreciate you telling us about the court case.)
 

Bronte

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I know this is an old thread but the situation in this area has definitely not improved - in fact from my experience it's getting worse. The RTB waiting times to get a dispute resolved are getting longer and longer. I'm trying to get a non paying tenant out of my property for nearly a year now and it's all down to RTB delays plus they keep giving the tenant leave to adjourn hearings etc and leave to appeal. It should be the case that if a tenant stops paying rent they should be removed immediately, fined for non-payment, have their credit rating affected (as mine is being affected because of mortgage arrears) and also put on a black list of rogue tenants. Everyone wants to blame landlords for the housing crisis but there are plenty of tenants out there playing the system. Why would any tenant bother paying rent these days as it is virtually impossible for the landlord to remove the tenant - at least for months. Perhaps if every tenant decided to stop paying rent then it would have an knock on affect and the government might sit up and finally take notice as a lot of politicians are landlords - they don't like to be hit in their pockets.

A specific Housing Court is definitely the answer - RTB is not fit for purpose.
Can you please give us a timeline of everything. Date tenant arrived, rent arrears began, dates of RTB etc.
 

Bronte

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I know of cases where the landlord actually paid the tenant's contribution so that he could get the HAP part of the payment in order to pay the mortgage.
I love this idea. AAM is great, you learn something new. But more importantly, as a HAP landlord I now have a solution to give me time if I need it with a HAP tenant. Plus I can write it off as me receiving less rent.
 

Bronte

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What was the situation like before the RTB?

Is the RTB slower or faster than the courts? If we had no RTB, I would imagine that it would be even slower in the current environment where the courts don't like evicting people and making them homeless.

I agree that the system should deal with non payers quickly but is it the RTB that is to blame?

Brendan
It's faster to go to court. Because all that happened when the RTB arrived was us landlords were forced to to go the RTB first. Then court. Delaying the court instigation. And of course the whole point of the RTB was to do away with going to court which is very costly. The RTB refuse to pay for court cases for landlords to enforce the RTB determination orders against tenants. But they do pay for court the other way around.

So now, thats to the RTB it takes longer and costs more.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi Bronte

The case I reported was where a tenant ignored the RTB determination.

But how common is this? I suspect that most tenants accept the RTB determination and vacate the property.

Brendan
 

RETIRED2017

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It's faster to go to court. Because all that happened when the RTB arrived was us landlords were forced to to go the RTB first. Then court. Delaying the court instigation. And of course the whole point of the RTB was to do away with going to court which is very costly. The RTB refuse to pay for court cases for landlords to enforce the RTB determination orders against tenants. But they do pay for court the other way around.

So now, thats to the RTB it takes longer and costs more.
I know in parts of Austria when a tenant moves in the deposit is high so there is enough to cover rent not paid equal to the amount of time it takes the local Court in the rented area to make a judgement ,
If I understood my daughter correctly at the time The deposit is held in a account in both Tenant and landlords tenant gets a say on where it is invested and collects interest on amount on deposit,
Why do landlords not have a system like this in Ireland, Is there a reason?
I think you will find Information on line on the system used over there,
 
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Daffodil

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Hi Bronte

The case I reported was where a tenant ignored the RTB determination.

But how common is this? I suspect that most tenants accept the RTB determination and vacate the property.

Brendan
The problem is the time frame of the RTB. Once you submit a dispute it takes weeks to get a hearing date - which can be adjourned by the tenant if they make a good case. Then once the hearing is over it takes another week or so for the adjudication report to be issued. Then the tenant has 10 working days to appeal. If there's no appeal then they issue the Determination Order but this can take weeks. All the while the tenant is sitting pretty - rent free for as long as it takes the RTB to issue the Order. WHY does it take so long ?????????????? The RTB refuse to give a definitive time frame for the Order - just keep saying "in due course" - that could be any length of time. The RTB just gives the tenant more time to remain in situ rent free.

The RTB claim that they prioritise rent arrears and overholding. If this is how they prioritise I would hate to see how they deal with non priority issues.

In reality, if the tenant doesn't appeal the adjudication report and leaves after the Determination Order is issued, you are looking at at least 6-7 months with no rental income - if you're lucky. Of course there's no guarantee the tenant will respect the Order when it is finally issued - that's a whole different scenario then !!!!! Unacceptable !!!!

In the case of non payment of rent the tenant should be given 14 days to rectify situation and then if not done it should be followed with immediate eviction. Otherwise why is anyone bothering to pay rent at all when you can live rent free for months !!!!!
 
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