Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Questions (414)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

414. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the operating cost of the Residential Tenancies Board for 2018 and to date in 2019. [30142/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In 2018, my Department provided almost €4.4m in Exchequer funding to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) towards operational costs (current expenditure).

Increased Exchequer funding of €7.010m was secured for the Board's 2019 operational costs, to support the on-going delivery of its core functions and to reflect the additional powers and functions conferred on the RTB by the provisions in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) 2019 Act.

The introduction of these new powers of investigation and the related sanctions regime came into effect from 1 July 2019 and the key provisions of the Act make it a criminal offence for landlords to implement rent increases that contravene the law, that do not adhere to new definitions of a substantial change, or fail to cooperate with an investigation, or fail to register and update tenancies with the RTB. The Act provides powers to the RTB to investigate and administratively sanction landlords who engage in improper conduct including non-compliance with the rent increase restriction in RPZs and allows the RTB to initiate an investigation without the need for a complaint to be made.

€3.5m of the 2019 allocation has been drawn down to end of June 2019, which is in line with the expected profile.

Separate budgetary provision of €0.95m has been provided annually in 2018 and 2019 for capital expenditure. The full amount was drawn down in 2018 and €0.57m of this year's allocation has been drawn down to end June 2019.

The RTB also has access to income from fees for certain of its services, which it also uses to support its operations. Details of the RTB’s own self-financing income and expenditure can be found in the its Annual Reports and Financial Statements, all of which are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas and are also published on the RTB's website at the following link: https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/rtb-publications/.