Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (512)

Willie O'Dea


512. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to change the legislation establishing the PRTB that only allows an appeal to the courts on a point of law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40852/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to operate a national tenancy registration system and to facilitate the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants. The service provided by the RTB is quasi-judicial and all of their mediators, adjudicators and tribunal members have independent decision-making powers, in the same way as judges have within the Court system. To ensure impartiality, transparency and fairness, adjudicators are independently appointed and they undertake their functions in an autonomous capacity.

Section 123(3) of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019 states that any of the parties concerned may appeal to the High Court, within the relevant time period, a determination of a Tribunal on a point of law.

The RTB replaces the Courts for the vast majority of landlord and tenant disputes. However, section 182 of the Act provides that if the damages sought in a dispute amount to more than €20,000 or, in the case of rent arrears more than €60,000, the dispute may be referred directly to the Courts.

Prior to 2004, where there was a dispute between a landlord and a tenant, there was no alternative but to go to Court for dispute resolution services. This was costly and time consuming for the parties involved, with the majority of cases taking years to resolve.

Accordingly, I have no plans to change the right of appeal under section 123 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.