Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (56)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

56. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the concerns raised in two letters to him by a person (details supplied) regarding a lack of resources available to the Residential Tenancies Board to implement and enforce the new regulations which came into force in July 2019 and the concern that the late fines for landlords that failed to register with the board were not high enough to act as a deterrent. [45237/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department received a revised Workforce Plan from the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) for approval, in anticipation of the new residential tenancy provisions which were in development at the time. As is the practice, my Department has been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) to agree the proposed organisation structure. This work has progressed well so far, and over the course of 2019 I have sanctioned an additional 29 staff for the Board to support implementation and enforcement of the provisions contained in the 2019 Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act. Further engagement regarding the proposed Executive Management Team is ongoing with DPER, enabled by the provision of increased resourcing of a further €2m to the RTB as part of Budget 2020, and bringing its overall allocation for 2020 to €9m.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 was enacted on the 24 May 2019. My Department engaged with the RTB throughout the legislative process. The penalty in the published Bill for late registration of tenancies was amended by providing a monthly penalty of €10 for each month, indefinitely, until the tenancy is registered. This directly addressed a concern raised in the RTB Chairpersons letter of 28 February this year.

My Department and the RTB continue to engage on a regular basis to discuss issues of mutual concern.