Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (340)

Michael Creed

Question:

340. Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he has received correspondence (details supplied); if he will address the issues raised regarding the relationship between the RTB and sheltered housing providers generally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37963/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2020 regulates the landlord-tenant relationship in the rented residential sector and sets out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Act to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants.

The Residential Tenancies Acts apply to dwellings let by approved housing bodies (AHBs) to social housing tenants since 7 April 2016, making the RTB dispute resolution service available to the sector and providing tenancy protections.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 made provision to enhance the rental data to be provided to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB), including provision for the annual registration of tenancies. The aim is to gather more accurate and detailed tenancy and rental data on an annual basis to improve the information available to assist with policy formulation in the residential rental sector.

The amendments to sections 137 and 137A of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended, update the RTB tenancy registration fee in the context of the move to annual registration - providing a €40 fee per tenancy registration by private providers and €20 per tenancy registration by an Approved Housing Body (AHB). Under the new annual registration requirements, a fee can only be charged in respect of the same dwelling once per year and a discounted single registration fee (€170 for a private landlord, €85 for an AHB landlord) can be applied where the same landlord registers up to 10 tenancies of dwellings comprised in the same property.

The key change from the existing tenancy registration fees is that AHBs will be charged fees that are half those applicable to private providers – currently, all landlords pay the same registration fee. The reduction in AHB fees is provided in recognition of the public service that they provide in meeting the housing needs of those in receipt of social housing supports, and of AHBs' charitable (or similar) status.

The legal provisions requiring the annual registration of tenancies have not yet come into operation. Preparations are underway in the RTB to roll out a simple online registration system to cater for annual registration.