Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (702)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

702. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government where a complaint can be directed regarding poor customer service by a client that had a very negative experience in dealing with them in view of the fact that the Office of the Ombudsman will not hear complaints regarding the Residential Tenancies Board other than in connection with Part 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11763/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2016 regulate the landlord-tenant relationship in the residential rental sector and set out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants. The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Acts to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. The RTB has a quasi-judicial role and it would be inappropriate for me, as Minister, to comment on, or to interfere in, the specifics of any case.

Complaints regarding the RTB’s Dispute Resolution Service are outside of the remit of the Office of the Ombudsman, as the Dispute Resolution Service is a quasi-judicial process and case outcomes are decided by independent adjudicators and mediators. If a case party is unhappy with the outcome of their mediation or adjudication hearing, they may appeal the case to a three-member Tribunal within the RTB. The determination order of the Tribunal may be appealed within 21 days to the High Court on a point of law.

The RTB provides a customer complaint service in line with its Customer Charter, which is published on their website, www.rtb.ie. The RTB is committed to providing excellence in customer service and seeks to continuously improve its services based on customer feedback. The RTB has recently further invested in its customer service resources to improve all aspects of customer services and training in this area.