Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Rent Pressure Zones
166. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of investigations that have been carried out for breaches of rent pressure zones; the number of same that were initiated by the RTB without a complaint made by a tenant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29891/20]
The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2020, to operate a national tenancy registration system and to facilitate the resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants.
Additional powers and functions were conferred on the RTB by 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 1st 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 the new definition of a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation for the purpose of an exemption from the 4% p.a. rent increase restriction, or fail to cooperate with an RTB investigation, or fail to register and update tenancies with the RTB. The Act provides powers to the RTB to investigate and administratively sanction (up to €30,000) 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.
The Clerk of the Dáil requested that arrangements be put in place to facilitate the provision of information by State Bodies to members of the Oireachtas. Following the issue of Circular LG (P)05/16 on 20 September 2016 from my Department, the RTB set up a dedicated email address for this purpose. The RTB may be contacted at OireachtasMembersQueries@rtb.ie in relation to the matters raised.