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Enforcement of Residential Tenancies Board Determinations

By: Michelle Cronin | Posted on: 23 May 2018

Since the 26th of February 2018, applications to enforce RTB Determinations can be dealt with at the District Court in which the relevant property is situate. Previously such applications could only be initiated in the Circuit Court. The advantage to applicants is that the application process in the District Court is less costly and matters can generally be listed for hearing in a much shorter timeframe than in the Circuit Court.

The RTB issues Determinations to landlords, tenants or third parties who have brought a dispute to the attention of the RTB and it has been addressed through mediation, adjudication or a tribunal. Determinations are legally binding and enforcement proceedings are only required when a party fails to comply with the Determination.

The RTB has always had the facility of enforcing Determinations on behalf of the injured party. However, it is accepted that the RTB has not had the necessary resources to expedite this process and it has therefore fallen to the injured party to pursue the enforcement of the Determination. With the change in jurisdiction the RTB may be in a position to deal with the enforcement process and they can be contacted at enforceorder@rtb.ie.

For those who wish to pursue enforcement without further delay, the process has been set out in the District Court (Residential Tenancies) Rules 2018. The application for enforcement is supported by an Affidavit sworn by the Applicant and the local District Court Office provides a suitable ‘return’ date when the matter will be first listed before the Court. The application and affidavit are served upon the Respondent. If the Respondent intends opposing the Application, they are required to put the RTB on notice in advance of the hearing and to provide the RTB with the grounds of their opposition. The matter is given a hearing date and the Court makes the Order it deems appropriate in the circumstances. Should the Respondent not comply with the Order of the District Court other remedies then become available.

Any Order made by the District Court can be appealed to the Circuit Court. However, an Appeal does not automatically act as a ‘stay’ i.e. the Order of the District Court can be acted upon pending the appeal being heard by the Circuit Court.

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