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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Landlords fined over €100,000 for tenancy breaches

Treacy Hogan and Ralph Riegel

Published 11/04/2013 | 05:00

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MORE than €100,000 in fines and a total of 22 criminal convictions have been secured against Irish landlords in just three months for breaches of tenancy registration regulations.

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In just the past two weeks alone, five landlords have been convicted of failing to register tenancies despite repeated warnings to do so by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB).

They were fined a combined total of €19,500 as well as being ordered to pay legal costs of €25,000.

Figures seen by the Irish Independent revealed a major crackdown on landlords who have repeatedly ignored warnings to ensure all properties come under strict new tenancy regulations.

A total of 43,000 warning letters have been issued by the PRTB alone since 2012.

The five landlords prosecuted over the past fortnight include Brian Gilhooly of Hillcrest, Mulgannon, Co Wexford; David Stapleton of Garryhill, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow; Mr Philip Hogan of 41 Tara Court, Watergate, Limerick; Austin Broderick of Inch, Thurles, Co Tipperary and Catherine Harman of Mosskeigh Farm, Templemartin, Bandon, Co Cork.

Dispute

Since January 1, a total of 22 convictions have been secured over breaches of registration regulations.

Under new rules, a landlord must register each tenancy at a cost of €90 each.

PRTB director Anne Marie Caulfield stressed that every effort had been made to facilitate landlords but prosecutions would now be taken against all those who ignored warning letters.

"We are co-operating very closely with other public sector bodies such as local authorities and the Department of Social Protection to identify unregistered landlords," she said.

All five of the cases taken over the past fortnight involved landlords whose tenants were in receipt of rent supplement payments.

A landlord, if convicted under the Residential Tenancies Act (2004) for failing to comply with a notice, faces a fine of up to €4,000 and/or six months' imprisonment along with a daily fine of €250 for a continuing offence.

The PRTB was established under the 2004 Act and is a self-financing statutory agency whose function is the registration of all private rented accommodation and the provision of a dispute resolution service for both landlords and tenants.

Irish Independent

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