Tenants ordered to pay a total of €130,000 in arrears to landlords

Tenants took successful cases after being illegally evicted from their homes. Stock image© Alamy Stock Photo

Amy Molloy

Tenants have been ordered by the rental watchdog to pay nearly €130,000 in rent arrears following a number of complaints by landlords letting properties.

The latest disputes published by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) show tenants have been living in properties without paying rent for months.

Rent arrears and overholding, where a tenant remains in a property after a valid notice of termination has expired, were the most common reasons landlords took cases.

Tenants took successful cases after being illegally evicted from their homes, with four landlords ordered to pay nearly €60,000 in damages in total.

Eighteen landlords renting properties in Dublin, Tipperary, Louth and Carlow took successful cases, with tenants ordered to pay a combined €127,912 in arrears.

Two tenants who were renting a house in Swords, Co Dublin, for €1,250 per month were ordered to pay €13,750 in arrears.

A woman renting a property in Citywest in Dublin for €2,800-a-month was ordered to pay arrears of €11,050.

Another tenant renting a house in Tallaght in west Dublin racked up arrears of €17,566, while a man living in a house in Dundalk, Co Louth, has to pay €8,370.

In one case, a landlord was ordered to pay €5,424 in damages for unlawfully ending a tenancy at a property in Rush, Co Dublin.

This included damages of €3,397 and the return of a €1,000 deposit, while money was also deducted from the award because the tenant had accrued arrears.

Tenants also took successful cases for deposit retentions, invalid eviction notices and landlords failing to maintain their properties or carry out repairs.

One landlord letting a property to three tenants in Co Meath was ordered to pay €19,500 in damages after serving invalid eviction notices and unlawfully interfering with the tenants’ rights to peaceful and exclusive occupation of the house.

The landlord had cut off access to utilities and was also living in the property without the tenants’ consent.

The RTB ordered the landlord to vacate the house.

Another landlord was ordered to pay nearly €10,000 after unjustifiably retaining a deposit and breaching their obligations to their tenant.

The owner of a house in Athlone, Co Westmeath, who unlawfully ended a tenancy, was ordered to pay €9,000 in damages, while a landlord renting a house in Kingswood View in Dublin was ordered to pay €20,000 for illegally evicting a tenant.

More than 4,300 notices of termination were issued by landlords in the last three months of last year. Of the total number of eviction notices issued, 43pc were to tenants in Dublin, with nearly 11pc in Cork and more than 6pc in Galway.

Even though the eviction ban kicked in at the end of October, landlords were still able to issue 4,329 eviction notices in the three months to December, with 3,329 of those notices falling due in April, May and June after the eviction ban was lifted.

New laws came into effect from July 6, last year, that require landlords to send a copy of all eviction notices to the RTB on the same day they are served on the tenant.

The eviction notice is invalid if this is not done.

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