Record demand for RTB services in 2018

Record demand for RTB services in 2018

A record number of people contacted the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) last year.

According to its annual report, the number of people contacting the RTB for information and services increased by 6% in 2018.

This is a total of 260,188 customer contacts across phones, emails and webchats.

On average, the RTB received 637 calls a day with 80% of them answered in under 20 seconds.

"Every year, for the last five years, demand for RTB Services has continued to grow, reflecting the continued pressures people are feeling in the rental market, and the changing regulatory framework," said Director Rosalind Carrol.

"Over the last 12 months, we have continued to focus on informing and educating both landlords and tenants on their rights and responsibilities in a complex regulatory system.

"We have introduced initiatives like the BetterLet RTB Landlord Accreditation, a voluntary scheme to support landlords so that they can manage their tenancy successfully and understand their rights and obligations.

"Early engagement and information has also helped resolve many of the dispute cases referred to us, where nearly half of cases are withdrawn after engagement with the RTB."

At the end of 2018, there were 336,890 registered tenancies with RTB which comprised of 695,000 occupants and 173,197 landlords.

The RTB received 6,398 applications for dispute resolution, an increase of nearly 10% since 2017.

Despite this increase, the percentage of dispute applications received out of the total number of registered tenancies remained steady at just under 2% of overall tenancies.

Almost half of these applications were either withdrawn or settled before a hearing took place after engagement with the RTB and 31% of dispute applications ended in agreement.

Record demand for RTB services in 2018

In 2018, 42% of all notices of termination submitted by landlords were deemed to be invalid and a total of €2.2m in rent arrears (not including damages) was awarded to landlords, averaging €4,039 per landlord.

In over 80% of cases dealing with deposits, the deposit was fully or partially refunded to the tenant.

Cases disputing the amount of rent being charged made up 8% of overall cases taken to the RTB.

67% of all notices of rent reviews were found to be invalid, this is down from 77% in 2017.

Ms Carroll said that the new legislation introduced in June this year will continue to enhance the role of the RTB in the proactive monitoring and regulation of the market.

"This along with our information, disputes and research services will allow the RTB to continue to provide support services to ensure that we can have an effective regulated sector, that is fair, accessible and beneficial for all."

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