Interpreters provided for over 400 residential disputes 

Interpreters provided for over 400 residential disputes 

The RTB says it experienced a 20% increase in dispute applications, some of which require interpreting services. Picture: PA

Samoan, Pashto and Dutch are some of the languages the Residential Tenancies Board provided in its interpretation services last year as it deals with a rise in disputes between tenants and landlords.

In a tender issued for interpretation services, the RTB said it is experiencing an approximate annual increase of 20% in dispute applications, some of which require interpreting services.

"In 2019, the RTB received approximately 6,000 applications for dispute resolution," it said. 

"Year on year, the RTB receives an approximate 20% increase in dispute applications. If either party is unhappy with the outcome of the initial hearing, they may submit an appeal to tribunal. In 2019, there were almost 650 applications for a tribunal hearing."

Separately, it said there were 420 requests for interpreting services in 2019. 

The most frequently requested languages are Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian, Russian and Portuguese and the top 10 most frequently requested languages account for 82% of interpreting requests.

However, requests for interpretation in other languages were also facilitated, including single cases in Pashto, Dutch, Samoan and Tamil.

"Requests for interpreting are made across the country, however, the majority of hearings are held in Dublin at the RTB offices," it said. "Other locations are Athlone, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Sligo & Wexford."

Almost three-quarters of all requests arose in Dublin, while 10% arose in Cork. 

The estimated total value of purchases pursuant to the framework agreement is in the region of €125,000-€250,000 (ex. VAT) over the lifetime of the agreement. 

An RTB spokesperson said: "At present, the Interpretation Services tender is intended to cover existing services currently provided through the Disputes Resolution process for RTB service users/customers and will be made available to other sections of the RTB.

"Anyone who applies for dispute resolution with the RTB can make a request for interpretation services, if required, in the application."

Since 2004, the RTB has replaced the courts in dealing with the majority of disputes between landlords and tenants through its Dispute Resolution Service, either through mediation or adjudication and appeal through a tenancy tribunal.

For more information go to the Residential Tenancies Board website.

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