The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) is an organisation set up by the Government of Ireland. Its main role is to provide a dispute resolution service for landlords and tenants. The PRTB is also responsible for tenancy registration and from September 2004 all landlords must register new tenancies with the board. In addition the PRTB will carry out research in order to provide policy advice, guidelines and information on the private rented sector in Ireland.
The Board is now working on a statutory basis, since the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (pdf) in July, 2004. For more comprehensive information visit the legislation section on the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government’s website.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 deals with the regulation of the mainstream private rented housing sector. It does not apply to certain kinds of rented properties :
- Business lettings
- Holiday lettings
- Formerly rent-controlled dwellings or long occupation lease tenancies – separate legislation applies to them
- Owner-occupied accommodation (e.g. if you live in a house with your landlord or if you rent a flat in your landlord’s house)
- Dwellings in which the spouse, parent or child of the landlord lives. This applies to informal family arrangements where there is no tenancy agreement in writing. Formal agreements between the family members e.g. where a lease has been signed are covered by the Act
- Social housing (e.g. Local authority and housing association tenants)
Part 4 of the Act does not apply to :
- Employment-related lettings – these are sometimes called “tied” houses in that they are tied to the job and you must leave the dwelling when the job ends
- Section 50 student accommodation
Read more about tenants’ rights and obligations under the Act and read more about landlords’ rights and obligations under the Act.
The Board is responsible for the registration of tenancies. Find out more about tenancy registration.
Dispute resolution service
The dispute resolution process used by the PRTB is confidential, supportive and non-confrontational. Landlords, tenants or other parties directly affected (e.g. neighbours) can initiate the dispute resolution process. Landlords must be registered with the PRTB to use the dispute resolution service.
The service covers disputes about deposits, lease terms, termination of tenancies, rent arrears, market rents, complaints by neighbours, breaches of statutory obligations by either landlord or tenant and any other matters related to the tenancy. The Board can also deal with disputes about terms of a lease or other tenancy agreement that are not specified in the Act. It should not be necessary to have legal representation when taking a case to the PRTB.
The process consists of two stages :
- Stage 1 is confidential mediation* or adjudication** (the parties can decide which method they prefer)
- Stage 2 is a public hearing by a three-person Tenancy Tribunal
If the parties do not wish to accept the mediator’s or adjudicator’s decision, the dispute can be appealed to the Tenancy Tribunal within 21 days. A mediated agreement or the decision of the adjudicator or the Tribunal results in a determination order from the Board. Decisions made by the Tribunal can only be appealed to the High Court on a point of law. Enforcement of determination orders is through the Circuit Court.
* Mediation means that the parties are helped to come to an agreement together.
** Adjudication means that the adjudicator makes a decision that may or may not reflect any agreement reached between the parties. The parties then decide whether they are willing to accept this decision.
Certain types of dispute have defined limited periods. The PRTB may extend these limits in exceptional circumstances.
- You must refer any dispute about rent increases to the PRTB before the rent increase is due to take effect or within 28 days after receiving formal notice of the new rent (whichever is later)
- You cannot refer disputes about rent more than 28 days after the tenancy concerned has terminated
- You must refer disputes about notices of termination within 28 days of receipt of the notice
The person who initiates the process has to pay a fee of €25. There may be a further fee if the parties progress to a hearing before a tenancy tribunal.
How to apply
If you have a tenancy dispute (that has arisen since 6th December 2004), you should contact the PRTB. An application form, which must be completed by both landlord and tenant, and an information sheet will be sent out to you. Following the receipt of the completed application form, the Board will contact you and the other party to confirm your agreement to mediation, clarify the issues in the dispute, explain the process and seek relevant documentation.