The Impact of Failing to Register a Letting Agreement with the Private Residential Tenancies Board

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2004 imposed an obligation on Landlords to register each tenancy with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (“PRTB”). The tenancy must be registered by the Landlord within 30 days of the Letting Agreement being signed and the fee to register the tenancy for a Letting Agreement entered into since 1st January, 2011 is €90. If the tenancy is not registered within the 30 days then the penalty for late registration is €180. For multiple tenancies in one building the fee is €375.

 

In the event of a dispute arising between the Landlord and Tenant, which cannot be dealt with by reference to mechanisms in the Letting Agreement, it is the PRTB who will be contacted and they will decide the outcome after consulting with both the Landlord and the Tenant. Failure to register a Letting Agreement with the PRTB means that you have no rights of enforcement against the Tenant. The Landlord will also be unable to apply for tax relief and or mortgage interest relief on the rented property.

 

Enforcement by the PRTB

 

The PRTB has recently intensified enforcement action against unregistered Landlords and unregistered properties. A number of convictions have been secured recently in the District Courts around the country against Landlords for their failure to register their rented properties. The PRTB would have served the relevant notices and warnings on the Landlords requesting that they register their properties with the PRTB and notifying them that failure to do so would result in prosecution. The District Court has imposed fines up to the maximum of €3,000 per letting on the Landlord for his failure to register. In each reported case an Order was also imposed against the Landlord making him liable for the legal costs of the PRTB together with his own legal costs in the matter.

 

Data Exchange

 

In the cases which have been reported to date the Landlords came to the attention of the PRTB through data exchange with the Rent Supplement Section of the Department of Social Protection. The PRTB are also now implementing systems to enable them exchange data with other State Agencies and Departments to identify properties and Landlords which are unregistered in order that they may proceed with prosecution.

 

It is therefore important to immediately register the Letting Agreement with the PRTB to ensure compliance with the Act and to avoid paying the penalty for late registration.

 

This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by Hammond Good, Solicitors for any action taken in reliance on the information contained therein. Any and all information is subject to change. For further information on the subject, please contact the author, Joyce A. Good Hammond, at joyce@hgs.ie