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Dublin landlord ordered to pay almost €12,000 to tenant after overcharging in rent pressure zone

Case of landlord hiking rent 90 per cent higher just one of 306 disputes lodged last year concerning rent reviews not being in line with rent pressure zones

A Dublin landlord has been ordered to pay almost €12,000 to a tenant after overcharging in a rent pressure zone (RPZ) for more than three years.

The landlord was found to be in breach of their obligations by a Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) tribunal after charging the tenant €1,400 per month for a property in Finglas.

The tenant gave evidence that the page containing relevant RPZ information within the lease agreement landlord had been left blank.

The tribunal heard that he contacted the landlord’s agents requesting information concerning the previous tenancies but was “ignored”, though he eventually managed to get details of the two previous tenancies at the property.


It emerged that the landlord initially charged €700 per month for a tenancy which began in July 2015 before setting a rent that was more than 90 per cent higher, €1,350, for a subsequent tenancy which began in July 2018, the tribunal heard.

The second tenancy had commenced after the introduction of the relevant RPZ legislation, meaning rent could not have been increased from €700 by more than 4 per cent.

As well as increasing the rent by about 93 per cent instead of the allowed 4 per cent, the tenant argued that a rent increase from €1,350 to €1,400 in July 2020 for his tenancy was in breach of legislation introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic which prohibited the increasing of rents at the time.

The tribunal had also heard that the tenant had been living in a tent for four years before securing the property in July 2020 and although he had been initially accepted, he was told the dwelling was to be given to a relative after raising the issue of housing assistance payments (HAP).

After threatening to raise a discrimination case, however, he was again offered the property to rent.

The tribunal report, published this month, found the appropriate rent should have been set at €840 per month. The landlord was ultimately ordered to pay the tenant €250 in damages and repay €11,654.09 in overcharged rent.

The case was just one of 306 disputes lodged last year concerning rent reviews not being in line with the RPZ.

The RTB said it took any deliberate non-compliance with the requirement to set rents within RPZ caps seriously, adding that there were “significant consequences” for landlords who set rents above those caps.

“The RTB is empowered to prosecute landlords who commit offences under residential tenancies legislation or alternatively, may investigate and sanction landlords for engaging in improper conduct.

“Where a landlord has set the rent in excess of the maximum rent allowed in an RPZ without applying for an exemption, this would amount to improper conduct which could result in an RTB investigation and potential civil sanction which includes a fine of up to €15,000,” a spokesperson said.

Since establishing its investigation powers in 2019, the RTB said it had prioritised investigation of allegations of breaches of RPZ restrictions noting that in 2022, 67 per cent of investigations approved related to a potential breach of the RPZ requirements.