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My landlord is not acting on a ruling from the Residential Tenancies Board. What can I do?

I am facing eviction for highlighting issues with the apartment complex

I live in an apartment complex in north Dublin. I won a case at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) after I showed that the landlord and management company had failed to secure the car park and to ensure the intercom system and lifts were working on a regular basis. However, I have been forced to bring this case to the High Court as the landlord has failed to comply with the order from the RTB and continues to neglect a wide range of issues in the development. I am also facing eviction for highlighting these issues. What can be done?

I will address each element of your question individually. Firstly, when you say that you won a case at the RTB after you showed the landlord and management company failed to carry out certain duties, it’s important to be clear about who is responsible for maintaining your rented dwelling and the common areas of the apartment block to the appropriate minimum standards.

I am going to assume for the purpose of answering this question that the management company you are referring to is the development’s managing agent and not an estate agent who provides annual management for individual properties. I am making this assumption on the basis that you mentioned various items in your complex that would fall under the responsibility of a management company that is employed by the owner’s management company (OMC) that is made up of the owners of the apartments in the complex.

From the limited information I have on your case, it sounds like the issues that you were encountering were affecting your enjoyment of the apartment along with feeling secure in your accommodation that you are paying a monthly rent for. Hence, you felt you had no option but to take a case against the landlord for failure to carry out their obligations. I also note that you have been forced to take this case to the High Court and this indicates something else might be going on that is preventing the landlord from carrying out the directions given in the RTB adjudication or tribunal determination order.


As someone who has been involved with representing parties in disputes in the RTB for nearly 20 years, it looks to me like the landlord cannot fix the items you mention because that responsibility is with the complex managing agent and the landlord depends on them 100 per cent to carry out these duties. However, if you live in an apartment complex where many of the apartment owners have failed to pay their annual service charge, it is possible that they do not have the finances behind the OMC to proceed with the works that you mention even if your landlord has paid their service charge.

Unfortunately, one of the legacies of the property crash in Ireland is that there are apartment complexes where OMCs do not have the funds to provide the requisite services. This is a very difficult situation for all parties involved. Therefore, my advice on that matter would be to dig a little deeper and if you do find your apartment complex is in trouble, then it might be an idea to sit down with your landlord and engage in your own mediation as opposed to the great expense of a High Court action.

You have also mentioned that you feel you are facing eviction for highlighting these issues. Again, I have very little to go on here, so I am going to have to make several assumptions. A landlord cannot end a tenancy for the sake of it or if they just decide they do not like the tenant. In Ireland, since 2004, security of tenure for tenants has been strengthened significantly to prevent landlords from doing this. There are only a handful of reasons landlords can end a tenancy and this list is available on the RTB website along with how it should be done.

For example, if the landlord has sent you a valid termination of tenancy (not an eviction) for the purpose of sale, then they have every right to do so. That said, if you genuinely feel that the landlord only has a general plan to sell the property and not a concrete intention to dispose of the apartment, you do have a right to contest the validity of the notice with the RTB by applying for a mediation or adjudication hearing. You may also highlight the fact you feel you are being penalised for raising the other issues with the RTB, which is also something that is covered in the legislation if there is legitimacy to this claim.

All that said and from the information you have provided, it may well be that your landlord, through no fault of their own, has ended up owning a property in an apartment complex that is no longer functioning as it should due to the non-payment of service charges by other property owners in that complex. Therefore, it looks like the landlord has become frustrated by that fact and the issues the landlord has encountered with your tenancy which your landlord does not have control over. Therefore, your landlord has reached a decision there is no longer any point in owning this property and wants to get out of the property market and sell up. It is well documented that thousands of landlords in Ireland are doing the same.

Marcus O’Connor is a chartered surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland

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