Watching RTE Investigates last Monday night, Darragh Bluffer O’Brien should Apologise to those Vulnerable Sick, Cold and Lonely less fortunate people who are homeless on the streets of Dublin; O Brien Stated nobody is Refused a Bed in Dublin, but the Evidence was Clear, the Calls did not Lie “We cannot help you – Go Back to Carlow; Go Back to Kildare” were the retorts. I say to O’Brien now Be a Man and Admit you Lied, not just to the People of Ireland but to our most vulnerable homeless people. To see the people cry in desperation was shocking but also to see no Compassion or Empathy from O’Brien and his cohort was personally Disgusting to me especially. It is totally unacceptable to have a public body slam down a phone on a caller. Then when you read below – we were promised no evictions during the Pandemic yet another lie. Would the FF backbenchers stand up like men and pull the plug on Martin and his Cronies.

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Landlords who evicted families avoided sanction despite ‘improper conduct’

  2 hrs ago


Landlords who evicted families avoided sanction despite ‘improper conduct’

The Residential Tenancies Board was powerless to sanction landlords who made 17 families homeless, despite ‘improper conduct’, it has emerged.a man wearing a suit and tie© Provided by Extra.ie

More than a year after the Irish Daily Mail first revealed that the RTB was concerned about its lack of powers and need for ‘structural change’, reform has yet to take place.

The cases – which further highlight the toothlessness of the housing watchdog – were identified by the RTB in an analysis sent to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in July.a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: The cases – which further highlight the toothlessness of the housing watchdog – were identified by the RTB in an analysis sent to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in July. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie© Provided by Extra.ie The cases – which further highlight the toothlessness of the housing watchdog – were identified by the RTB in an analysis sent to the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in July. Pic: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The analysis looked at just one month’s worth of cases where families presented as homeless in Dublin in May 2019. ‘Improper conduct’ covers offences including falsely telling the tenant the property will be put up for sale but it is instead put back on the rental market, breaching Rent Pressure Zone laws and providing misleading information.

Legislation to give the RTB powers to penalise landlords for unlawfully evicting tenants only came into force two months later, in July 2019. Under the new law, landlords can be fined up to €15,000 by the RTB and receive a written caution.

In the report, RTB director Pádraig McGoldrick said the RTB ‘cannot retrospectively apply these powers’. The investigations were deemed to be warranted by the RTB because of ‘false or misleading’ information to the families by the landlord or the tenancy not being registered. A database has been established to share data between the RTB and local authorities to monitor cases of terminations that leave families homeless.Eoghan Murphy wearing a suit and tie: In February last year, the former chairperson of the RTB wrote to then housing minister Eoghan Murphy to say the RTB was at ‘significant risk’ of not being able to implement legislation brought in to protect tenants. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie In February last year, the former chairperson of the RTB wrote to then housing minister Eoghan Murphy to say the RTB was at ‘significant risk’ of not being able to implement legislation brought in to protect tenants. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Since the legislation has been enacted, 188 investigations into alleged improper conduct have been approved by the RTB.

The report notes that in 42 investigations that have commenced, ‘the landlord has acknowledged the allegations’ and that ‘the majority of these landlords have made reparations to the tenants affected’.

In February last year, the former chairperson of the RTB wrote to then housing minister Eoghan Murphy to say the RTB was at ‘significant risk’ of not being able to implement legislation brought in to protect tenants.Eoin Ó Broin wearing glasses: Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said it is ‘disappointing that the Government hasn’t acted on the request for additional resources’ that the RTB made more than a year ago. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Provided by Extra.ie Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said it is ‘disappointing that the Government hasn’t acted on the request for additional resources’ that the RTB made more than a year ago. Pic: Gareth Chaney/Collins

An independent report recommending the RTB be managed by a director and supported by three principal officers was finalised and sent to the Department of Housing in December 2018.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said it is ‘disappointing that the Government hasn’t acted on the request for additional resources’ that the RTB made more than a year ago. ‘Obviously the new powers are very important but there is no point in having them without there being full capacity to ensure landlords comply with the law,’ Mr Ó Broin said.

A spokeswoman for the RTB said: ‘The powers given to the RTB to investigate and sanction landlords who commit improper conducts and to commence investigations on the RTB’s own volition commenced on July 1, 2019. It is important to note the RTB has a dispute resolution service designed to resolve issues which arise in a tenancy between a landlord and a tenant.’

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