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Two Wicklow Landlords fined €17,300 for not registering tenancies

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) has secured convictions against Two Wicklow Landlords who have previously been convicted for failing to register their tenancies and have now been ordered to pay a total of  €17,300 in Court fines and legal costs.

Frank Chatham of 4 Arch Villas, Greystones, County Wicklow was convicted on four counts for failing to register four tenancies. Derek Doherty of 12 Grangemore Court, Donaghmede, Dublin 13 was convicted on one count for failing to register a tenancy in Church Road.

While Mr Chatham did not attend Court, Mr. Justice Brennan was satisfied that Mr Chatham was on notice of the Court case. Mr. Justice Brennan also noted that the RTB had gone to great lengths to afford Mr Chatham every opportunity to engage with them and register the tenancies.

So Where did the Charges Come From?

Judge Brennan convicted Mr Chatham of an offence under Section 144(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and imposed a fine of €500 for failure to register two tenancies in Dorset Street and one tenancy in Swords. The tenancies were not registered at the time of the court hearing. An additional fine of €300 imposed for failure to register a tenancy in North Circular Road, this tenancy had been registered prior to the hearing which resulted in a lesser fine. Judge Brennan further made an Order for costs against Mr Chatham in favour of the RTB in the amount of €2,500 plus VAT in each separate case.

Mr. Justice Brennan also convicted Dereck Doherty for failure to register a tenancy in Church Road. Justice Brennan having reviewed the papers and hearing evidence from a representative of the RTB was satisfied that Mr Doherty was guilty of an offence under section 144(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and imposed a fine of 3,000 for failure to register the tenancy. Costs were also awarded in favour of the RTB in the amount of €2,500 plus VAT.

The rental housing sector provides homes to one in five households in Ireland. This includes over 100,000 households who are supported by State supported schemes such as Rent Supplement, Housing Assistant Programme or the Rental Accommodation Scheme

Kathryn Ward let her opinion be known on the matter

“Regulation in the rental housing sector is of upmost importance and registration is the first step in that process. The residential Tenancies Act has been in place for over 12 years now and it is just not acceptable that a minority of landlords attempt to operate outside the law, despite several official communications setting out clearly what their obligations are and what the consequences for not registering may be. 

It is particularly disappointing that landlords who were previously convicted for failing to register tenancies would gain come to our attention. The RTB provides every opportunity to landlords to engage so that they do not end up with a conviction and having to pay substantial fines and legal costs. Since 2013 the RTB has secured 69 criminal convictions against landlords who fail to register their tenancies despite every opportunity been afforded to them”, commented RTB Assistant Director, Ms Kathryn Ward.

Check register of all registered tenancies online

 The RTB maintain a published register of all registered tenancies and this register is a very important part of regulation of the sector. The register is provided to Revenue for the purpose of facilitating tax compliance in rental income and the Department of Social Protection for fraud detection.

The published register of all registered tenancies is available on the registration homepage of the RTB website  www.rtb.ie and any tenancy suspected of being unregistered can be reported by any member of the public to the PRTB which will take steps to investigate the matter.

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