Almost €63,000 in overpaid rent repaid to tenants in 2022 – RTB report

Almost €63,000 In Overpaid Rent Repaid To Tenants In 2022 – Rtb Report
The RTB's annual report for 2022 showed €402,000 in late registration fees was repaid to landlords and agents due to an issue with the registration system.
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Noel Baker

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) saw demand for its dispute resolution service soar to a record high last year, with almost €63,000 in overpaid rent returned to tenants.

The watchdog's latest annual report showed a 30 per cent annual increase in the number of landlords and tenants seeking the use of the Dispute Resolution Service, with 7,417 applications.


A third of cases related to rent arrears or a tenant failing to leave a rented property by a set date, while just under a fifth of cases related to the validity of the Notice of Termination issued by a landlord and 17 per cent concerned alleged breaches of landlord obligations.

Some €62,659 in overpaid rent was returned to tenants last year, meaning €347,000 in overpaid rent has been returned since the RTB's Investigation and Sanctions function was established in 2019.

However, the report also included an apology to landlords and agents for "performance failures" in its online registration system, with the RTB's chair, Tom Dunne, and director, Niall Byrne, admitting: "These had serious impacts on landlords and letting agents."

The issued led to the reimbursement of some €402,000 in late registration fees to landlords and agents.


It followed a new requirement, introduced last year, for landlords and letting agents to register tenancies on an annual basis. But the report noted: "The Registration System did not fully work as intended and this caused a range of issues for many landlords and agents trying to register their tenancies.

"As a result, the RTB experienced unprecedented demand on our customer service channels, which resulted in significant delays, backlogs and response issues in our contact centre."

System failures

The issues included landlords and agents having difficulty migrating information from older systems to the new system, and problems with data verification.

"Many users found the system confusing and slow to navigate which caused unnecessary frustration and delay in completing registrations to users of the system," the report conceded.


Measures introduced to tackle the issues included extra staffing and temporarily suspending the RTB's webchat service last August, as it was deemed "not suitable to deal with the volume or complexity of the queries then being received". A focus was instead placed on email and phone supports and a temporary pause was placed on the charging of late fees.

A note from the Comptroller and Auditor General also refered to the online registration issues, outlining how the RTB decided to reimburse landlords and agents who had incurred such late registration penalties between August and November 2022, totalling just over €402,000.

The RTB approved 130 investigations into potential improper conduct and issued 106 decisions to the relevant landlords, some relating to cases opened in previous years, although the decision to impose a sanction must be confirmed in the Circuit Court.

During 2022, 46 cases were confirmed in the Dublin, Kildare, Louth, and Galway Circuit Courts, with 47 decisions confirmed in total.


The report said 36 out of the 47 sanctions published were for breach of Rent Pressure Zone regulations, with 39 landlords acknowledging the improper conduct at the beginning of the investigation.

More than €39,000 was paid in sanctions by landlords in 2022, with the average sanction being €1,484.

The report also showed the total number of private tenancies registered with the RTB has fallen from 297,837 at the end of 2020 to 276,223 a year later, and then further to 246,453 by the end of 2022.

However, it said previous figures were inflated by expired tenancies and the new up-to-date registration data provides a more accurate representation of the number of active tenancies in the State.

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