Landlords fined and ordered to pay costs for failing to register tenancies
A LANDLORD has been fined €1,500 and was ordered to pay more than €5,000 in costs for failing to register two tenancies in Athlone in Co. Westmeath.
Arthur Allen with an address at Creggan in Athlone was summonsed to appear at Dublin District Court on two charges under the Residential Tenancies Act. The prosecution related to two unregistered tenants at separate apartments at Preaching Lane in Athlone.
The case was brought after the Residential Tenancies Board sent him solicitors letters warning him that he was obliged to register.
Prosecution barrister Eoghan Cole told the court that the board had to “chase him up”. The offence can result in a fine of up to €4,000 per offence as well as an order for costs and a sentence of up to six months.
Rosaleen Keane of the Residential Tenancies Board told Judge John O'Neill that a referral was received from the Department of Social Protection in 2013 after they had approved rent allowance payments to tenants.
However, Allen had not registered them with the board and he was sent a statutory notice.
Mr Allen had disputed one of the charges but during the hearing he said he thought he had registered and he admitted he was in the wrong.
He also told the court that one tenant stole a washing machine and a tumble dryer from one of the apartments.
He explained that while he is getting rental income from the properties that was not enough to pay his bank and he expected a foreclosure very shortly.
The court heard that he has since become compliant with the board and he has no prior criminal convictions or other prosecutions pending.
Judge O'Neill said Allen was an honest, decent man who “let things drift” and it was a pity he had not sat down and discussed it with Residential Tenancies Board before it came to court.
Judge O'Neill convicted him and imposed two fines totalling €1,500, and he was ordered pay costs totalling €5,000 plus VAT. Judge O'Neill allowed him eight months to pay.
A second landlord was today fined €3,000 and was ordered to pay more than €5,000 in costs for failing to register two tenancies in Mullingar in Co. Westmeath.
Martin O'Donnell (52) with an address at Walshestown South, Mullingar, pleaded guilty to two charges under the Residential Tenancies Act. The case was brought after the Residential Tenancies Board sent two solicitors letters warning him that he was obliged to register two tenancies.
Judge John O'Neill heard at Dublin District Court that the case arose out of two unregistered tenants he had at apartment at Valley Bungalows and another at Lynn Court in Mullingar.
The court heard that it was flagged by a Department of Social Protection referral in relation to payments being made to the tenants at each address.
Prosecution barrister Eoghan Cole told the court that the offence can result in a fine of up to€4,000 per offence as well as an order for costs.
Judge O'Neill was told that O'Donnell has not received rental income from the properties for the past four years. A receiver was appointed by EBS and he thought that because he was not receiving the rent he did not think he had to register with the board. He has since registered the tenancies with the board.
Mr O'Donnell, a father-of-three, who has a plumbing supplies business, has no prior court convictions, the judge noted.
However, Judge O'Neill said he had to convict him and imposed two fines, each of €1,500, and he was ordered pay costs totalling €5,000 plus VAT. Judge O'Neill allowed him six months to pay. Mr O'Donnell has since registered the tenancies with the board.