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Family Awarded €7k in Damages After PRTB Finds Landlord’s Eviction Was Illegal

By August 20, 2023 No Comments
Tenants Rights

The PRTB ordered the landlord to pay €7,000 in damages for illegally evicting tenants and subsequently renting the property to new tenants at a significantly higher rent.

The case involved a family who had been renting a house in Co Cavan for over three years. In November 2021, the landlord verbally informed them of his intention to sell the property. Unable to find alternative accommodation in Cavan, the family had to relocate to Mullingar, Co Westmeath, leading to their daughter changing schools. The new rental house in Mullingar cost the family €1,600 a month, more than double their previous rent of €750.

After they had left the Cavan property, a former neighbour informed the evicted family that a new family had moved into the house only two weeks later. The new tenants disclosed they were paying €1,200 a month, indicating a significant rent increase compared to the previous tenants who had been forced to relocate.

Despite their eviction, the original tenants were not officially served a notice of termination and were never offered the opportunity to rent the house again, as the landlord decided against selling it.

In April 2022, the landlord’s representative informed the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) that selling the property would have been challenging due to right-of-way issues. However, the RTB found this explanation lacking and noted that either inadequate inquiries were made before the illegal eviction, or the landlord never intended to sell the property to begin with.

The RTB ruled the verbal notice of termination invalid, stating that the tenants should have been allowed to stay in the house for another 15 months under the Residential Tenancies Act legislation. Even if a valid notice of termination had been served for sale purposes, it should have included an obligation to offer the tenancy back to the original family if the sale did not proceed.

In conclusion, the RTB found the family had been uprooted from their lives and awarded them €7,000 in damages.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.*

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