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 Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?

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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:57 pm

Your strict legal rights are outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 - available in .pdf here.

If unsure of your rights or how to enforce them you should get in touch with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (website here) which is the statutory body charged with protecting the rights of tenants. They will be able to inform you of all your rights. Your landlord is legally obliged to have registered your tenancy with the Board so that is something you might also look into.

It is through the Private Residential Tenancies Board that you enforce your rights in regard to private tenancies since the passing of the 2004 act rather than through litigation - makes enforcing your rights alot easier.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:49 pm

I do, it’s my lefts I have the problem with.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:05 pm

zakalwe wrote:
Help.

in a dispute with my landlord and not sure of rights.
checked the prtb website and not much help.

story is:
bathroom leaked.
we had to chase (at considerable time and telephone expense) landlord to get plumber.
then chase (again considerable time and expense) plumber to start work.
no heating for past 2 months.
for this week no bathroom at all.
moved out to alternative accommodation.
insurance to landlord covers b&b but no dinner.
we want to withhold 1 months rent and pay accommodation ourselves.
the leak was reported 2 months ago.
place is a building site at the moment.
landlord believes the place is habitable except for bathroom and no serious inconvenience and will take non payment of next months rent as notice of termination.

what options have we?

Leaving aside compensation matters, might it be worth thinking about moving? The word has been that rents are falling and you might get a good deal.
Perhaps you have a six month contract - but I've heard these may not be legally binding? - Any views on that?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:19 pm

They are legally binding provided that they are properly constructed. The Residential Tenancies Act now applies in regard to the methods of termination of residential leases. In the absence of an agreement between yourself and your landlord where your lease is less than 6 months the requisite notice is 28 days, between 6 months and a yearly tenancy it is 35 days, and thereafter rises to a maximum of 56 days in the context of a lease for 4 years or greater.

That said, you can have the lease terminated if the landlord is failing in his legal obligations to you as a tenant.

As stated, your primary option is to get in touch with the Private Residential Tenancies Board which is, I understand, a relatively easy procedure which exists primarily to bypass the legal profession.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:27 pm

johnfás wrote:
They are legally binding provided that they are properly constructed. The Residential Tenancies Act now applies in regard to the methods of termination of residential leases. In the absence of an agreement between yourself and your landlord where your lease is less than 6 months the requisite notice is 28 days, between 6 months and a yearly tenancy it is 35 days, and thereafter rises to a maximum of 56 days in the context of a lease for 4 years or greater.

That said, you can have the lease terminated if the landlord is failing in his legal obligations to you as a tenant.

As stated, your primary option is to get in touch with the Private Residential Tenancies Board which is, I understand, a relatively easy procedure which exists primarily to bypass the legal profession.

thanks, you're a star!!! that pdf will come in handy!

will start down that path.

he's a lazy git who never does not put in the slightest bit of effort. as far as i can see he bought off the plans about 5 years ago and just collects the rent ever since.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:33 pm

johnfás wrote:
They are legally binding provided that they are properly constructed. The Residential Tenancies Act now applies in regard to the methods of termination of residential leases. In the absence of an agreement between yourself and your landlord where your lease is less than 6 months the requisite notice is 28 days, between 6 months and a yearly tenancy it is 35 days, and thereafter rises to a maximum of 56 days in the context of a lease for 4 years or greater.

That said, you can have the lease terminated if the landlord is failing in his legal obligations to you as a tenant.

As stated, your primary option is to get in touch with the Private Residential Tenancies Board which is, I understand, a relatively easy procedure which exists primarily to bypass the legal profession.

What if there is an agreement? Is it possible to sign one's rights away?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:38 pm

No, but you could probably contract aspects of your landlord's rights away. Legislation is generally interpretted to protect the weaker party rather than the stronger party. My point was really that on the basis of mutual agreement you could probably terminate your lease prior to expiration of the necessary notice. I'm not 100% sure on that point but you certainly can't contract the rights of the tenant away - that was the whole purpose of the Act coming into force. Because the previous law (which is still in place for commercial tenancies) is alot weaker and dates primarily to 1860 with an amendment act in 1980. As I said, that law is now irrelevant to residential tenancies. I have notes on Residential Tenancies and will dig them out this evening.

The rights of a residential tenant are now fairly comprehensive and as I said it is meant to be relatively easy to enforce them through the PRTB, though I have no experience of it.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:04 pm

It is important to add that everything that we discuss on this thread is merely theoretical in nature. That is why, for instance, we should not address the individual points raised by anyone in a manner which might be construed as legal advice. Anything I, or anyone else, says on this thread is merely a personal opinion and possibly pointing people in the right direction so that they can find out what they need to know about their personal situation themselves.

Nobody here is indemnified or insured to provide legal advice so don't act on the basis that they are!

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your rights have been infringed you should contact a Solicitor, a Citizen's Advice Bureau, or one of the Free Legal Aid Centres provided by the voluntary organisation FLAC. You will find information on all of these on Google and you can get a list of solicitor firms on the lawsociety.ie website.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:09 pm

johnfás wrote:
It is important to add that everything that we discuss on this thread is merely theoretical in nature. That is why, for instance, we should not address the individual points raised by anyone in a manner which might be construed as legal advice. Anything I, or anyone else, says on this thread is merely a personal opinion and possibly pointing people in the right direction so that they can find out what they need to know about their personal situation themselves.

Nobody here is indemnified or insured to provide legal advice so don't act on the basis that they are!

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your rights have been infringed you should contact a Solicitor, a Citizen's Advice Bureau, or one of the Free Legal Aid Centres provided by the voluntary organisation FLAC. You will find information on all of these on Google and you can get a list of solicitor firms on the lawsociety.ie website.

You're starting to sound like a member of the legal profession now... Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:38 am

johnfás wrote:
It is important to add that everything that we discuss on this thread is merely theoretical in nature. That is why, for instance, we should not address the individual points raised by anyone in a manner which might be construed as legal advice. Anything I, or anyone else, says on this thread is merely a personal opinion and possibly pointing people in the right direction so that they can find out what they need to know about their personal situation themselves.

Nobody here is indemnified or insured to provide legal advice so don't act on the basis that they are!

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your rights have been infringed you should contact a Solicitor, a Citizen's Advice Bureau, or one of the Free Legal Aid Centres provided by the voluntary organisation FLAC. You will find information on all of these on Google and you can get a list of solicitor firms on the lawsociety.ie website.

noted! thanks for the non-binding advice by the way. if it gets uglier then i'm calling my solicitor.

i don't think that paying top dollar rent to our landlord minus the cost of B&B for the period we're out of the apartment (despite the fact that we've been without heat for 2 months) is fair. basically he is not out of pocket at all as our B&B will be covered by his insurance (so the portion of his rent deducted is covered by insurance) whereas we've been inconvenienced for 2 months with a leaky bathroom.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:16 pm

zakalwe wrote:
Help.

in a dispute with my landlord and not sure of rights.
checked the prtb website and not much help.

story is:
bathroom leaked.
we had to chase (at considerable time and telephone expense) landlord to get plumber.
then chase (again considerable time and expense) plumber to start work.
no heating for past 2 months.
for this week no bathroom at all.
moved out to alternative accommodation.
insurance to landlord covers b&b but no dinner.
we want to withhold 1 months rent and pay accommodation ourselves.
the leak was reported 2 months ago.
place is a building site at the moment.
landlord believes the place is habitable except for bathroom and no serious inconvenience and will take non payment of next months rent as notice of termination.

what options have we?

If you have a tenancy for more than the last 6 months then you have the protection of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

If it were me, I would withold rent. I would also write to the landlord setting out all the problems and asking how he proposes to rectify the situation and to compensate you. Tell him that in the meantime you will be setting off rent due against the loss expanse and disturbance occasioned by his failure to maintain the property in a habitable condition.

The PRTB are biased against landlords, even where the landlord hads been very decent and the tenant has been a prick. He can't decide to interpret the witholding of rent as termination under the act. He would have to terminate in accordance with the Act. Whether he requires a reason, the length of notice he must give and the form of Notice are all governed by the Act. It is complicated enough and you would want the PRTB or a solicitor to explain it.

The Landlord would also have to take any action to recover money from you to the PRTB. They are generally reluctant to treat non payment of rent for a period as justifying termination! The worst they will do is order you to pay the money back.

The terms of your lease cannot override the terms of the Residential Tenancies Act once you are there more than six months. You could reach a signed agreement to leave as that would be termination by consent.

No legal action can be taken by the landlord in the PRTB unless the tenancy is registered. I am not sure if the same applies to tenants or whether the tenants can register it without the landlord's details. that is somethiing you should discuss with the PRTB.

Either way, I would keep possession of the flat - keep stuff there and keep the keys, and I wouldn't pay the landlord any more rent. He may turf you out but you could get some tasty compensation for that at a later date. I would also take photographs of the flaws and stuff in bad condition now while you have the chance. I would put the photos in an MS Word document with a written note of the date of the photo and what it shows. Also, if you are worried he will turf out your stuff then make sure to keep an inventory of it so you can prove what you had. Again, take a few photographs now.

You need to work to protect your rights. If you don't take the photos, invventory the contents and write the letter, and investigate whether the tenancy can be registered by you then you will lose out. I have no sympathy for people who want their rights but won't put the effort in to protect them.

All of the above points are made subject to the disclaimer that I do not hold myself out as an expert in this matter and professional advice should be sought if you want the full run down.

If you do seek the advice of a professional I sufggest that you bring the following:
Copy of the lease or a written note of the commencement date of the lease, any breaks in the tenancy, the rent, outgoings,
details of any previous tenancies,
A written account of the disturbances to date,
a written account of all cummunications with the landlord and/or his servants and agents (try to get the dates right),
copy untility bills (to show no central heating / excessive use of electric radiators)
copy receipts for anythihg you had to buy to correct the problems
The registration details of the landlord,
The landlord's correct name and address.

Have fun!
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:41 pm

zakalwe wrote:
i don't think that paying top dollar rent to our landlord minus the cost of B&B for the period we're out of the apartment (despite the fact that we've been without heat for 2 months) is fair. basically he is not out of pocket at all as our B&B will be covered by his insurance (so the portion of his rent deducted is covered by insurance) whereas we've been inconvenienced for 2 months with a leaky bathroom.

I'd be careful here. There is no reason why your landlord should be out of pocket if he is insured. That is what insurance is for. If you had to go elsewhere and spend your money on rent then you could probably withold that from him. However, if he has secured you accommodation so that you have got something for your rent then that sounds fair. You may be entitled to further compensation for disturbance but if that is the case then you should put that to him so that he can include it in his insurance claim. You need to look at the terms of the lease to check his obligations to maintain the property - it would be a shame if you had signed up to something that said the parts that failed were your responsibility:shock:.

By the way, if you are saying things are not working now then that will not show up in photos. It might be a good idea to get a reputable witness who will come across well to come and see the flat so they can back you up in any further dispute. It may improve your position in a "he says, she says" dispute.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:49 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
zakalwe wrote:
i don't think that paying top dollar rent to our landlord minus the cost of B&B for the period we're out of the apartment (despite the fact that we've been without heat for 2 months) is fair. basically he is not out of pocket at all as our B&B will be covered by his insurance (so the portion of his rent deducted is covered by insurance) whereas we've been inconvenienced for 2 months with a leaky bathroom.

I'd be careful here. There is no reason why your landlord should be out of pocket if he is insured. That is what insurance is for. If you had to go elsewhere and spend your money on rent then you could probably withold that from him. However, if he has secured you accommodation so that you have got something for your rent then that sounds fair. You may be entitled to further compensation for disturbance but if that is the case then you should put that to him so that he can include it in his insurance claim. You need to look at the terms of the lease to check his obligations to maintain the property - it would be a shame if you had signed up to something that said the parts that failed were your responsibility:shock:.

By the way, if you are saying things are not working now then that will not show up in photos. It might be a good idea to get a reputable witness who will come across well to come and see the flat so they can back you up in any further dispute. It may improve your position in a "he says, she says" dispute.

the cost of the b&b is currently on my credit card. he wanted me to furnish invoices and deduct it from future rent.

the loss assessor for the mgt company have been in, again i had to take time off work to facilitate this, and i had showed them all the damage and lack of facilities. he took pictures.

as backup i have taken pictures of everything plus the state of the apartment every evening during the work, there is dust all over the place and, laughably, all over the TV and remore control!
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:22 pm

The managment company's insurance may only cover damage to property and not loss of rent or consequential losses arising from breach of a tenancy. If the landlords title lease (500yrs) excludes that then the insurance will not cover such loss. The loss adjuster will probably know but you have no legal relationship with him.

Well done on the photos. If you are suggesting that the property is stil not habitable now then you need fresh photos and possibly a witness. It is the losses accruing from now onwards that are most likely to be in dispute if the landlord says the place is now habitable.

Should I just change my username to Manuel from Barcelona instead of putting in the usual disclaimer?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:25 pm

?qué?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:28 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
The managment company's insurance may only cover damage to property and not loss of rent or consequential losses arising from breach of a tenancy. If the landlords title lease (500yrs) excludes that then the insurance will not cover such loss. The loss adjuster will probably know but you have no legal relationship with him.

Well done on the photos. If you are suggesting that the property is stil not habitable now then you need fresh photos and possibly a witness. It is the losses accruing from now onwards that are most likely to be in dispute if the landlord says the place is now habitable.

Should I just change my username to Manuel from Barcelona instead of putting in the usual disclaimer?

I think Zhou will do. If anyone complains omerta will be called into play. We will take the disclaimer as said and read, yes?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:47 pm

just heard from the landlord that he intends serving notice of termination tomorrow.

Crying or Very sad

the bloody bathroom isn't even finished!
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:52 pm

How long have you been there?
Is the tenancy registered?
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:10 pm

1 yr 1 month.

as far as i know. he sent out a form prtb1 which i filled in my pps no and sent back to him. whether he filed it or not is another thing but i still have his cover letter (signed) and a copy of the form.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:31 pm

Well he has to comply with the act so.

I would lodge a claim for compensation for disturbance and breach of landlord's obligation with the PRTB straight away. This would set the scene for any action he might take. My only worry is that you should establish first whether you are responsible for the repairs. You need to read the lease and look at the act. I think you are proabably ok but you should double check withsomebody who is qualified. The act says:
"12.—(1) In addition to the obligations arising by or under any
other enactment, a landlord of a dwelling shall—
(a) allow the tenant of the dwelling to enjoy peaceful and
exclusive occupation of the dwelling,
(b) subject to subsection (2), carry out to—
(i) the structure of the dwelling all such repairs as are,
from time to time, necessary and ensure that the
structure complies with any standards for houses for
the time being prescribed under section 18 of the
Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992, and
(ii) the interior of the dwelling all such repairs and
replacement of fittings as are, from time to time,
necessary so that that interior and those fittings are
maintained in, at least, the condition in which they
were at the commencement of the tenancy and in
compliance with any such standards for the time
being prescribed,"

I'd wait and see what he says in his notice of termination before getting too het up about it. He has to give a reason allowed by the act, ie:

- the tenant does not comply with the obligations of the tenancy [HARD FOR LANDLORD TO SUCCEED FOR NON PAYMENT OF RENT IF YOU SAY YOU MAKE COUNTERCLAIM AND SAY YOU JUST WANT FAIR COMPENSATION AND WILL PAY THE BALANCE. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY FILE YOUR COMPLAINT FIRST.]
- the dwelling is no longer suited to the occupants accommodation needs (e.g. overcrowded) [DOESN'T APPLY?]
- the landlord intends to sell the dwelling in the next 3 months [ASK FOR PROOF IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE HIM - IS IT ON THE MARKET? CITE THE THREATS TO TERMINATE FOR NON PAYMENT OF RENT AS EVIDENCE IT IS A FALSE REASON]
- the landlord requires the dwelling for own or family member occupation [DITTO. WHICH FAMILY MEMBER? WHY?]
- the landlord intends to refurbish the dwelling [HE HAD HIS CHANCE WHEN YOU WERE OUT OF THERE. CITE THREATS]
- the landlord intends to change the business use of the dwelling. [HAS HE LODGED A PLANNING APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF USE? IS IT ALLOWED BY HIS TITLE LEASE - HIGHLY UNLIKELY?]


Best of luck with it. In the meantime, you should talk to your county council about getting a home loan - great deals to be done.
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PostSubject: Re: Do You Know Your Rights - Who Does?   Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:08 pm

Any time you take photos you're probably going to need to be able to prove what date they were taken, so you need to send them to yourself by registered post, and leave them unopened until they're needed.
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