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Have had to accept illegal rent increase under duress

  • 31-08-2022 9:44pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    Hello , we are renting the same property for the last 8 years , originally and for the first 5 years we were renting from a lovely man who admittedly never raised our rent , he then sold the property to his daughter.

    As soon as the daughter took ownership of the house , she decided the rent would go from 800 to 1150 which represents a 350 euros increase per month.

    The property is in a rent pressure zone and even was 3 years ago ,

    At first we refused mentioning the rtb rent calculator and that a 30 % increase was just unfair and unreasonable,

    The week after we refused ,we had a termination letter in the post , saying she needed the house for herself,

    As we couldn’t find anywhere else to live , we then told her we would just pay the 1150 ,

    this was a bit over 3 years ago , we have managed to pay the increase but it has been difficult and stressful and trying to save for a mortgage as well ,

    we have now also discovered that during this 3 years she has never bothered registering the tenancy with the prtb.

    We are now in a position where we could be getting the keys of our new home fairly soon as we are at the final stages of buying our first home ,

    my question is :

    Could I and is it worth opening a case against this landlady after we leave in order to recoup some of the overpaid rent ,we have all bank statements showing when increase occurred

    I also doubt very much she’ll accept to give us our deposit back so what do you think of this and what would you do ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,592 ✭✭✭dennyk

    Yes, if you believe the rent increase was illegal, you can file a dispute with the RTB. If you win, they might issue an order to the landlord to pay back the excess rent. Whether you'll be successful in having that order enforced is another question, of course...

    One thing to keep in mind is that the RPZ limits apply on a per annum basis since the last time the rent was set, and three years ago was before the new regulations came in, so the limit would have been 4% per year at that time. If the rent was last set five years before, then at that time it could have legally been raised about 20%, give or take (depending on the exact dates in question). 30% was most likely not valid, but it might not have been as far off the legal amount as you might be thinking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    Thank you for the insight, does it matter if there was a new party in the equation ?,can a new property owner just raise rent to whichever level because the last owner did not for a long time , ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,016 ✭✭✭DubCount

    No. The RPZ limits apply to the property, not the owner. When a property is sold, the rent cap transfers to the buyer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,161 ✭✭✭Fian

    The fact the landlady threatened to evict you when you refused teh illegal rent increase will be very bad for her before the RTB. Did you keep that letter? Will be very useful if you did.

    You have nothing to lose in terms of bringing the complaint to rtb, you will have a secure place to live and will cost you nothing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    No we didn’t keep it I don’t think it was a standard termination notice with the reason of needing the house for herself , it was a registered letter , obviously she never needed the house for herself, it was just done so she would get her way ,

    If she refuses to pay the deposit back I will definitely take action ,

    we paid rent on time every time and will also pay the last month’s rent , all was done trough direct debit

    I read somewhere there could be fines for those not registering tenancies too ,

    Im in two minds regarding complaining but 350 extra a month in one go was just unreasonable and obviously made our life a lot harder.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 41 just_a_gurl

    if that was the case, why then in the 3 years after the rent increase did you not look to rent elsewhere...

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,977 ✭✭✭Claw Hammer

    Wait until you are out and complain.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    We have looked very hard but couldn’t find anything else , only houses for sale in the area , nothing for rent

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 just_a_gurl

    From the Rent Review form:

    Any dispute in relation to the new rent must be referred to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) under

    Part 6 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 before:

    (a) the date the new rent becomes payable (this must be at least 90 days after the date of service of this

    notice); or

    (b) the expiry of 28 days from the date that the tenant receives this notice, whichever is the later date.

    You might indeed get your hearing but you might be out of time to actually win it as the LL may successfully argue that the RTB have no jurisdiction as the RTA states under Part 3.22.3:

    22.—(1) The setting of a rent (the “new rent”) pursuant to a review of the rent under a tenancy of a dwelling and which is otherwise lawful under this Part shall not have effect unless and until the condition specified in subsection (2) is satisfied.

    (2) That condition is that, at least 28 days before the date from which the new rent is to have effect, a notice in writing is served by the landlord on the tenant stating the amount of the new rent and the date from which it is to have effect.

    (3) Where that condition is satisfied, a dispute in relation to a rent falling within subsection (1) must be referred to the Board under Part 6 before

    (a) the date stated in the notice under subsection (2) as the date from which that rent is to have effect, or

    (b) the expiry of 28 days from the receipt by the tenant of that notice,

    whichever is the later.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,161 ✭✭✭Fian

    The crucial words in subsection (3) there are "in relation to a rent falling within subsection (1)".

    For a rent to fall within subsection (1) it must be a rent "which is otherwise lawful under this Part". In this case the illegally raised rent is not a rent which was otherwise lawful under that part of the Act. The exclusion/restriction in subsection (3) relates to complaints of deficient notices, not illegal rent increases.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    I don’t understand this , I’d say I’m not the only one having had to accept huge rent increase in order to keep a roof over my head , with no other options.

    now because I didn’t complain in time , the landlady gets away with it ,

    I probably won’t pursue if it’s going to be a waste of time then

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,438 ✭✭✭Patrick2010

    If its not going to cost you anything I'd make a complaint.

  • Registered Users Posts: 41 just_a_gurl

    I just don't understand why it wasn't referred to the RTB 3 years ago?

    Why now? 3 years ago the OP could have referred both the Termination Notice he received & the Rent Review...just - it all seems a little off to me tbh

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001


    If I had complained at the time , LL relationship would have been very complicated, she would of wanted us out and when a LL wants you out , they eventually succeed .

    with 2 school going children and nowhere else to go , complaining just wasn’t an option,

    Also I read somewhere that your name would appear online on the rtb website and so it would then have been impossible to get anywhere to rent .

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,487 ✭✭✭endofrainbow

    But you were happy to pay the increased rent for 3 years and only want to pursue a case now?

  • Registered Users Posts: 555 ✭✭✭laoisgem

    But you accepted it. To me you'd have some gal after 3 years to turn around and question it. How much was the going rate for other properties in the area? You had five years without an increase, so I'd look at what the increase should have been over 8 years, not 3 years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,137 ✭✭✭meijin

    ignore the support for the landlord from other LLs here; just file a case with RTB and take it from there

    include penalisation - the threat of termination of the tenancy when you initially disagreed

    request refund plus damages

    did the rent review have a notice that you can refer it to RTB within 28 days? that might be another reason why you didn't initially object

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Wouldn't it be better to wait and see whether LL refunds him his deposit before he lets loose with his peashooter?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    And did she not have some neck raising the rent by well over 30 % all in one go ?I accepted it only because I was threatened with notice of termination , with nowhere to go , and didn’t want to have my kids having to live with the memory of emergency accommodation , we certainly wouldn’t have minded a reasonable increase even year after year but so much so suddenly was a big blow and this is what I’m questioning , Am I being unreasonable here ?

    , ,

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,636 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,228 ✭✭✭The Mighty Quinn

    Yeah, the increase of 4% of 5 years isn't actually 20%, its about 21. 6% as the increase is compounded. Anyways, irrelevant quibble on my behalf, sorry!

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    We used rtb calculator at the time to check what the maximum increase should have been, and it was an extra 135 € maximum , nowhere near 350 € ,

    I wouldn’t say the legal increase would even amount to 21.6 %

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,813 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    I think at the time it was 4% every 2 years now it's 2% per year.

    Using 2% pa. I reckon you've overpaid by about 5.7k. That's assuming a valid 2% increase pa.

    I wait till I get the keys and have moved out then open a case with the RTB at the very least you will cost her the price of registering and force her to tell the RTB what the rent is currently set at which flows into the next tenant.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Until a reasonable period of time has elapsed. (Although I somehow suspect that your definition of reason and mine may be somewhat different!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Patfromcork001

    Thanks for the calculation, I might be out of luck anyway a as it looks like I made first “ illegal increase payment “ , end of June 2019 for July 2019 rent as I always do pay in advance for the next month but then I read this on the rtb website:

    Why would a Complaint not be investigated?

    A Complaint may not be investigated for the following reasons:

    ”The breach occurred before 1st July 2019 when relevant legislation came into effect. For instance, if the breach is in relation to rent being unlawfully raised above 4% in a RPZ, the rent must have been raised after 1st July 2019; if the breach is in relation to a false or misleading reason cited in a Notice of Termination, the Notice of Termination must have been issued after 1st July 2019; if the breach is in relation to non-registration, the tenancy must have been unregistered after 1st July 2019.”

  • Registered Users Posts: 16 geniejews

    All I can say is contact Threshold in 22 South Mall, and look up s14 penalisation in the Residential Tenancies Act, you have a really strong case for the RTB

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,558 ✭✭✭mrslancaster

    If the tenancy was never registered you sould report that. Was the house in a RPZ since you moved in? That 350 monthly increase was way over the annual 4% allowed.