Two landlords convicted for failing to register tenancies

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It has been confirmed that two Donegal landlords have been convicted and levied with €10,000 in fines and costs for not registering with the Private Residential Tenancies Board.
The PRTB has confirmed that further cases will be brought before the courts throughout 2013 and 2014 for failing to register tenancies.
In the first case proceedings were taken by the PRTB against Laurence McGettigan of The Avenue, Kilmacrennan, Letterkenny, Co Donegal for failing to register a tenancy relating to a property at 19a Glenpark, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Rosaleen Keane of the PRTB stated that this tenancy was notified to the PRTB by the Department of Social Protection as a tenancy in respect of which rent supplement had been paid by the State. On review, it appeared that the tenancy had not been registered.
As a result, the PRTB sent two notices pursuant to Section 144 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to Mr. McGettigan calling on him to comply with the legislation but had received no response. The PRTB’s solicitors had then sent two further warning letters prior to the institution of proceedings affording Mr. McGettigan further opportunities to register the tenancy of which he did not avail. Mr. McGettigan was convicted in his absence of an offence contrary to Section 144(3) of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and fined €3,000.  He was also ordered to pay €3,075 in legal costs. The tenancy remained unregistered at the time of the court hearing.
In the second case Michael Gorman of Keenaghan, Kilmacrennan, Donegal was convicted of a similar offence in respect of a tenancy relating to a property at 35 Hawthorn Heights, Letterkenny, Donegal. Again Ms. Keane told the Court that this tenancy was referred to the PRTB by the Department of Social Protection as a tenancy in respect of which rent supplement had been paid by the State, and that on a review of the PRTB’s records it appeared not to be registered. Mr. Gorman was also sent two statutory notices and two solicitor’s letters advising him of his obligations and of the consequences of failing to register the tenancy.
He had subsequently registered the tenancy but only after the institution of the criminal proceedings before the Court. Mr. Gorman did not attend court and was convicted in his absence. He was fined €2,000 and ordered to pay €3,075 in legal costs.
Judge John O’Neill noted that the cost of registering a tenancy was ‘comparatively nominal’ relative to the potential penalties for non-compliance and that both defendants had been afforded every opportunity to comply with the registration requirements of the legislation by the PRTB and its solicitors.

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