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Renting Disputes To Be Solved For Free

Fees for the PRTB mediation service have been scrapped.

Landlords & Tenants who refer a disagreement to the Private Residential Tenancies Board can have their dispute resolved by mediation for free.

The move comes as the provisions of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 are brought into effect.

The mediation process provides parties in dispute the opportunity to avail of the assistance of a trained mediator who assists both parties in reaching an agreement without the need for the parties to attend a hearing or engage directly with each other.

Mediation is fast, convenient and the terms of the agreements are legally binding and enforceable. The PRTB also offers a telephone mediation service as a convenient way to address disputes quickly and effectively.

Prior to this the mediation service cost €25 and €15 where the application was made online, however a fee can still be charged for adjudication.

The PRTB says it received 3,910 applications for dispute resolution last year. At the moment around 20% of disputes are mediated but with the removal of the fee that figure could be set to rise.

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly welcomed the commencement of the provisions. “Mediation saves time and money for landlords and tenants alike. It is respectful, non-adversarial and highly successful in achieving mutually agreeable resolutions to disputes” said Minister Kelly.

“The introduction of these provisions builds on the rent stability measures already introduced by me in December, by giving tenants free access to a key dispute resolution process. It will encourage parties to refer their case to mediation rather than the more adversarial option of adjudication.”

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