The Residential Tenancies Act 2004, has taken disputes out of the remit of the courts and these are now dealt with by the Private Residential Tenancies Board’s, Dispute Resolution System. This has changed the way disputes are being dealt with and very specific obligations have now been placed on property owners and tenants. Procedures have to be carried out in a prescribed manner.
The mediation/adjudication system is a simple process and generally does not require representation, it is vitally important that you prepare well and have all the necessary paperwork to prove your case.
Members have occasionally requested assistance and the IPOA are in a position to provide advocates to attend the Dispute Resolution Service. These advocates are familiar with the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, mediation methods and the adjudication system.
Our advocates will be available to assist members from the early stages and will be able to advise them on the correct procedures and the steps required to bring their cases to a successful conclusion. In a case where it has been appealed to Tribunal, the IPOA if requested may recommend appropriate legal representation.
The Advocacy Service may assess disputes initially and attempt to resolve the problems by direct negotiation. If this is unsuccessful or not practical an advocate will be assigned. They will assist in devising the strategy for the case, ensure that the procedures required by the Legislation have been carried out correctly, brief the property owner and ensure that everything is in order prior to the mediation or adjudication case as required. The advocate may attend the hearing with the property owner and assist on the day, if necessary.