Presenting a Case to the RTB – Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail!

The most important factor to remember when you are presenting a case to the RTB is to BE PREPARED.  Have your paperwork presented in an understandable clear format. Know your facts and ensure that you have evidence as proof of your case.  The devil is in the detail and this could be the difference between winning or loosing your case.

  1. Prior To The Hearing

You are responsible for submitting evidence in support of your case, you must delete or redact any confidential information from your evidence e.g. your bank account details, addresses, phone numbers. etc.

A copy of all evidence should be submitted at least 5 days before the hearing. These documents may consist of invoices, photographs, bank statements, the tenancy/lease agreement (s), Notice of Termination, Rent Review notices, emails, text messages etc.  You can submit your paperwork online or by post to the RTB.

All submissions of evidence relevant to the case will be copied over to the other party. Documentation of no relevance to the tenancy in question should not be submitted.

  • Arrange the facts in chronological order.
  • Ensure the information is presented in an understandable and straight-forward way.
  • Make sure the documentation and evidence submitted is clearly categorised.
  • Provide a cover note setting out the contents.
  • Ensure that you have page numbers on your submission.
  • Do not send in original copies of any documents that may be required at a later stage, as documentation is not returned.
  • Service of a notice to be named person(s).
  • Notices to be signed.
  • Witnesses letters to be signed.
  1. On the Day

Arrive at the venue in plenty of time and register. Be accompanied by an advisor/friend. Be calm and professional – always. The Adjudicator will give both sides an opportunity to present their case.

  • Ensure you bring a copy of your submission.
  • Know the detail of your submission inside out.
  • Bring original documentation to the hearing in case authentication is required.
  • Provide your own equipment for audio/video evidence.
  • If evidence is late, you should bring copies for each party to the hearing and it is then a matter for the adjudicator on the day whether or not to accept them into evidence.

Format:

  • Applicant Landlord or Tenant gives evidence first.
  • Respondent Landlord or Tenant gives their evidence next.
  • Cross examination allowed by both parties on each parties’ evidence.
  • Adjudicator may interrupt and ask questions to clarify issues.
  • The adjudicator will offer an opportunity to try and settle matters between both parties.
  1. After the Adjudication

After the adjudication the adjudicator will prepare a report, this will be sent to you and the other side. The Adjudicators decision will be contained within the report. Each side will have 10 working days to appeal the decision, if there is no appeal the RTB will issue a determination Order which is legally binding on both sides.

If there is an appeal the dispute will be heard by a panel of three people known as a Tenancy Tribunal. At a Tenancy Tribunal there is a full re-hearing of the dispute.

 

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Categories: Property Management and RTB and Dispute Resolution.