A Code of Conduct to address the scourge of irresponsible tenants is critical to arrest the haemorrhage of private landlords from the rental market, a lettings conference hosted by IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers & Valuers, heard at the weekend.

Ella Dunphy President of IPAV, said there should be real consequences for bad behaviour.

She said currently there is very little possibility of getting any recompense for many property owners.  “Where tenants behave badly a landlord can go through the RTB (Residential Tenancies Board) process, get a determination in his/her favour and end up with nothing for the considerable time and effort spent,” she said.

“In my experience landlords in such situations often decide not to bother pursuing cases,” she said.

 With the plethora of regulation introduced in recent years the landlord-tenant relationship has become unbalanced in this regard.

“The other side of rights is responsibilities, and it is the ‘responsibilities’ bit that is lacking. A fairer balance is needed. There needs to be recompense, real recompense, when tenants behave badly,” she said.

She said there are landlords who behave irresponsibly too. “And where they do they deserve to face the full rigours of the law.  What I’m saying is genuine landlords need better support than they have currently when tenants behave badly. A Code of Conduct for tenants, a code with real consequences for bad behaviour is essential,” she said.

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