People Before Profit urges everyone facing eviction not to volunteer for homelessness. Stay put – don’t panic. Read this carefully to know your rights. Then get in touch if you want help in getting solidarity to resist evictions. You can contact us on [email protected]
1. A Notice of Termination must issue from the landlord. This must be legally valid in its contents, reason for termination and the amount of notice given.
2. First, check that’s it is signed by the right person. Does this person have authority to terminate the tenancy? Second, check that the amount of days given is correct by reference to the table here. Third, does a statutory declaration, signed by a solicitor, accompany the notice? (Which is needed in certain circumstances such as they are selling the house). Fourth, if they are selling the house have they advised you in the notice of your right to move back in should the sale fall through? Lastly, if all of the above seems correct then contact Threshold or Citizens Information to have the notice checked.
If the property is being sold and there are more than 10 units being evicted at the same time this may be illegal. They must sell with the tenants in situ but there are loopholes if the landlord can show they will lose 20% of the value.
3. Lodge a dispute with the Residental Tenancies Board on their website. Select Validity of Notice as reason for dispute. The RTB will automatically put you into mediation. But you can specifically request adjudication form and you will get a date for an Adjudication Hearing where you and your landlord are invited to make representations. Contact CATU or People Before Profit for support with this. You do not have to leave your home while the RTB assess the matter.
4. The RTB will then issue a Determination Order in about 6 weeks time. This will say if the notice is valid or invalid. If they say that it is valid you can lodge an appeal with the RTB. But you must do so within ten working days. They will set a date for a Tribunal Hearing. Again, you do not have to leave your home while the matter is with the RTB.
5. If the they decide that the notice is invalid the landlord may issue a Remedial Notice. If the notice was invalid due to the amount of days given they must give you 28 days plus the difference between the original days given and your entitlement. If the notice was invalid for some other reason they only need give you 28 days notice in the Remedial Notice.
6. Slip or Omission rule. The notice may be invalid for a very minor reason and the RTB can hold that it is valid. This does not apply to Statutory Declarations which must be precise.
7. If you stay in your home after the final notice period expires you are not in breach of criminal law. You are merely committing a civil wrong. The guards are not supposed to be involved. You should contact CSATU or People Before Profit for support. At this point it is illegal for the landlord to change the locks, remove your things and physically evict you. You can complain to the RTB for an illegal eviction and seek damages.
8. The Landlord will need to obtain an Enforcement Order from the District Court to enforce the RTB Order, making it a Court Order. The judge will do this and give the tenant days, weeks or months to leave. It depends on the circumstances.
9. If you stay in your home after this period the landlord can go back to court and you may be held in contempt of court or given more time. Alternatively, the landlord can contact the Sheriff’s office and carry out a physical eviction. They can also get a company regulated with the Private Security Authority who operates under a contract with the landlord for it to be legal. They cannot assault you or damage your property. They must only use reasonable and proportionate force. They should identify themselves to you in name, employer and who they act on behalf of and have ID visible on their person as any security person or bouncer would. Take note of all this information.
10. Remember: Stay in your home if you cannot find alternative accommodation. Use every legal avenue to slow down the eviction. But also do not be afraid to mobilise friends and neighbours to resist. With thousands facing evictions and if many resit in this fashion, the RTB and Courts will be tied up.
THEY CANNOT EVICT US ALL.