No Right for Landlords to Determine Residential Tenancy While a Statutory Appeal is Pending        

In this case the landlords served Notice of Termination on their residential tenant on grounds of anti-social behaviour. The tenant challenged the validity of their Notice and the matter was heard before the Tenancy Tribunal who decided against him and made a formal Determination Order allowing his landlords take back possession of their property.

However, under section 123 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (“the RTA”) a tenant can appeal such Order to the High Court on a point of law within 21 days of service of the Determination Order on him. The tenant here duly exercised his right and lodged his appeal with the High Court.

The landlord then attempted to re-enter the property and change the locks and the tenant applied to court for an injunction restraining them from such attempts pending the hearing of his appeal.  Although he obtained this order from the High Court, his landlords brought another application to court claiming they were severely prejudiced by his remaining on in possession of their property pending an appeal they suspected had little merit and was being done only for the purposes of delay.

The Judge held that the RTA itself provided very clear guidance on the matter.  Where a tenant had lodged an appeal against a Determination Order to the High Court, then his tenancy could not be terminated or undermined in any way while such appeal was pending. And a Judge should not pre-empt the outcome of the statutory appeal listed for hearing.

The Judge, therefore allowed the tenant’s application to continue occupying the property and dismissed the landlords’ rival motion to regain possession on the grounds that the tenant’s appeal lodged had the effect of extending his tenancy undisturbed at least until the hearing of his appeal.

Reginald Carroll (appellant) Residential Tenancies Board and Terry & Margaret Rowland (respondents) [2021] IEHC 561    2021 No. 221 MCA