New plans to be introduced to crack down on troublesome neighbours

Disputes amongst neighbours are not uncommon

Earlier this week it was announced that the government is set to introduce new measures to crack down on troublesome neighbours.

Under the new proposals, there will also be penalties for landlords who fail to act on complaints.

The new laws will make it easier for homeowners and residents’ groups to register complaints without fear of intimidation.

Minister of State with responsibility for Housing Jan O’Sullivan said that, under the initiative, all complaints will be lodged with the Residential Tenancy Board, which will force landlords to take action against troublesome tenants or face penalties.

The laws will speed up and strengthen the board’s current system of dealing with anti-social behaviour and intimidation, which is seen as slow, bureaucratic, and lacking teeth.

The changes will also mean people can avoid making complaints about their neighbours to gardaí, who can only act if a criminal offence is committed.

Anti-social behaviour, intimidation, or noise from neighbours is a particular problem in areas of mixed housing provision, for example, where local authority houses are increasingly mixed with privately-owned houses or areas near colleges with student accommodation beside family homes.

Up to now, any complaints had to be brought by individuals, who risked being intimidated or threatened for doing so. However, under the new plans, complaints can be made by groups such as residents’ associations, meaning no individual is identified.

In revealing the government’s plans Ms O’Sullivan said that anti-social behaviour in residential areas, and difficulties in dealing with it, is a huge issue.

The Limerick TD will introduce the changes through an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act, which is currently going through the Oireachtas. She decided to do so after a number of TDs raised the need for stronger measures during discussions on the bill last month.

During those discussions, Galway West Labour TD Derek Nolan said a couple in their 70s in his constituency had to sell their privately-owned home because they had no mechanism to deal with unruly neighbours.

This week we ask your opinion on anti-social behaviour and ask you to have your say in the comments section below…

  • Have you experienced it?
  • What have you done to sort it?
  • Is it a major problem?
  • And is the government’s latest initiative going to help improve things.

22 Comments

  1. Radikelly
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Very clever move on the part of the Government. Make it the responsibility of the landlord. What about some sort of back-up? What happens when the landlord gives the tenant their statutory notice to quit and the tenant appeals to the PRTB who take six months to review the case? In the meantime said tenant pays no rent and destroys the house?

  2. Martin Jameson
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi – What happens if you live in a privately owned house and the house next door which is also privately owned is causing the noise – do they still register a complaint to Gardai?

  3. Joan
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I have been living beside anti-social tenants since 2009 who had literally made my life and my flatmates life hell, the house is privately owned to a bunch of eastern europeans who have absoluetly no regard or respect for others, nearly every week there is fights on the street, shouting roaring at all hours of the night, cars rallying at 3 and 4 in the morning, not to mention that their cars and their house has been petrol bombed at least 7 times in the past 4 years. I’ve made at least 50 complaints in total to the landlord, TD’s, Garda, county council, PRTB etc. no-one cares as none of them live beside them the rest of the neighbours are too scared to anything as they now have started to target me, I’m moving out soon as I can’t put up with it any longer but I’d like what happens with the above, also doesn’t state on this but the landlord has to actually be registered with the PRTB (not much help if the landlord isn’t) before they can act and to made a complaint to the PRTB you have to pay €25 and you don’t get this back.

  4. Pete
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    I cannot see this running efficiently if prtb are involved.

    What i can see is by the time the issue is raised with the landlord, the tenants will already be moved on as the reaction time of prtb are at turtle speed.

    Also with the range of possible complaint a huge stumbling block will
    Be
    Proving the event occured, therefore great focus should be forced on the complainant to provide accurate and detailed information

    Pete

  5. Annette Brady
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I have experienced it twice since buying my property in 2005 and on both occasions I (and several other neighbors) complained to the landlady who did absolutely nothing to help.

  6. Colm
    Posted 22 Feb at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    So yet again someone else is to blame for the anti-social behavious of a few. This time it is the Landlords who take the blame.

    At which point will society start to deal harshly and swiftly with the actual people who cause the trouble.

  7. Mandy
    Posted 22 Feb at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    ARE troublesome neighbours a problem, not IS troublesome neighbours a problem!

  8. Barbara Seligman
    Posted 22 Feb at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    About Bloody time!!

  9. Carmel Shaw
    Posted 22 Feb at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I am very glad that the law is to be strengthened with regard to noisy neighbours. This is particularly important in apartment living, where there is little or no insulation, in apartments that were built in the past ten years.

    The sooner this legislation is past the better,
    Good luck with it.
    Regards
    Carmel Shaw

  10. anthony
    Posted 22 Feb at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    who helps the landlord or landlady when they try to get them out, i;ve been through it, no body wants to know, and i was left with the mess,landlords get scared too,i have been there, belive me no body helps you,it now no longer pays to rent a property, the state coulden give a hoot
    regarding your safty, the prtb is a money making joke, from one who going to get out and away from all these changers.

  11. david fenton
    Posted 22 Feb at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I have two questions for you how do you find the owners of the house when they are not regstered with the tenancy board. question two what can we do at two or three in the morning when the problems arise and the garda can do nothing as the problem is on private property regards david fenton

  12. Fiona
    Posted 22 Feb at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I understand that some people may have a problem with anti-social neighbours, but I hope this isn’t going to be abused. My neighbours have twice complained about my son’s music – it wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t late. A bit of tolerance can go a long way.

  13. Northern Neck Virginia
    Posted 22 Feb at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I have had range of tenants some at first seemed most helpful ie. offered to paint my property so their monthly rent rate was discounted. That was OK for a while but only half the agreed upon re-painting was completed nearly a whole year later but by then they decided to drag their feet on paying the rent. Lucky that they were not rowdies and didn’t wreck the place ! Some folks are accustomed to the art of “just getting by”. Best solution is to notify the courts, post notice and then have them evicted. Under law, in the US the Landlords aren’t allowed to “harass” their tenants, so no means available of dealing short of eviction process which must be due to some legally factor. They still owe me 6 months rent ~3 years since
    I now rent the place furnished but only on a short term 3 Day weekends or by weekly or monthly basis – this keeps the climate open for that
    new face freshness plus we get to enjoy our property between guests.
    Plan on visiting us in Reedville Virginia to enjoy retreat on Chesapeake-bay-reedville-kilmarnock-virginia-usa/1921329

    Spring comes early here & Gulf Stream is warmer in our coast !

    Cheers !

  14. Gail Hand
    Posted 22 Feb at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I paid an agent to look after my property, they didnt and the tenant cost me €10,000. I had no way of going after the tenant.

  15. john
    Posted 22 Feb at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m living through hell at the moment with a man renting next door over noise. i’m getting no sleep. , i had gone through the guards, noise reg, local councilors ect and it seems you’re to deal with this yourself, but the system was happy to take my tax money as usual, so it’s about time democracy is excised to give people a voice. all to Late for me personally as it really affected my health with intimidation and lack of sleep. I’m very angry that its always to little to late with the Irish.

  16. maria
    Posted 22 Feb at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    this does not cover issues coming from home owners. . noise regulation needs to be reformed as its the main and biggest issue in ireland. on the spot fines to be handed out like they do in england. ptrb are so slow by the way. this seems like a quick information gathering strategy for a new bill 20 years from now. its a joke. find a link to the bill in question below.

    http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/bills28/bills/2012/6912/b6912d.pdf

  17. MH
    Posted 22 Feb at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Could someone please do something for people living in private housing estates! We have had no-one able to help us- the Gardai back off on the grounds of lack of evidence and they will not say “boo” to any child under 12 no matter what they are doing, nor to the parents of these children, even if it’s clear the parents are using their children in adult disputes. It wasn’t even possible to form a Resident’s association in our area, as anyone who tried was labeled a “nosey parker” and subjected to intimidation. We live in a middle-middleclass area and the worst thing of all is that the Gardai claim not to believe us on the grounds “that that kind of thing doesn’t happen in our area”- they say they’d know about these people already if they were doing the kind of things we allege. Yet we have been informed by the Gardai that their phonelines have been blocked on occasion by these neighbours making allegations(all of them false from the small amount of feedback we can get)against us and there are apparently written statements with false allegations and we’ve had death threats from one neighbour but as the Gardai say unless someone gets physically hurt there’s nothing they can do. The Gardai advised mediation- we agreed but the neighbours refused. The basis for the problem as far as I can see, seems to be one neighbour couple has a paranoia of disability and I have a child with a mental handicap- the neighbour making the death threats was calling us “retards”. Apparently it has to be the person with the disability who makes the complaint- even if they are incapable of doing so! All children with a disability have a Social worker allocated to them but they have to have the permission of the Gardai to intervene except in certain limited circumstances. Those neighbours joined forces with another neighbour who had issues about a house extension we built, despite us following all the planning regulations to the letter and involving them at every stage of the building- it was clear they eaten up by jealousy after the build was complete- our lives have been hell now for 8 years. Now we’ve recently got to know another neighbour around the corner with a child with a similar disability as our child to find she’s been going through a similar experience with another group of neighbours!- at least one of the adults smashed her window and was given an Asbo. There needs to be some Authority with special training to intervene in these types of situations. We have lovely neighbours as well but for some reason they never notice anything except for one who has and they’re emigrating- couldn’t get far enough from the place from what they’ve seen.

  18. Brian
    Posted 22 Feb at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I have similiar question to Martin Jameson

    What happens if you live in a privately owned house and the houses surrounding you have dogs and these dogs are barking constantly day and night and the owners of these houses (which are also privately owned) have taken no action even though they have been politely asked too take some action to keep the dogs quiet

    I have phoned the guards but they say they cant do anything as its not under their scope and that youd have to go to the courts and take case under noise pollution

    Does this new legislation cover noise come from neighbours in privately owned houses and if you are owner of privately owned house too or is it just for rented houses?

    Thanks

  19. Ben O'Neill
    Posted 23 Feb at 12:46 am | Permalink

    Here we go again, more nonsensical bureaucracy to persecute landlords with. If they are going to enact leglislation to combat anti social behaviour, why does it not apply to ALL properties i.e rented AND private residence. I have a rented property with model tenants, who are tormented by loud music and parties by their neighbour which is a principal primary residence. Will This law help them? No, cause it will help the perpetrator not the victim.
    This is clear evidence of a government who lives in a bubble of priviledge and is out of touch with the real world.

  20. Posted 24 Feb at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Are these proposals published anywhere online to view in depth?

  21. Edward
    Posted 24 Feb at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Make sure that this law is enforceable,there is no point in blaming only landlords. The PRTB seem to be unavailable and take ages to acknowledge payment. I would hate to be calling them at the weekend and the proposed law should be able to deal with wrongdoers i n a fast, efficient way. Read the comments above.

  22. Joan
    Posted 24 Feb at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    RE : David Fenton
    Once you have the address of the property you can go to the land registery office to get a name on the property from there you might be able to find the actual address of the landlord check the phonebook or go the garda for help, I only had the landlords first name but I got her surname from the land registery office anyway she was in the phonebook and i sent a formal letter of complaint re: her tenants when this was ignored i got my local TD to call her lied and said there was no problem with the tenants + they were staying I contacted PRTB gave her full name and address and told them she had the house rented for years she then had to register and turns out then she had loads of other houses rented out and wasn’t paying tax she got hit with a massive tax bill, she could have saved herself all that trouble but her greed got in the way all she had to do was give her tenants notice they were on rent allowance so pretty straight forward she tells the county council she wants them out due to anti-social issues in 8 weeks and unless they leave they don’t get their rent allowance simple! anyway didn’t work for us the scumbags we live beside are still here it’s now 11 o’clock on a sunday night and yet another fight outside their house – landlords don’t care as they don’t have to put up with it they all live well away from the houses they rent best of luck David

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