Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has called on the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy to amend existing legislation to allow for complaints of a neighbours anti-social or troubling behaviour to be lodged to the Residential Tenancies Board by a third party.
Deputy Curran raised the issue in Dáil Éireann last week and said, “Existing legislation regarding residential disputes linked to anti-social behaviour states that only a person who is directly and adversely affected by such behaviour can lodge a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board. What’s more, their identity as the complainant will be made known.
“That makes an already perverse situation even more difficult to manage or contain particularly for those that are genuinely afraid to submit a complaint in the first place. We cannot operate a system for complaints on the basis that all neighbours are considerate of other residents, obliging or pleasant.
“I have dealt with a number of serious cases on behalf of constituents who have been too fearful to make a complaint knowing that they will be identifiable. Yet they are all too aware that in the absence of a complaint, nothing can be done to address the ongoing anti-social behaviour.
“The Minister must consider amending this element of the bill so that a person other than the individual who is adversely affected – an advocate, public representative or third party – can make it on his or her behalf.
“The fear of backlash or being targeted for reporting their neighbour’s disruptive behaviour is deterring tenants from trying to rectify the situation because often times it’s safer to try endure the hassle caused. By amending legislation to allow for a third party to make the complaint on their behalf, it acts as a kind of middle ground.
“People’s quality of life can be deeply affected. Families are being forced to put up with a great deal of noise and disruption sometimes related to criminality or domestic problems. Nevertheless, in the interest of public safety and ensuring that the matter is peacefully resolved it makes total sense to allow for a third party to lodge a complaint on someone’s behalf,” he concluded.