The Residential Tenancies Board, also known as the RTB, is a public body set up to support and develop a well-functioning rental housing sector. Since 2004, the RTB replaced the courts in dealing with most disputes between landlords and tenants through their Dispute Resolution Service. Adjudication is their formal and confidential process whereby RTB’s appointed adjudicator decides, based on evidence presented by both parties (Landlord and Tenant), on the issue of dispute. The decision of the adjudicator is binding, and results in a Determination Order being issues to both parties concerned.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 the RTB were unable to hold Adjudications and Tribunals in person. The RTB would have ran these hearings face to face in Dublin (70%) and across the country in different regions (30%) prior to March 2020. The pause in these hearings was going to cause serious disruption not only for the RTB but also the tenants and landlords that rely on this resolution service. For example, tenants risked being made homeless without resolutions to their disputes which was particularly worrying during a pandemic. RTB run on average over 100 face to face hearings per week. In response to this challenge RTB sought a solution from Unity Technology solutions and using IT technology that was easy to use for anyone who needed to avail of the RTB services – could we create a virtual solution.