A WEST Cork judge has threatened to summons the CEO of the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) to explain why an appeal lodged by a Skibbereen man – who is at risk of losing his home – has not been dealt with.
On Tuesday, Judge James McNulty told barrister, Denis Collins BL to go back to the Residential Tenancy Board to find out why a fee for the appeal process was accepted yet the RTB proceeded to issue ‘a determination order’ for possession.
After the determination notice was served, solicitor Colette McCarthy said her client – Timothy Hadley of Moneyvolihane, Skibbereen – referred the matter to the RTB for adjudication and the board issued an adjudication report to which her client had ‘a right to appeal.’
Ms McCarthy said her client duly submitted an appeal – including an €85 fee – but he never heard back from the RTB.
And it was at this stage that she came on record for Mr Hadley.
Judge McNulty noted that the tenant had – on no less than 10 occasions – tried to get through to the RTB, but he was unable to establish why his appeal was never processed.
The judge said he found it ‘astonishing’ that the letters issued by Ms McCarthy of Wolfe & Co had not received a response.
The only response received was a ‘bizarre automatic text message asking “How did you rate our response.”
‘The situation would be laughable if it was not so serious. This is about a citizen who is likely to lose his home,’ said the judge who accused the RTB of ‘time-wasting.’
The judge told the barrister, who was acting for the receiver appointed by the Bank of Scotland, that if an explanation for the RTB’s ‘indolence and gross professional discourtesy’ was not forthcoming, the court would issue a summons for the board’s CEO to attend.
Judge McNulty pointed out: ‘Wolfe & Co – which was established long before the RTB – were not issuing letters as a form of occupational therapy, or for fun.’
The case was adjourned to the July 9th sitting of Skibbereen District Court for further clarification.