Conflicts between tenants and landlords in Ireland and the use of mediation and restorative practices.

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Alessandra Turin
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According to the journalist Conor McCrave (2019), the number of disputes between landlords and tenants, brought to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) is an increasing issue in Ireland. McCrave (2019) mentions that the number of requests for information and services increased 50% from 2015 to 2018, and other 10% from 2018 to 2019, in the pre-covid 19 period. The main goal of this research is to gather information on the use of alternative dispute resolution techniques, in the context of the Irish rental market. In addition, the specific aims and the objectives of the research are: 1 - To determine the most common issues between tenants and landlords (whether or not they appealed to external assistance); 2 - To identify the percentage of these issues that in fact go through mediation as an attempt of dispute resolution, and how many of those attempts are effectively solve in a long term basis; 3 – Speculate about the use of restorative practices in the rental sector. The survey composed by 20 questions was developed in Survey Monkey website and spread as described in the methodology chapter. During the time that the survey was online, 125 responses of Landlords and Tenants were gathered, the responders were randomly distributed around Ireland and insert in the rental sector. The responses of the survey revealed that the figures available at the moment for the renting issues around Ireland are not accurate to the overall picture of the issues. There is a much larger scope of issues faced by either, Landlords and Tenants, and huge contrast in the distribution of information held by people who search for assistance or not of external institutions to solve the disputes. The researched also revealed that there is space and willingness for a mixed approach in the sector, between mediation and restorative practices.
Turin, 2021