Residential Tenancies Act 2004
F256 [ Powers of authorised officer
148S. (1) For the purposes of carrying out an investigation, an authorised officer may —
( a ) subject to subsections (12 ) and (13) , at all reasonable times enter, inspect, examine and search any premises where he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that any activity in connection with the letting or tenancy of a dwelling is carried on,
( b ) at such premises inspect and take copies or extracts from records relating to the activity referred to in paragraph (a) which he or she finds or with which he or she is provided in the course of his or her inspection,
( c ) remove any such records from the premises and retain them for such period as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions under this Part,
( d ) require any person at the premises or the owner or person in charge of the premises and any person employed there to give to him or her such assistance and information and to produce to him or her such records (and in the case of records in non-legible form, produce to him or her a legible reproduction thereof) that are in that person ’ s possession or control or within that person ’ s procurement, as he or she may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Part,
( e ) be accompanied by a member of the Garda S í och á na if there is reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the performance of any of the authorised officer ’ s functions under this subsection, and
( f ) require a landlord to provide an explanation of a decision, course of action, system or practice or the nature or content of any records.
(2) A requirement under paragraph (d) or (f) of subsection (1) shall specify a period within which, or a date and time on which, the person the subject of the requirement is to comply with it.
(3) For the purposes of an investigation, an authorised officer —
( a ) may require a person who, in the authorised officer ’ s opinion —
(i) possesses information that is relevant to the investigation, or
(ii) has any records within that person ’ s possession or control or within that person ’ s procurement as the authorised officer may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Part,
to provide that information or those records, as the case may be, to the authorised officer, and
( b ) where the authorised officer thinks fit, may require that person to attend before the authorised officer for the purpose of so providing that information or those records as the case may be.
(4) The person who is the subject of a requirement under subsection (3) shall comply with the requirement.
(5) A requirement under subsection (3) shall specify —
( a ) a period within which, or a date and time on which, the person the subject of the requirement is to comply with the requirement, and
( b ) as the authorised officer concerned thinks fit —
(i) the place at which the person shall attend to give the information concerned or to which the person shall deliver the records concerned, or
(ii) the place to which the person shall send the information or the records concerned.
(6) A person required to attend before an authorised officer under subsection (3)(b) —
( a ) is also required to answer fully and truthfully any question put to the person by the authorised officer, and
( b ) if so required by the authorised officer, shall answer any such question under oath or affirmation.
(7) Where it appears to an authorised officer that a person has failed to comply or fully comply with a requirement under subsection (1) , (3) or (6) , the authorised officer may, on notice to that person and with the consent of the Board, apply in a summary manner to the District Court for an order under subsection (8) .
(8) Where satisfied after hearing the application about the person ’ s failure to comply or fully comply with the requirement in question, the District Court may, subject to subsection (11) , make an order requiring that person to comply or fully comply, as the case may be, with the requirement within a period specified by the Court.
(9) The administration of an oath referred to in subsection (6)(b) by an authorised officer is hereby authorised.
(10) Any statement or admission made by a person pursuant to a requirement under subsection (1) , (3) or (6) is not admissible against that person in criminal proceedings other than criminal proceedings for an offence under subsection (16) , and this shall be explained to the person in ordinary language by the authorised officer concerned.
(11) Nothing in this section shall be taken to compel the production by any person of any records which he or she would be exempt from producing in proceedings in a court on the ground of legal professional privilege.
(12) An authorised officer shall not, other than with the consent of the occupier, enter a private dwelling without a warrant issued under subsection (13) authorising the entry.
(13) A judge of the District Court, if satisfied on the sworn information of an authorised officer that —
( a ) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that any information or records, as the authorised officer may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Part, is or are held on any premises or any part of any premises, and
( b ) an authorised officer, in the performance of his or her functions under this subsection, has been prevented from entering the premises or any part thereof,
may issue a warrant authorising the authorised officer, accompanied if necessary by other persons, at any time or times within 30 days from the date of issue of the warrant and on production if so requested of the warrant, to enter, if need be by reasonable force, the premises or part of the premises concerned and perform all or any of the functions conferred on the authorised officer under this section.
(14) For the purposes of an investigation, an authorised officer may, if he or she thinks it proper to do so, of his or her own volition or at the request of the landlord to whom the investigation relates, conduct an oral hearing.
(15) Part 1 of Schedule 3 shall have effect for the purposes of an oral hearing referred to in subsection (14) .
(16) Subject to subsection (10) , a person who —
( a ) withholds, destroys, conceals or refuses to provide any information or records required for the purposes of an investigation,
( b ) fails or refuses to comply with any requirement of an authorised officer under this section, or
( c ) otherwise obstructs or hinders an authorised officer in the performance of functions imposed under this Part,
is guilty of an offence and liable —
(i) on summary conviction, to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or
(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding € 50,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.
(17) An application under subsection (7) shall be made to a judge of the District Court for the time being assigned to the District Court District within which the person in respect of whom the application is made resides or carries on any profession, trade or business.
(18) An application for a warrant under subsection (13) shall be made to a judge of the District Court for the time being assigned to the District Court District within which the premises in respect of which the application is made is situated.
(19) In this section ‘ records ’ includes books, accounts or other documents or any written or printed material or copies thereof, in any form including material created, stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device whether or not created, stored, maintained or preserved in non-legible form. ]
Inserted (1.07.2019) by Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (14/2019), s. 28, S.I. No. 286 of 2019.