Ms R and Residential Tenancies Board

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date01 December 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the RTB's decision to refuse access to the records concerned.
RespondentResidential Tenancies Board
Record NumberOIC-111632-J0F8D4
Whether the RTB was justified in refusing access, under section 37(1) of the FOI Act, to correspondence between a landlord and the RTB relating to the appeal of an RTB adjudicator’s decision

OIC-111632-J0F8D4

Background

The applicant was living in private rented accommodation. In a dispute with her landlord, an RTB adjudicator determined the case in the applicant’s favour. Her landlord then appealed this decision to the RTB’s Tenancy Tribunal. In an FOI request dated 25 June 2021, the applicant sought access to all communication, correspondence and emails related to the appeal of the adjudicator’s decision.

In a decision dated 22 July 2021, the RTB part-granted the request. In the Schedule of Records, it listed 27 records relevant to the request. It refused access to 11 records and redacted certain information from seven further records, under section 37(1) of the FOI Act. The remaining records were released in full. The applicant sought an internal review of that decision on 5 August 2021, following which the RTB affirmed its decision. On 13 August 2021, the applicant sought a review by this Office of the RTB’s decision.

I have now completed my review in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the RTB and the applicant as outlined above and to the correspondence between this Office and both parties on the matter. I have also examined the records at issue. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision. In referring to the records at issue, I have adopted the numbering system used in the Schedule of Records provided to the applicant by the RTB.

Scope of the Review

The applicant confirmed to this Office that she was concerned only with the records that were refused in their entirety and that the redactions in the partially released records could be excluded from the scope of the review.

In the course of the investigation, it became apparent that the RTB had omitted, in error, to include references to attachments to two emails in its Schedule of Records. It amended the Schedule of Records to reflect that Record 1 contained 26 pages, rather than 1 page, and Record 8 contained 8 pages, rather than 1 page. The updated Schedule was sent to the applicant. However, as all of the attached documents (with names and addresses etc. redacted) were already released to the applicant as part of the case file for the appeal before the RTB tribunal, I have excluded them from the scope of this review.

I also note that the final four pages of record 22 comprise a document entitled “Tribunal Procedures” that was released to the applicant as part of record 24. As such, I have also excluded those four pages from the scope of this review.

Therefore, this review is concerned solely with...

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