Rent Reviews in Rent Pressure Zones

Information on paying rent, setting rent, market comparisons, and rent reviews

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Rent Setting in a Rent Pressure Zone

A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation, as recorded by the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP). Any rent increase in a RPZ cannot exceed general inflation, as recorded by HICP and the rent previously set, cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher.  This applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied). 

Rent Pressure Zones are located in parts of the country where rents are highest and rising, and where households have the greatest difficulty finding affordable accommodation. They are intended to moderate the rise in rents in these areas and create a stable and sustainable rental market that allows landlord and tenants to plan financially for their future.  

The Rent Pressure Zone Calculator can be used to find out if a property is located in a Rent Pressure Zone by inputting the address or Eircode. It can also be used to calculate the maximum rent increase permitted, if any, for the tenancy. 

Click here to access the Rent Pressure Zone Calculator to check if your rental property is in a RPZ. 

Since 16th July 2021, the HICP values are being used to set and review rents in RPZs in Ireland. This means that rents in RPZs cannot be increased by more than general inflation.  

From 11th December 2021, the rules have been amended around setting the rent for a tenancy in a RPZ. These rules apply both to setting the rent at the start of the tenancy and during the tenancy by way of a rent review.  In summary, while the old rules prohibited any rent increase in a RPZ from exceeding general inflation (as recorded by HICP), there is now a new rule that provides that the rent previously set, cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher. 

Examples of how the rent increase restrictions apply in practice is set out below. You might wish to use the RTB Rent Pressure Zone Calculator to better understand the examples. 

Example 1 

A rented property is located in an RPZ. A tenant moved in on 11 December 2020 and a rent of €1,800 was set. The landlord is entitled to review the rent following 12 months from the tenancy commencement date and proceeds to enter the relevant details in to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone Calculator on 11 December 2021. The calculator informs the landlord that the maximum increase in rent permissible is €36. This is because the new rules that have been introduced state that rents cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher. As the HICP inflation for the period of time between the rent first being set and then being set pursuant to the rent review is 5.2%, the 2% per year pro rata cap applies. The new maximum rent for the property is €1,836, which represents a 2% per annum pro rata increase (€1,800 x 2% p.a.)  

Example 2 

A rented property is located in an RPZ. A tenant moved in on 11 December 2016 and a rent of €1,400 per month was set.  Five years later, on 11 December 2021, the landlord decides to review the rent and proceeds to enter the relevant details in to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone Calculator.The calculator informs the landlord that the maximum increase in rent permissible is €92. This is because the new rules that have been introduced state that rents cannot increase by more than 2% per year  pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher. As the HICP inflation for the 5-year period between the rent first being set and reviewed is 6.6%, this applies as it is lower than the cap of 2% per year pro rata (2% per year for 5 years = 10%). The new maximum rent for the property is €1,492, which represents a 6.6% increase in accordance with HICP inflation (€1,400 x 6.6% = €92). 

On the commencement of a new tenancy in a Rent Pressure Zone, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the following information: 

  • The amount of rent that was last set, which is the rent amount the previous tenant was paying in the rental dwelling. 
  • The date the rent was last set, which is the date that the tenancy commenced or the date the landlord previously set and served the notice of rent review.  
  • A statement as to how the rent was set in the rental dwelling having regard to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone calculator which reflects the latest HICP.  

Rent Review in a Rent Pressure Zone 

Following the designation of a Rent Pressure Zone, all existing tenants at the relevant date of designation are still covered by the 24 month rent certainty laws. Therefore, a landlord must wait 24 months from the tenancy commencing or 24 months from the service of the last valid rent review notice before serving a further rent review. 

A tenant must be informed of any review to the rent with at least 90 days’ notice in writing of a change in rent (an email or text is not considered appropriate notice of a rent review). The rent cannot be increased by more than general inflation, as recorded by the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP), and there is now a new condition that provides that the rent previously set, cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher. The rent being sought should not be more than local market rents for similar properties. After this, the landlord will be entitled to review the rent every 12 months. 

All landlords must serve a notice of rent review ensuring that they follow the Notice of Rent Review. The Notice of Rent Review must be followed closely, and landlords should not deviate from the wording used therein, change the format of the notice, or delete information from same as doing so could invalidate the Notice of Rent Review in full. 

Once a rent review has been carried out and the new rent has commenced, the landlord should notify the RTB that the rent amount has changed, via our online facility or by using a Tenancy Update Form. This should be submitted to the RTB within one month following the date when the new rent amount applies. The landlord must be in receipt of the new rent amount before an update to the rent amount can be applied to the registration. 

All landlords serving a Notice of Rent Review in a Rent Pressure Zone must fill in Part A to Part E of the Notice of Rent Review Form

The information required to ensure that you fill out the form  in full and correctly are: 

  • Part A: Tenant(s) name. Please add an additional page if there are more than 4 tenants.  
  • Part B: Registered Tenancy (RT) number, Rented dwelling address.  
  • Part C:  Landlord /Authorised Agent name and address.  
  • Part D: Previous rent amount, date last rent review was served, new rent amount, date which new rent becomes payable. (For tenancies in RPZs, please use the Rent Pressure Zone calculator to determine the maximum rent increase, if any, that can apply. Please print off or save a copy of the relevant calculation provided by the calculator for your records.)  
  • Part E: The address and rent amount sought for 3 dwellings of similar size, type and character to the dwelling subject to tenancy and situated in a comparable area that have been advertised within the previous 4 weeks of the date of service of the notice. 3 comparables must be provided, if less are provided the notice of rent review will be deemed invalid. Comparable properties do not have to be in the exact same town or geographical location. Landlords can look for similar properties in similar towns nationwide. 

Rent Review in a Rent Pressure Zone where Landlord is Relying on an Exemption 

It is important to remember that not all properties in RPZs are restricted by the rule that rent cannot be increased by more than general inflation, as recorded by the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP), and there is now a new condition that provides that the rent previously set, cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher. Exempt properties include properties that have not been rented for a period of two years prior to the immediate tenancy commencement date, and those that have undergone a 'substantial change in the nature of the accommodation'. 

There have been recent changes to the legislation surrounding the exemption rules and criteria, detailed information on the exemptions can be found here

Exemption 1: The initial setting of the rent on a dwelling which had not been rented for a period of two years prior to the immediate tenancy commencement date. All rent reviews thereafter must adhere to the RPZ HICP rules. 

Exemption 2: A dwelling which is, or is in, a protected or proposed protected structure that has not been rented for a period of 12 months prior to the immediate tenancy commencement date. All reviews thereafter must adhere to the RPZ HICP rules. 

Exemption 3: A 'substantial change' in the nature of the accommodation has been defined and will only be deemed to have taken place where strict criteria is met. 

All landlords must serve a notice of rent review ensuring that they follow the sample notice. The sample notice of rent review must be followed closely, and landlords should not deviate from the wording used therein, change the format of the notice, or delete information from same as doing so could invalidate the notice of rent review in full.  

Obligation on Landlords to Notify the RTB of their Reliance on an Exemption  

Landlords must inform the RTB that they are relying on an exemption which means that they do not have to adhere to the increase permitted by the Rent Pressure Zone calculator. Landlords must fill out an RPZ Exemption Form with all the correct relevant information and send it to the RTB within one month following the date when the new rent amount applies. We ask landlords to retain a copy of this for their records. The RTB will not acknowledge receipt of the form. 

The information required to ensure that you fill out the form in full correctly are: 

  • Registered Tenancy (RT) number  
  • Address of rented dwelling  
  • Tenancy commencement date (the date that the tenant is entitled to take up occupation of the dwelling)
  • Previous rent amount, if applicable.   
  • Date previous rent set, if applicable.  
  • New amount of rent being sought 
  • Date new rent is set 
  • You will then tick the appropriate exemption that applies to you. 
  • Landlords must provide documents that support the exemption relied upon. This may include for example, the old and new BER certificates or a letter of certification confirming the nature of any structural changes from an architect, chartered surveyor, chartered engineer and/or related planning permission.  

Approved Housing Bodies 

For Approved Housing Bodies, the setting and reviewing of rent should be set out in the lease/contract provided to the tenant at the start of the tenancy. The use of comparable market rent in setting/reviewing the rent does not apply to Approved Housing Bodies. Click here for further information on Approved Housing Bodies Rent Reviews.