Setting the Rent in a Rent Pressure Zone

Certain restrictions apply to new tenancies in a Rent Pressure Zone

Visual of a construction site

Setting the rent at the commencement of a new tenancy within a Rent Pressure Zone. 

In the case of a new tenancy in a Rent Pressure Zone, unless the property is exempt from the RPZ rental restrictions, a landlord is required to furnish the tenant, in writing, with the following information at the commencement of the tenancy:

  • The amount of rent that was last set under a tenancy for the dwelling,
  • The date the rent was last set under a tenancy for the dwelling, and
  • A statement as to how the rent set under the tenancy of the dwelling has been calculated having regard to the Rent Pressure Zone calculator.

Additionally, the rent cannot be set above the local market rents for similar properties in the area.

When a tenancy ends within a Rent Pressure Zone and new tenants move into the rented dwelling, landlords must adhere to the Rent Pressure Zone calculator and cannot set the rent for the new incoming tenants to market levels. All landlords when setting the rent on a new tenancy within a Rent Pressure Zone must show their new tenants, on or after the commencement of the tenancy, how the rent was set in accordance with the Rent Pressure Zone calculator. Landlords can print out the RPZ Calculator findings to show to their new tenants.

Setting the rent at the commencement of a new tenancy within a Rent Pressure Zone, when 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).  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'. All landlords when setting the rent on a new tenancy within a Rent Pressure Zone must show their new tenants, on or after the commencement of the tenancy, how the rent was set. This also applies where a landlord is relying on an exemption and landlords should provide as much information as possible to their new tenants.

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 Rent Pressure Zone formula.

Exemption 2: The 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.

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. 

the works carried out to the dwelling concerned - 

(i) consist of a permanent extension to the dwelling that increases the floor area (within the meaning of Article 6 of the Building Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 497 of 1997)) of the dwelling by an amount equal to not less than 25% of the floor area (within such meaning) of the dwelling as it stood immediately before the commencement of those works,  

or 

(ii) in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performanceo of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 243 of 2012) apply, result in the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 7 building energy ratings,  

or any 3 or more of the following: 

  1. the internal layout of the dwelling being permanently altered; 
  2. the dwelling being adapted to provide for access and use by a person with a disability, within the meaning of the Disability Act 2005; 
  3. a permanent increase in the number of rooms in a dwelling;  
  4. in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 243 of 2012) apply and that has a BER of D1 or lower, the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 3 building energy ratings;  
  5. in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 243 of 2012) apply and that has a BER of C3 of higher, the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 2 building energy ratings.

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. 

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 
  • 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.