Registration of cost rental tenancies

Cost rental tenancies must be registered with the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) within one month of the tenancy commencement date and again, within one month of each anniversary of the tenancy commencement date, for so long as the tenancy exists.

Security of tenure for cost rental tenants

Since 11 June 2022, for tenancies created on or after that date, the tenant will have the right to remain in occupation for an unlimited duration, after the tenant has been in continuous occupation for 6 months. Existing tenancies will transition to tenancies of unlimited duration over time. 

The landlord can only terminate the cost rental tenancy under one or both of the following limited grounds:

  • The tenant has breached his/ her obligations;
  • The dwelling is no longer suitable to the accommodation needs of the tenant and of any persons residing with him or her having regard to the number of bed spaces and the size and composition of the occupying household.

This means that most of the usual grounds on which a landlord can terminate a “Part 4 tenancy” do not apply to cost rental dwellings (i.e. the landlord cannot terminate the cost rental tenancy because the landlord wants to sell the property, the landlord or a family member wants to live there, the landlord wants to substantially refurbish/ renovate the property or to change its use).

Designating a dwelling as a cost rental

To have a dwelling designated as a cost rental, an application must be made to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (the “Minister”). This application should contain the information contained here in Schedule 1. A single application may be made for the cost rental designation of multiple dwellings.

Information about the dwelling (e.g. number of bed spaces) must be provided in the application form, in addition to the following information: 

  • a proposed cost calculation period and minimum cost rental period (see below);
  • the proposed initial maximum rent (see below);
  • the estimated cost rental income;
  • the estimated market rent (i.e. if it was not let as a cost rental); and
  • details of costs associated with the dwelling – e.g. costs incurred in acquiring the dwelling and estimated costs for maintenance, management and financing.

Documentary evidence supporting the application must also be provided (e.g. to establish the applicant’s title to the dwelling). The applicant must also make a declaration that they will comply with the obligations applying to owners of cost rentals and must declare that they will take all reasonable steps to procure that the applicant’s successors in title will comply with these obligations.

Setting of the rent 

Rent setting for cost rental tenancies is defined as including the initial rent setting under the tenancy and any subsequent review of the rent. Part 3 of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 does not apply and, instead, there are specific rent setting rules that are applicable to cost rental tenancies for rent setting and subsequent rent reviews.

A ‘cost rental’ dwelling is a rented dwelling, where the rent charged is no more than the cost incurred in delivering, managing and maintaining the dwelling. 

The initial maximum rent for cost rentals is calculated on the basis of the cost of acquiring, developing, managing and maintaining the property in question and the maximum rent cannot exceed these costs to the owner over the cost calculation period (i.e. a minimum period of 40 years). The initial setting of rent and any subsequent rent review also includes a component linked to inflation based on the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices as published by the Central Statistics Office (“HICP”).

Rent reviews

A rent review is initiated by the landlord serving a rent review notice in the prescribed form found here.

The notice must be sent or served on the tenant either by sending it by pre-paid post to the tenant at the cost rental address or by electronic email where the tenant has given prior consent in writing to the notice being served in this way. This also applies in the case of multiple tenants who are jointly and severally liable under the cost rental tenancy.

A rent review notice shall be served not earlier than two weeks before, and not later than four weeks after, the date on which the setting of the rent by way of a review is to take effect. 

The rent review notice must specify the date from which the new rent is to take effect. Where a tenancy agreement does not specify the frequency of rent reviews, then the anniversary of the commencement of the tenancy shall be the date the new rent set pursuant to the rent review, shall take effect. 

Please read our guidance note on cost rental tenancies for further information on rent setting and rent reviews. 

Helpful Questions and Answers

Any owner of a residential property can apply to have it designated as a cost rental dwelling.

This means that private owners, as well as local authorities, approved housing bodies and the Land Development Agency can provide cost rental tenancies.

The main eligibility criteria for cost rental accommodation is that the household’s annual income, less income tax, PRSI, universal social charge and superannuation contributions, must be under an income limit as prescribed by the Minister, which shall not be greater than €53,000.

Prior to granting any tenancy, the landlord must also ensure that the dwelling is suitably sized to meet a household’s needs based on the number of occupants. The landlord will have final discretion over entering into a tenancy agreement with any prospective tenants who meet the eligibility criteria.


Households who are in receipt of housing assistance payment (“HAP”) are not eligible for a cost rental dwelling. The only exception to this is if one member of the household for which HAP is sought has been party to a current tenancy agreement in respect of that cost rental dwelling for a continuous period of more than 6 months.

Although a tenancy of a cost rental dwelling is not in itself a form of social housing support (notwithstanding that the landlord may be an approved housing body or a local authority), the payment of HAP in respect of a cost rental dwelling, will be deemed to be social housing support.

The landlord of a cost rental dwelling must advertise it online for a period of not less than 7 days. The landlord will specify how an application for a cost rental dwelling is to be made.

In cases where the number of applicants exceed the number of available homes, the landlord must use an independently-verifiable lottery to select applicants.


The rules in the RTA 2004 in relation to repair and maintenance apply to cost rental dwellings and this includes the minimum standards regulations


Tenants of cost rentals are not permitted to sub-let or assign the dwelling.

  • Sub-letting occurs when the original tenant permits another party to lease the rental property, with the original tenant assuming position of landlord.
  • Assignment is where a tenant transfers their entire interest in a tenancy to a third party creating a new landlord and tenant relationship.

The Minister may prescribe the process by which tenants may be added or removed from the cost rental tenancy for the purposes of giving effect to the eligibility criteria. The consent of the landlord is, however, required.


Disputes about rent (including arrears, rent setting and rent reviews) may be referred to the RTB.

There are specific timelines in relation to the referral of certain disputes. A dispute in relation to the initial
setting of rent or the initial maximum rent must be referred to the RTB before the date on which the
tenancy is to begin or within 28 days from the date of the cost rental tenancy agreement.

A dispute in relation to a rent review  must be made before the expiry of 28 days from the receipt by the tenant of
the rent review notice.

Please click here to access information on our Dispute Resolution Services