What are Rent Pressure Zones?
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 can not exceed general inflation, as recorded by Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (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.
What criteria must an area meet to be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone?
For an area to be designated a Rent Pressure Zone, the following criteria is used:
- The standardised average rent in the previous quarter must be above the appropriate reference standardised average rent in the quarter; and
- The annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters.
There are three different standardised average rents (see below), which to use depends on the location of the area being assessed:
- Dublin: The standardised average rent in Dublin is now compared to the National Standardised Average Rent for the propose of RPZ designation. All of Dublin is currently designated as an RPZ.
- GDA: The standardised average rent for LEA’s in the GDA (Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, excluding Dublin) is now compared to the Non-Dublin Standardised Average Rent for the purposes of designating an LEA as an RPZ. The Non-Dublin standardised average rent refers to the standardised average rent in the country, when Dublin is excluded.
- Rest of Country: The standardised average rent for LEA’s in the rest of the country is now compared to the Rest of Country Standardised Average Rent for the purposes of designating an LEA as an RPZ. The Rest of Country standardised average rent refers to the standardised average rent in the country, when Dublin and the GDA are excluded.
It is important to remember that not all properties in Rent Pressure Zones are subject to the HICP inflation restrictions. Exempt properties include properties that have not been rented for a period of two years prior to the immediate tenancy commencement date, a new tenancy in a protected structure that has not been let out in the previous 12 months and those properties that have undergone a 'substantial change in the nature of the accommodation'. Please see bellow for further information on Exemptions to the Rent Pressure Zone rental cap.
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 of the setting of the new rent under the tenancy. Rent is set either at the start of a tenancy or on the date the notice of rent review is served. We ask landlords to retain a copy of the Rent Exemption form 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
- Landlord/authorised agent contact details
- 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.
- Landlord or authorised agent declaration.
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 can be found here.
To find out if you are in a Rent Pressure Zone and to calculate the maximum rent allowable you can type your address into the RPZ Rent Calculator.
At present, there are 6 Local Authority (LA) areas and 48 Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) which have been designated as Rent Pressure Zones. Please see below for a list of where all Rent Pressure Zones are currently - all RPZs listed below will remain designated as an RPZ until 31 December 2024.
The initial setting of the rent on a dwelling which has 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 formula.
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.
A 'substantial change' in the nature of the accommodation has been defined and will only be deemed to have taken place where the below criteria is met:
“the works carried out to the dwelling concerned -
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 the 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,
in the case of a dwelling to which the European Union (Energy Performance 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,
- the internal layout of the dwelling being permanently altered;
- the dwelling being adapted to provide for access and use by a person with a disability, within the meaning of the Disability Act 2005;
- a permanent increase in the number of rooms in the dwelling;
- 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 BER of D1 or lower; the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 3 building energy ratings; or
- 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 or higher, the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 2 building energy ratings.
- If a landlord meets the above criteria, they can be exempt from using the HICP rules when setting and reviewing the rent in an RPZ.
- If a landlord wants to rely on one of these exemptions, he or she must use the prescribed Notice of Exemption from RPZ Rent Restriction, attach relevant supporting documentation to the form and send it to the RTB within one month of the rent setting taking place.
- Cork City Council
- Dublin City Council
- Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
- Fingal County Council
- South Dublin County Council
- Ballincollig – Carrigaline LEA, Co. Cork
- Galway City Central LEA, Co. Galway
- Galway City East LEA, Co. Galway
- Galway City West LEA, Co. Galway
- Celbridge-Leixlip LEA, Co. Kildare
- Naas LEA, Co. Kildare
- Newbridge LEA, Co. Kildare Ashbourne LEA, Co. Meath
- Laytown-Bettystown LEA, Co. Meath
- Ratoath LEA, Co. Meath
- Bray LEA, Co. Wicklow
- Wicklow LEA, Co. Wicklow
- Fermoy LEA, Co. Cork
- Midleton LEA, Co. Cork
- Athenry-Oranmore LEA, Co. Galway
- Gort-Kinvara LEA, Co. Galway
- Kilkenny LEA, Co. Kilkenny
- Graiguecullen-Portarlington LEA, Co.Laois
- Portlaoise LEA, Co. Laois
- Limerick City North LEA, Co. Limerick
- Limerick City West LEA, Co. Limerick
- Ardee LEA, Co. Louth
- Dundalk-Carlingford LEA, Co. Louth
- Dundalk South LEA, Co. Louth
- Kells LEA, Co. Meat
- Trim LEA, Co. Meat
- Waterford City East LEA, Co. Waterford
- Waterford City South LEA, Co. Waterford
- Athlone LEA, Co. Westmeath
- Gorey LEA, Co. Wexford
- Arklow LEA, Co. Wicklow