Rent Review in a Rent Pressure Zone where Landlord is Relying on an Exemption
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'.
The RPZ exemption rules and criteria:
Exemption 1: 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.
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 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.
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
- 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.
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.
Click here for more details on how the new legislation affects rent reviews.
Approved Housing Bodies
For Approved Housing Bodies, these rules do not apply. 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.