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 (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'.
Exemption 1: An exemption under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 applies to the first rent setting of a tenancy of a dwelling where:
- no tenancy existed in respect of the dwelling during the two years immediately prior to this current tenancy beginning (including the first setting of the rent in a newly built property or a property which has never previously been let)
- no tenancy existed in respect of the dwelling where the dwelling is a protected structure, or is in a protected structure or is a proposed protected structure during the 12 months immediately prior to the current tenancy beginning. A protected structure is defined in the Planning and Development Act 2000.
Exemption 2: 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,
(ii) 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,
or any 3 or more of the following:
- 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 a 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 a 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 of higher, the BER (within the meaning of those Regulations) being improved by not less than 2 building energy ratings.
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
- 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.