Check where your property is located
The rules that apply when setting rent, depend on whether the rented property is in a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) or outside these zones. Click here to check if a property is in a RPZ. A list of the RPZs can also be found here.
If your property is in a RPZ, click here for the rules that must be followed for setting rent in a RPZ.
If your property is outside a RPZ, the rules that must be followed for setting rent are explained below.
Summary of rent review process
To carry out a rent review outside a RPZ, a landlord must:
Check a rent review is permitted – rent reviews outside RPZs can only occur once every 24 months.
Calculate the new rent – it cannot be greater than market rent;
Complete a Notice of Rent Review and serve it on the tenant;
Give the tenant 90 days’ notice of the new rent (i.e. serve the Notice of Rent Review on the tenant at least 90 days before the rent is to have effect);
Inform the RTB of the new rent, within one month of it taking effect.
Further details of each of these steps is below.
The rule explained below that rent cannot be set at a rate above “market rent”, applies to all private rented tenancies outside of RPZs, including tenancies and licences of Student Specific Accommodation. The use of “market rent” does not apply, however, to Approved Housing Body (AHB) accommodation. Click here for the rules that apply for setting rent for AHBs.
What market rent means
Where a dwelling is outside a RPZ, a landlord cannot set the rent at a rate that is greater than the amount of “market rent” for that tenancy at that time. This rule applies both when setting rent at the start of a tenancy or pursuant to a rent review.
“Market Rent” is defined as a rent that a willing tenant, not already in occupation, would give and a willing landlord would take for the rented dwelling (i.e. the rented property), having regard to other terms of the tenancy and the letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character to the dwelling and situated in a comparable area to that in which it is situated.
Where rent is being set pursuant to a rent review, examples of the rent sought for 3 comparable dwellings must be provided in the Notice of Rent Review (see below).
How often can I carry out a rent review outside a RPZ?
Outside of RPZs, landlords are only permitted to review the rent once every 24 months – in other words, at least 24 months must have passed since the tenancy commencement date or since the date of service of the last valid notice of rent review.
A rent review occurs when the notice of rent review is served.
A rent review can be conducted more frequently than once every 24 months, where there has been a “substantial change in the nature of the accommodation” and the rent under the tenancy were it set after that change, would be different to what was the market rent for the tenancy at the time of the last review. “Substantial change in the nature of the accommodation” is a defined term and specific criteria must be met. Click here for details of the criteria that apply.
Notice of rent review
If a landlord wishes to review the rent, the landlord must serve a valid Notice of Rent Review on the tenant in the prescribed form. This form can be downloaded here and is explained in more detail below. The Notice of Rent Review must state the new rent and how it is calculated.
The tenant must be given a minimum of 90 days’ notice of the new rent, meaning the landlord must serve the rent review notice on the tenant at least 90 days before the date on which the new rent is to have effect. It is recommended that landlords give extra days’ notice to avoid any issues that may arise in the calculation of the minimum notice period.
The Notice of Rent Review form must be followed closely, and landlords should not deviate from the wording used in it, change the format of the notice, or delete information contained in it, as doing so could invalidate the Notice of Rent Review in full.
Where rent is being set pursuant to a rent review, examples of the rent sought for 3 comparable dwellings must be provided in the Notice of Rent Review. These 3 comparable dwellings must have been advertised in the last 4 weeks immediately preceding the date on which the Notice of Rent Review was served (see below).
The comparable dwellings chosen must be of a similar size, type and character as the dwelling subject to the rent review. i.e. a one bedroom apartment cannot be compared to a 3 bedroom house.
The dwellings must also be in a similar area. If no comparable dwelling is in the immediate area where the rented dwelling is situated, the landlord can use a dwelling in a comparable area. i.e town to town, suburban to suburban or rural to rural. For example, a 3-bed property in one rural town can be compared with a 3-bed property in another rural town.
For more information on comparable dwellings click here
Landlord’s obligation to update the tenancy register
Landlords must notify the RTB that the rent amount for a tenancy has changed, via the RTB’s online facility or by using a Tenancy Update Form. This must be done within one month following the date when the new rent amount applies.
Dispute in relation to rent review
The RTB encourages tenants and landlords to discuss problems promptly, keep lines of communication open and respect each other’s positions. If a tenant considers that they are being asked to pay more than the market rent, he/she can seek clarification from the landlord or take a dispute case to the RTB. Any dispute application must be referred to the RTB before the date the new rent amount is to have effect/becomes payable.
Tenants must continue to pay their rent at the existing rate for the tenancy until the case is determined unless both parties agree otherwise.
Approved Housing Bodies: Rent Reviews
A rent review for an AHB tenancy must be carried out in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement between the AHB and the tenant.
If the tenancy agreement does not deal with rent reviews, either party may require a rent review to be carried out but this cannot occur more than once in any 12-month period.
Where there is a change in the rent payable following a rent review, the AHB must notify the household of the new rent in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement or if the tenancy agreement does not deal with this, as soon as practicable.