Serving a Rent Review Notice outside of a Rent Pressure Zone
A landlord can only review the rent once in any 24 month period, and cannot review within 24 months of the commencement of the tenancy except in limited circumstances such as a complete refurbishment of the property which affects the market rent of the dwelling.
A ‘substantial refurbishment’ must be a significant change to the dwelling resulting in increased market value of the tenancy. Therefore this would involve significant alterations or improvements which add to the letting value of the property - usually involving major building works or works requiring planning permission. For example, simple repainting or replacement of white goods would not be sufficient.
The Residential Tenancies Act prohibits the landlord from setting a rent that is in excess of market rent. If a landlord intends reviewing the rent, they must inform you, in writing, of any review in rent, 90 days before the new revised rent is due to take effect. A valid notice served by the landlord must be in the prescribed form (see sample notice below).
- It must state the amount of new rent and the date from which is to have effect.
- It must include a statement that a dispute must be referred to the Board on the expiry of 28 days from the receipt by the tenant of that notice or the date the new rent takes effect.
- It must include a statement by the landlord that it is their opinion that the new rent is not greater than market rent having regard to –
- The other terms of the tenancy
- Letting values of dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area
- It must specify the rent amount for three comparable dwellings of a similar size, type and character and situated in a comparable area
- It must include the date on which the notice is signed
- It must be signed by the landlord or his/her authorised agent
A landlord is also required to notify the RTB of the revised rent so that the registrations details can be updated.
Where a notice of a rent review has been served by the landlord then either party can submit a dispute to the RTB before the new rent is to have effect or before expiry of 28 days from the tenant receiving that notice, whichever is the later.
A landlord reviews the rent of a dwelling on 1 January 2016 by serving a 90 day notice of rent review indicating that the change will take effect from the 1st April 2016. A subsequent Notice of Rent Review can not issue until 1 January 2018 and must also provide 90 days Notice prior to the change taking effect.
A landlord has reviewed the rent of a dwelling on 3 December 2015 (prior to the commencement of the new legislative changes), and served a 28 day notice that the rent was to increase on 1 January 2016. The next rent review notice can not issue until 3 December 2017 and would additionally have to provide 90 days notice prior to the change taking effect, which would be 4 March 2018.
Deirdre and Anthony, a young couple with two children, renting a 3 bed house in Dublin, signed a lease in April 2014, at a rate of €1,200 per month. The landlord may increase the rent every 12 months, so in April 2015, the landlord increased the rent to €1,300 per month. Deirdre and Anthony are worried that the landlord will increase the rent again in April 2016. The landlord had planned on increasing the rent to €1,400 per month. With this change, the landlord cannot increase the rent until April 2017. Deirdre and Anthony's rent is frozen for 2016 at €1,300.
Rachel, a lone parent with one child renting a 2 bed apartment in Galway, signed a lease in December 2014, at a rate of €800 per month. Rachel is worried that the landlord will increase their rent in December 2015. The landlord planned on increasing the rent to €875 per month but, with the enactment of these measures, cannot do a rent review 2016. The rent will be frozen until at least March/April 2016.
Michael and Stephen, a couple renting a 2 bed house in Cork, signed a lease in March 2015, at a rate of €900 per month. Michael and Stephen were worried that their landlord would increase the rent in March 2016 to €1,000 per month. Now, Michael and Stephen do not need to worry about a rent increase until March 2017.
Larry and Mary, a couple living in Dublin, with their 3 children, rent their 3 bed house for €1,300 per month. Their last rent review was in September 2013. Upon enactment, Larry and Mary's landlord can initiate a rent review at any time, as it is more than two years since their last rent review.
Approved Housing Body Rent Reviews
Rent reviews are determined by the tenancy agreement between the tenant and the approved housing body. Where the tenancy agreement does not provide a provision for rent review, then the original legislation from the 2004 Act applies, i.e. every 12 months. The notice period however, is not specified, meaning neither 28 days or 90 days apply. The Act says "as soon as practicable".