If your landlord tries to increase your rent, there are laws that control how often it can be raised. The rules covering rent increases will depend upon where you are living.
Rules around rent increases vary depending on where you live in Ireland. To understand your rights, it is important to know whether you live inside or outside a Rent Pressure Zone.
What is a Rent Pressure Zone?
The idea behind Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) is to limit how much the rent can be raised in areas that are already experiencing high rates of rent.
These zones are located in parts of the country where the rents are highest and continue to rise. The purpose of RPZ is to slow down the rise of rent.
Find out if you live in a Rent Pressure Zones.
How often can rent be increased in a RPZ?
If you start renting in an area that is already considered an RPZ, this will be a new tenancy. New tenancies can have their rent reviewed once every 12 months.
If you are already renting a property in an area that has been made an RPZ since you moved in, this is considered an existing tenancy. The first rent review in an existing tenancy can take place 24 months after the start of the tenancy, or after the date you were notified of your last rent review. After this, the landlord can review the rent again every 12 months, but they must follow the RPZ rules.
How do rent caps work in RPZ?
The way rent caps in RPZ are calculated has changed over time, but currently it is calculated based on the rate of inflation with a 2% cap. The rate of inflation is how much prices for goods and services increase over time.
Annual rent increases
Currently, annual rent increases in RPZ must be capped in line with the current rate of inflation, or no more than 2%, whichever is lowest. The rent can be raised every 12 months, but it must be in line with the RPZ rules.
This means that when it comes to the time to increase the rent, if the current rate of inflation is 1.5%, your landlord may only increase the rent by up to 1.5%. On the other hand, if the current rate of inflation is 3%, the most your landlord can increase your rent is by 2%.
My landlord has not reviewed the rent for a number of years
If your landlord has told you they plan to increase your rent for the first time in a number of years, the 2% inflation cap will apply to each year since they last increased the rent.
For example, if you have been paying the same rent for four years, they cannot increase the rent by more than 8% (this is because the 2% cap applies for each year: 2% x 4 = 8%). If the general rate of inflation between now and when you last had a rent increase was 6%, your landlord would be entitled to increase your rent by 6%, because this is still lower than the 8% cap calculated over the four years.
How do I calculate the amount my landlord can increase the rent by?
If you are living in a RPZ, the RTB Rent Pressure Zone Calculator to find out the highest rate of rent you could be expected to pay.
Are there any exemptions to the RPZ rules?
The RPZ rules do not apply:
- Where the property has not been let in the previous two years
- Where there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation
- Where the property is or is proposed as a protected structure and it has not been let in the previous year
What must a landlord provide when I start renting in a RPZ?
If you start renting in a Rent Pressure Zone, unless the property does not come under the restrictions, the landlord has to provide you with the following things in writing at the beginning of the tenancy:
- The amount the rent was for the last tenant
- The date the rent was last set for the previous tenant
- A statement that shows how the rent was calculated for the previous tenant under the rent pressure zone restrictions
If you don’t get this, you can take further action through the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
Rent increases outside of Rent Pressure Zones
If you are renting outside of a Rent Pressure Zone, you still have rights as a tenant.
How often can rent be increased outside of a RPZ?
Outside of Rent Pressure Zones, landlords can only review the rent 24 months after the tenancy starts or 24 months from the date of the last valid rent increase.
How much can rent be increased by outside of a RPZ?
If you are renting outside of a RPZ, there is no percentage limit on how much your landlord can increase your rent by. However, they cannot charge more than ‘market rent’, which is the going rate for your type of accommodation in the area you live. To determine ‘market rent’, you can check a number of sources including the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index, property websites, property agents, to let ads in newspapers etc.
What are my rights when my landlord wants to increase the rent?
In seeking to increase the rent, whether you are residing in a RPZ or not:
- Your landlord must give you at least 90 days written notice of the amount of the new rent and date it is to take effect from
- The notice must be in writing. Email, text or verbal notice are not valid
- The landlord must show how the rent is calculated in accordance with the rules
- You must be given at least three comparable rents of similar properties in your area which have been advertised in the previous four weeks to your review
- The written review must also advise you that if you wish to dispute the review, you can refer a case to the RTB which you must do within 90 days of receipt of the notice or before the date when the review is to take effect, whichever is later
- If you wish to challenge a valid notice of rent review, you continue paying the current rent until the RTB issue a Determination Order
Where to go for further help?
If you require further assistance with a rent review query or any other tenancy issue, you can contact Threshold by visiting threshold.ie or phoning freephone 1800 454 454 to speak to an advisor.
You can also read more about dealing with problems during your tenancy.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.