FAQ:
Rent Pressure Zones

What are Rent Pressure Zones?

Rent Pressure Zones are areas where rents are above average national rent level and have experienced rental inflation of in excess of 7% in four of the last six quarters. Legislation introduced by Minister Coveney provides that annual rent increases in Rent Pressure Zones will be limited to 4%.

This limitation remains in place for a maximum period of three years (which cannot be extended) and will apply both when rents are set at the start of a tenancy and when rents are reviewed during an ongoing tenancy.

What is Minister Coveney’s role in the RPZ designation process?

The Housing Agency has responsibility for the initial analysis of an area. In consultation with the relevant local authority, the Housing Agency may propose in writing to the Minister that an area should be prescribed as a Rent Pressure Zone. On receipt of such a proposal, the Minister is obliged to refer the matter to the Director of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) and request a rent zone report.

In that report the Director is required by law to state whether the RPZ criteria have been met.

Where the Minister receives a report from the Director and that report confirms that the RPZ criteria have been met, he is obliged to prescribe the area or areas as Rent Pressure Zones.

How is an area designated as a Rent Pressure Zone?

For an area to be designated a Rent Pressure Zone rents in the area must be at a high level and they must be rising quickly.

The measures used are:

  • The average rent in the previous quarter must be above the average national rent in the quarter.
  • The annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in four of the last six quarters.

An area that meets these criteria can be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone.

Why were Dublin and Cork already designated as Rent Pressure Zones?

The measure was implemented immediately in Dublin and Cork city because they meet the criteria already.

How often can the rent be reviewed?

In existing tenancies the first rent review under the Rent Predictability Measure may take place a minimum of two years after the previous time the rent was set. Subsequent rent reviews may take place after a minimum period of one year.

“For an area to be designated a Rent Pressure Zone rents in the area must be at a high level and they must be rising quickly”

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Does the measure apply to new tenancies?

Yes. The measure applies to properties. This means that it will apply when rents are set at the start of a tenancy and when rents are set in a rent review during an ongoing tenancy.

Are all rental properties covered?

No. Properties that are new to the rental market – i.e. properties that have not been let at any time in the previous two years – and properties which have been substantially refurbished may be exempted from the measure.

How long will the measure apply for?

An area may be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone for a maximum of three years. This means that the designation will lapse and the Rent Predictability Measure will cease to apply three years after area was designated. The designation of an area may be lifted earlier than this if the pressures on rent are deemed to have eased.

Who decides to lift the measure?

The Housing Agency, in consultation with the local authority, will assess whether the rental market conditions in the area concerned have stabilised and whether the balance between supply and demand has improved. Where the agency finds that these changes have occurred, it may recommend to the Minister that the designation of a particular area be lifted.  The Minister will then make an order lifting the designation of the area as a Rent Pressure Zone.

Can the designation as a Rent Pressure Zone be extended beyond three years?

No. The designation lapses after three years.

What happens after the designation as a Rent Pressure Zone expires or is lifted?

Once the area ceases to be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone, the rent review process will revert to normal. However, the minimum period of one year between rent reviews will continue apply.

Click here for a map of the existing and newly-designated Rent Pressure Zones.

“An area may be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone for a max of three years. The designation will lapse and the Rent Predictability Measure will cease to apply three years after area was designated.”