Close Icon
money house rent

When looking to rent a property in Ireland, you must know whether or not your dwelling is in a Rent Pressure Zone.

Your property being in a Rent Pressure Zone can affect the amount of rent you charge and how often you review it. Even if your property falls into an RPZ, it may be exempt from the rules. However, this is in line with several strict rules.

To help, we have put together this comprehensive guide on Rent Pressure Zones in Ireland…

Skip to:

What is a Rent Pressure Zone?
Why were Rent Pressure Zones introduced in Ireland?
How are Ireland Rent Pressure Zones decided?
Where are the Rent Pressure Zones in Ireland?
How do I set my rent in a Rent Pressure Zone?
Rent Pressure Zone rent limit exemptions
Rent Pressure Zone Rent Reviews

What is a Rent Pressure Zone?

Also known as RPZs, Rent Pressure Zones are areas in Ireland that control the number of rental properties in the area.

Between 16 July 2021 and 10 December 2021, the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP) values were used to set and review rents in RPZs in Ireland, meaning they were only capped at the rate of general inflation, as set out in the Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices (HICP).

However, in response to rising inflation, these rules were changed to include the new 2% per year condition. This was introduced under the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2021. More details about the changes in legislation can found in the RTB’s guidance document.

From 11th December 2021, where a new tenancy commences in an RPZ in Ireland, a landlord is required to set the rent in accordance with the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Price (HICP), or the ’HICP rules’, except in cases where the property is exempt from rental restrictions.

The new conditions mean that the rent previously set cannot increase by more than 2% per year pro rata, where HICP inflation is higher.

On commencing a new tenancy in a Rent Pressure Zone in Ireland, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the following information:

  • The amount of rent that was last set, which is the rent amount the previous tenant was paying in the rental dwelling
  • The date the rent was last set, which is the date that the tenancy commenced or the date the landlord previously set and served the notice of rent review
  • A statement as to how the rent was set in the rental property having regard to the RTB Rent Pressure Zone calculator which reflects the latest HICP inflation. Landlords can use the print option from the calculator to present this information

Since 11 December 2021, annual rent increases in RPZs are capped in line with the rate of general inflation, or 2% a year; whichever is lower. So, if the rent is reviewed every 12 months and the rate of general inflation is 1.5%, then rent can only be increased by a maximum of 1.5%. However, if the rate of general inflation is higher than 2%, the rent can only be increased by a maximum of 2%.

Why were Rent Pressure Zones introduced in Ireland?

Rent Pressure Zones in Ireland apply in locations with a high, and rising number of rental properties, where finding affordable living accommodation is increasingly difficult.

Ireland Rent Pressure Zones aim to moderate the increase of rents within that area, creating a steady rental market.

How are Ireland Rent Pressure Zones Decided?

Two main criteria make an area in Ireland an RPZ:

  1. The average number of rental properties in the last quarter must be higher than the national average in the same period
  2. The yearly inflation of rental properties must have been 7% or higher in four out of the previous six quarters

As well as this, June 2019 introduced three new rent averages. These are to be used when assessing each area. They are:

  1. Areas in Dublin are compared to the national standardised average number of rents.
  2. Greater Dublin (including Wicklow, Meath and Kildare and excluding Dublin) are compared with the national standardised average rent without Dublin.
  3. The remainder of Ireland is compared to a standardised average rent outside of the Greater Dublin area.

If your tenancy was already in place at the time of becoming a Rent Pressure Zone, it will remain under the current rent measurements until your rent review.

Where are the Rent Pressure Zones in Ireland?

There are 5 Local Authorities and 39 Local Electoral Areas that are Rent Pressure Zones in Ireland, which will stand until 31st December 2024. The dates below indicate when each area met the criteria to become a Rent Pressure Zone:

29th September 2020

  • Kildare County Council

16th July 2020

  • Bandon-Kinsdale, County Cork

22nd April 2020

  • Mallow, County Cork
  • Killarney, County Kerry
  • Athy, County Kildare
  • Tullamore, County Offaly
  • Mullingar, County Westmeath

18th December 2019

  • Cobh (including Watergrasshill), County Cork
  • Piltown, County Kilkenny
  • Strandhill, County Sligo
  • Baltinglass, County Wicklow

26th September 2019

  • Carlow, County Carlow
  • Macroom, County Cork

2nd July 2019

  • Fermoy, Co Cork
  • Midleton, Co Cork
  • Athenry-Oranmore, Co Galway
  • Gort-Kinvara, Co Galway
  • Kilkenny, Co Kilkenny
  • Portlaoise, Co Laois
  • Graiguecullen-Portarlington, Co Laois
  • Limerick City West, Co Limerick
  • Limerick City North, Co Limerick
  • Dundalk-Carlingford, Co Louth
  • Dundalk South, Co Louth
  • Ardee, Co Louth
  • Kells, Co Meath
  • Trim, Co Meath
  • Waterford City South, Co Waterford
  • Waterford City East, Co Waterford
  • Athlone, Co Westmeath
  • Gorey, Co Wexford
  • Arklow, Co Wicklow

28th March 2019

  • Navan, Co Meath
  • Limerick City East, Co Limerick

22nd September 2017

  • Greystones, Co Wicklow
  • Drogheda, Co Louth

24th March 2017

  • Cobh, Co Cork
  • Maynooth, Co Kildare

27th January 2017

  • Ballincollig–Carrigaline, Co Cork
  • Galway City East
  • Galway City West
  • Naas, Co Kildare
  • Newbridge, Co Kildare
  • Celbridge-Leixlip, Co Kildare
  • Ashbourne, Co Meath
  • Laytown-Bettystown, Co Meath
  • Ratoath, Co Meath
  • Bray, Co Wicklow
  • Wicklow, Co Wicklow
  • Galway City Council

24th December 2016

  • Dublin City Council
  • South Dublin County Council
  • Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council
  • Fingal County Council
  • Cork City Council

How do I set my rent in a Rent Pressure Zone?

New tenancies in an Ireland Rent Pressure Zone must set their rental rates alongside the RPZ formula. The only exception is if your property is excused from rental restrictions.

The rental rate must not be above the amount for similar properties in the area and examples of 3 properties in the same region that are similar in style are to be presented to indicate this.

New tenancies in RPZs must begin with the following information being presented to the tenant:

  • When the last rent for a tenancy at this property was set and what the amount was.
  • A document stating how the previous rent was set in accordance with the Rent Pressure Zone formula.

When setting the rent amount in a Rent Pressure Zone, it cannot be:

  • More than the market rent, or;
  • More than the amount that the RPZ formula calculates

Use the Residential Tenancies Board’s RPZ Calculator to discover if your property is in a Rent Pressure Zone, and if so, what the maximum rent you can charge is.

Rent Pressure Zone Rent Limit Exemptions

Rent limits in Rent Pressure Zones are exempt in 3 circumstances:

  1. Properties that haven’t been let for two years.
  2. A property that has undergone a ‘substantial change‘.
  3. Properties that are in protected structures and have not been let for one year.

If looking to get an exemption from rent limits on your property in a Rent Pressure Zone, you must inform the Residential Tenancies Board one month before the rent amount is set.

Rent Pressure Zone Rent Reviews

A review can be requested by a tenant or a landlord, which can increase or decrease the amount paid. The rules regarding rent reviews in Rent Pressure Zones can differ depending on if the tenancy is new or already existing.

Rules for existing tenancy rent reviews in a Rent Pressure Zone

Tenancies that began before 24th December 2016 are classed as existing tenancies. Existing tenancies in Rent Pressure Zones can undergo the first rent review either 24 months since the tenancy began or 24 months since your last review.

The rent can be increased by a maximum of 2% per year since the last amount was set. So the rent can potentially increase by 4% at each review.

If it has been longer than 24 months since the rent was last set, the new amount can be increased by 2% for each additional year until 2016.

Rules for new tenancy rent reviews in a Rent Pressure Zone

Tenancies that began after 24th December 2016 are classed as new. New tenancies in Rent Pressure Zones can review the rent amount every 12 months, whereby the maximum increase is 4%.


The information contained in this article was accurate at the time of writing, based on our research. Rules, criteria and regulations change all the time, so please contact our prospective new owner team if you’d like to hear how. Nothing in this article constitutes the giving of financial, tax or legal advice to you; please consult your own professional advisor (accountant, lawyer etc). in this regard. If we have referred within the article to a third-party provider of unregulated holiday let mortgages, this is due to the fact that such mortgages aren’t currently regulated by the FCA. As a helpful reminder, your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage, so again anything you decide to do in this particular area this is one on which you should take your own professional advice on too, as we aren’t providingand can’t provide you with this.