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

Your property being in a Rent Pressure Zone can effect the amount of rent that you charge, how often you review it and if you are exempt from rent limits.

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?
What is the RPZ Formula?
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 amount of rental properties in business. The number of rents in Rent Pressure Zones cannot increase by more than 4% per year, and apply to both new and existing properties, with a few exemptions.


Why were Rent Pressure Zones introduced in Ireland?

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

Ireland Rent Pressure Zones were put in place to moderate the increase in rents within that area, creating a steady rental market.


How are Ireland Rent Pressure Zones Decided?

There are 2 main criteria that 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 4 out of the previous 6 quarters

As well as this, 3 different rent averages were introduced in June 2019, to be used when assessing each area. These 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 your area becoming a Rent Pressure Zone, it will remain under the current rent measurements until your next rent review (every 24 months).


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 December 31st 2021. The dates below indicate when each area met the criteria to become a Rent Pressure Zone:

December 18th 2019

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

September 26th 2019

  • Carlow, County Carlow
  • Macroom, County Cork

July 2nd 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

March 28th 2019

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

September 22nd 2017

  • Greystones, Co Wicklow
  • Drogheda, Co Louth

March 24th 2017

  • Cobh, Co Cork
  • Maynooth, Co Kildare

January 27th 2017

  • Ballincollig–Carrigaline, Co Cork
  • Galway City Council
  • 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

December 24th 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 set above the amount for similar properties in the area, and examples of 3 properties in the same area and 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.


What is the RPZ Formula?

The RPZ Formula is: R x (1+0.04 x t/m)

The values in the RPZ formula represent the below:

  • R – The amount of the current rent
  • t – How many months from when the current rent started until the new rent will begin
  • m – The time in between each Rent Review (either 24 or 48)


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 2 years
  2. Properties that have undergone a ‘substantial change
  3. Properties that are in protected structures and have not been let for 1 year

If you are looking to get a exemption from rent limits on your property in a Rent Pressure Zone, you must inform the Resedential Tenancies Board 1 month before the rent amount is set.


Rent Pressure Zone Rent Reviews

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

Rules for existing tenancy rent reviews in a Rent Pressure Zone

Tenancies that began before December 24th 2016 are classed as existing. 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 potentially 4% at each rent 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 December 24th 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%.