How to deal with rent increases
Rent Pressure Zone Rules
From 24th December 2016 designated rent pressure zones have been identified.(A rent pressure zone is an area where annual rent increases have been at 7% or more in four of the last six quarters and where the rent levels are already above the national average). To find out if you are renting in a rent pressure zone click here
If you are renting in a rent pressure zone then your landlord can seek a rent increase of up to 4% per annum over a three year period. For a tenancy in existence at this time, the new rules will only come into effect when your rent can next be reviewed-this is currently at least 24 months from either the start of the tenancy or from the date of when you were notified in writing of your last review. For a new tenancy that starts after 24th December 2016 the rent can be reviewed annually under the RPZ rules.
The new rules will also apply if you are moving in to tenancy which is located within a rent pressure zone. In this case, upon commencement of the tenancy, the landlord is required to give you written information outlining the amount of rent and date it was last set under a tenancy for the dwelling and a statement as to how the rent set under the tenancy of the dwelling has been calculated having regard to the rent pressure zone formula. If you don't get this the landlord is in breach and you can take further action through the RTB.
Opposite you will find a letter Tenant Rent Info which you can download and use to inform a new tenant that moves in to the property you were previously renting of the amount of rent you were paying when you left.
The Rent Pressure Zones will not apply where the property has not been let in the previous two years or where there has been a substantial change in the nature of the accommodation occurs.
Renting Outside of a Rent Pressure Zone
Your landlord cannot charge more than 'market rent' when seeking a rent review and it must be at least 24 months from the date of your last review-this is the notification that you received of a rent review and not the date you started paying the new rent.
Following the expiry of the 24 month period your landlord/agent must give 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 and it cannot be given before the expiry of the 24 month period.
To determine 'market rent' you can check a number of sources including the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index www.rtb.ie, property websites, property agents, to let ads in newspapers etc. Threshold advises that you try to negotiate with your landlord around the increase and you can download the top tips for doing this opposite.
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. You now have to do this 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 should continue paying the current rent until the RTB issue a Determination Order. It is important to note that the RTB may accept the proposed review and the increase may be backdated.
If you decide not to challenge the increase and give notice to leave it is important to note that you will be liable to pay the new rent from its commencement date and if you fail to do so the landlord may seek to make deductions from, or retain your deposit to cover the lost rent.
If you are in receipt of rent supplement and facing a rent increase, the Tenancy Protection Service may be able to help you apply for an enhanced payment click here for more information.
What to do
- Check the notice to see if it is valid comparing to the template which you can download opposite.
- Check the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent index to see the market rent for your property by comparing rents being charged for similar properties in the area.
- If you think that the proposed rent is above market rent try to negotiate with your landlord/agent
- Go to the RTB Rent Calculator to see how much your rent can increase by in a Rent Pressure Zone.
- If your landlord refuses or an agreement cannot be reached you can refer the matter to the RTB up to 90 days from receipt of the rent review notice.
- If your tenancy is at risk and you face homelessness as a result of a proposed rent review contact your nearest Threshold advice centre immediately