Everything You Need To Know About Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs)
One of the factors determining both the amount of rent landlords can initially charge and how much it can be increased over time is whether or not your property is located in a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ).
Breaching RPZ legislation may lead to a criminal conviction. Sounds serious? It could be.
So what is a RPZ?
In a nutshell, a RPZ is an area where rents are controlled. In 2016, when it was first introduced, rents could not be increased by more than 4% per year. More recently (July 2021) the legislation has been amended to limit increases to the general level of inflation, using the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP).
Where are the RPZs?
Areas are designated as RPZs where rents are rising and people are finding it increasingly difficult to source affordable accommodation. There are many parts of the country with most larger towns and cities included in the list. Although no new areas have been added since 2020, the list is frequently reviewed.
To check if your property is in a RPZ input your property address into the RTB Calculator or visit the listing on the RTB Website.
How long will RPZs be with us?
As of now, they will be in place until 2024 at the earliest, but in the absence of any resolution to our housing crisis, it is likely this will be extended.
Are there exemptions to RPZs?
A property where there has been no tenancy in place in the last 2 years or a protected structure that has been vacant for the last year may be exempt from the RPZ rules. If you have completed a substantial renovation to your property, you may also be able to qualify for an exemption although this has been harder to prove.
What do RPZ’s mean for landlords?
Regardless of the property location, all landlords must follow certain procedures when setting & reviewing rents. These rules are set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.
For a property located in an RPZ, the rent set cannot exceed the local market rents of similar properties, nor can it be more than general inflation (as per the HICP).
For a new tenancy you must provide the following information to the tenant in writing:
- The date that rent was last set
- The amount of rent that was last set (ie what the previous tenant was paying)
- A statement as to how the rent was set using the Rent Pressure Zone calculator
A tenancy, regardless of its location, can only be subject to a rent review after 24 months. After this, rent reviews can be undertaken every 12 months. All rent reviews must follow the rules, including giving a minimum of 90 days’ notice and using the “Rent Review” form.
So in summary…
We understood the initial RPZ concept,.. that limited any increases to 4% ….right?
Then the new policy brought in recently, is to limit any increase to the rate of inflation… got it?
But now there is talk that… inflation might rise to over 4% in the next year .. what then? Who knows?
What we do know is that PMI will keep up-to-date with any and all changes as and when they occur so as to make sure that our landlords are always on the correct side of the current rental legislation.
If after reading all of this….. you are still confused….then don’t worry…..
Let PMI handle the letting of your property. Give us a call today to get started.