Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Rent Pressure Zones

What is a Rent Pressure Zone

A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) is a designated area where rents cannot be increased by more than 4% per annum. The RPZ rent increase restriction applies to new and existing tenancies (unless an exemption is being applied). Further information on exemptions

Rent Pressure Zones are located in parts of the country where rents are highest and rising, and where households have the greatest difficulty finding affordable accommodation.

Current Rent Pressure Zones

Zone Date Legislation
Cork City Council 24 December 2016 Section 24B of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019
Dublin City Council 24 December 2016 Section 24B of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019
Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council 24 December 2016 Section 24B of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019
Fingal County Council 24 December 2016 Section 24B of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019
South Dublin County Council 24 December 2016 Section 24B of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004-2019
Ballincollig-Carrigaline, Co. Cork 27 January 2017 SI 18 of 2017
Galway City Central, Co. Galway 27 January 2017 SI 21 of 2017
Galway City East, Co. Galway 27 January 2017 SI 23 of 2017
Galway City West, Co. Galway 27 January 2017 SI 19 of 2017
Celbridge-Leixlip, Co.Kildare 27 January 2017 SI 22 of 2017
Naas, Co. Kildare 27 January 2017 SI 20 of 2017
Kildare – Newbridge, Co. Kildare 27 January 2017 SI 29 of 2017
Ashbourne, Co. Meath 27 January 2017 SI 27 of 2017
Laytown-Bettystown, Co. Meath 27 January 2017 SI 28 of 2017
Rathoath, Co. Meath 27 January 2017 SI 26 of 2017
Bray, Co. Wicklow 27 January 2017 SI 25 of 2017
Wicklow Town 27 January 2017 SI 24 of 2017
Cobh, Co. Cork 30 March 2017 SI 113 of 2017
Maynooth, Co. Kildare 30 March 2017 SI 109 of 2017
Drogheda, Co. Louth 20 September 2017 SI 402 of 2017
Greystones, Co. Wicklow 20 September 2017 SI 401 of 2017
Limerick City East 28 March 2019 SI 121 of 2019
Navan, Co. Meath 28 March 2019 SI 122 of 2019
Ardee, Co. Louth 2 July 2019 SI 308 of 2019
Arklow, Co. Wicklow 2 July 2019 SI 309 of 2019
Athenry – Oranmore, Co. Galway 2 July 2019 SI 310 of 2019
Athlone, Co. Westmeath 2 July 2019 SI 311 of 2019
Dundalk – Carlingford, Co. Louth 2 July 2019 SI 312 of 2019
Dundalk South, Co. Louth 2 July 2019 SI 313 of 2019
Fermoy, Co. Cork 2 July 2019 SI 314 of 2019
Gorey, Co. Wexford 2 July 2019 SI 315 of 2019
Gort – Kinvara, Co. Galway 2 July 2019 SI 316 of 2019
Graiguecullen – Portarlington, Co. Laois 2 July 2019 SI 317 of 2019
Kells, Co. Meath 2 July 2019 SI 318 of 2019
Kilkenny City 2 July 2019 SI 319 of 2019
Limerick City North 2 July 2019 SI 320 of 2019
Limerick City West 2 July 2019 SI 321 of 2019
Midleton, Co. Cork 2 July 2019 SI 322 of 2019
Portlaoise, Co. Laois 2 July 2019 SI 323 of 2019
Trim, Co. Meath 2 July 2019 SI 324 of 2019
Waterford City East 2 July 2019 SI 325 of 2019
Waterford City South 2 July 2019 SI 326 of 2019
Carlow Town 26 September 2019 SI 478 of 2019
Macroom, Co. Cork 26 September 2019 SI 479 of 2019
Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow 18 December 2019 SI 644 of 2019
Cobh (to include Watergrasshill), Co. Cork 18 December 2019 SI 645 of 2019
Piltown, Co. Kilkenny 18 December 2019 SI 646 of 2019
Sligo-Strandhill, Co. Sligo 18 December 2019 SI 647 of 2019
Athy, Co. Kildare 22 April 2020 SI 136 of 2020
Killarney, Co. Kerry 22 April 2020 SI 137 of 2020
Mallow, Co. Cork 22 April 2020 SI 138 of 2020
Mullingar, Co. Offaly 22 April 2020 SI 139 of 2020
Tullamore, Co. Westmeath 22 April 2020 SI 140 of 2020

Rent Pressure Zone Maps

Legal procedure to designate a Rent Pressure Zone

Section 24A of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended, sets out the procedure for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to prescribe, by order, an area as a Rent Pressure Zone.  It provides that the Housing Agency, in consultation with the relevant housing authority, may make a written proposal to the Minister that an identified area be prescribed as a Rent Pressure Zone. Within 1 week of receipt of such a proposal, the Minister shall request the Director of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to furnish him, within 2 weeks, with a Rent Zone Report on whether the proposed area  satisfies the criteria specified in subsection 24A(4) for designation as a Rent Pressure Zone.

For the purpose of the Act, ‘area’ is defined as either the administrative area of a housing authority or a local electoral area (LEA) within the meaning of section 2 of the Local Government Act 2001. There is no provision for any other type of area to be designated as a Rent Pressure Zone.

Prior to 04 June 2019, the criteria to be satisfied by an area under section 24A(4) of the Residential Tenancies Act for designation as a Rent Pressure Zone was as follows:

  • the information relating to the area, as determined by reference to the information used to compile each RTB Rent Index quarterly report, shows that the annual rate of increase in the average amount of rent for that area is more than 7% in each of at least 4 of the 6 quarters preceding the period immediately prior to the date of the Housing Agency's proposal.
  • the average rent for the area in the last quarter, as determined by reference to the information used to compile  each the RTB Rent Index quarterly report, is above the average national rent (commonly referred to as the Rent Index national standardised rent) in the last quarter.

Therefore, the annual rate of rent inflation in the area must have been 7% or more in 4 of the last 6 quarters; and the average rent for tenancies registered in the area with the RTB in the last quarter must be above the Rent Index national standardised rent in the last quarter.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 introduced new provisions in respect of the average rent qualifying criterion for RPZ designation with effect from 04 June 2019.

Using RTB data,

  1. the rent of a dwelling in the Counties Kildare, Meath and Wicklow are now compared to the average rent across the country, excluding Dublin rents; and
  2. (ii) the rent of a dwelling outside of the Greater Dublin Area (Counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) are now compared to the average rent across the country, excluding the Greater Dublin Area rents.

Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) Rent Index

Most recent RTB Rent Index Report

Table 9 of the report illustrates the recent rent changes at Local Electoral Area (LEA) level. For each LEA, Table 9 outlines the number of quarters within the last 6 Quarters where the annualised rent increases have been greater than, or equal to, 7% and how rent levels in each LEA compares to the Rent Index national standardised rent.

Rent Pressure Zone Calculator

A Rent Pressure Zone calculator is available on the Residential Tenancies Board website to assist landlords and tenants in determining if their dwelling is in a Rent Pressure Zone and to calculate the maximum rent amount permitted for their dwelling.

Further information

Section 24A(5) of the Act states

‘Where the Minister [of Housing, Planning and Local Government] receives a rent zone report from the Director [of the RTB] and the report confirms that the criteria in subsection (4) are satisfied, the Minister shall by order prescribe the area as a rent pressure zone for  specified period not exceeding 3 years.

Section 24A(6) of the Act states

‘Where a local electoral area is prescribed by order [i.e. RPZ designation order by the Minister of Housing, Planning and Local Government] as a rent pressure and, subsequently, any local electoral areas are duly amended in a manner that affects the area of the local electoral area so prescribed, then the order shall continue to have effect as if the local electoral area concerned had not been so amended.

Housing Agency – Monitoring of Rental Market

The Housing Agency will continue to monitor the rental market and may recommend further areas for designation. Where, following the procedures set out in section 24A of the Act, it is found at a future date that additional areas meet the criteria, they will be designated as Rent Pressure Zones.  

Residential Tenancies Act 2004

The Law Reform Commission has produced an administrative consolidation of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.

Category