How to Use the RPZ Calculator


How to Use the RPZ Calculator

Most of us think using the RPZ Calculator is pretty straight-forward and oftentimes it is. However, there are a couple of scenarios that had us scratching our heads as to how to calculate when the next rent increase would be due and how much could it be increased by at that date. In this article, we run through a few examples that we hope landlords and tenants alike may find helpful.


Existing Tenant in an Existing RPZ

This is the most straight-forward case. An existing tenant has had a rent review in August 2018 and his/her property is in an RPZ since 2016. The next rent review can take place in August 2019 and is a simple 4% increase. No fuss, no muss.


New Tenancy in an Existing RPZ

Let’s suppose John and Michelle are renting an apartment in Dundrum which was designated an RPZ on 24th December 2016. Their last rent review was March 2019 and was set at €2000/month. They move out in April and the landlord is now looking for new tenants. What rate can (s)he set the rent at now? My guess would have been that the landlord would be restricted to keep the rent at the current rate until March 2020 at which point, (s)he could increase by 4%. However, as per the live chat on RTB’s website, the landlord can actually implement the full 4% increase in the rent for the new tenancy commencing in April 2019. This is because “the rent can be increased at the beginning of each new tenancy, irrespective of when the last rent review took place for previous tenants.” These new tenants are then subject to a maximum of a 4% increase every 12 months thereafter.


Existing Tenants in an Existing RPZ (with unutilised rent increases in place)

Let’s suppose that an accidental landlord has tenants paying €1500 since June 2017. The landlord decides that (s)he wants to raise the rent in June 2019 having forgotten to increase the rent in June 2018 as h(s)e was entitled to do. What is the maximum new rent level that they can charge? Here we can simply use the formula on the RPZ website:


Existing Tenants in a Newly Established RPZ

Let’s suppose you were paying €800/month on a tenancy that commenced in a property in Midleton in 2017. The most recent rent review was conducted in April 2019. Midleton is then declared an RPZ in July 2019. Because the property became an RPZ area after the tenants moved in, they benefit from 24 months rent certainty ie the soonest a rent review can take place is April 2021. At that time, the formula to be used is the same as above but this time, M is to be set to 24, not 12. So in two years from April 2019 (the most recent rent review), the rent can be increased by 4%. From then onwards, it can be increased by 4% every 12 months


New Tenants in a Newly Established RPZ

But what happens, if, in the above example, these tenants move out in August 2019 and new tenants move in. What rent can be set in August 2019? This one had us scratching our heads in the office but thanks to the fantastically helpful RTB, we had the answer in minutes.
Because the area is now an RPZ, the maximum rent increase is 4% above what the previous tenants were paying. That’s straight forward. But what had us confused was when this 4% could be implemented. If the 24 month rent certainty went with the property and not the tenancy, then you could conceive of a situation whereby the new tenants would inherit the 24 month rent certainty and as such no increase could be implemented until 2021. Another conceivable situation would be that the new tenants don’t benefit from 24 month certainty but instead get 12 months and so the next increase wouldn’t be possible until August 2020. As it happens, the 4% can be increased immediately for the new tenants and thereafter every 12 months at a maximum of 4%.


So if you know when the tenants moved in, when the area became an RPZ, when the last rent was set and how much was it set at, you can calculate quickly when the next rent review can be done and how much it can be increased by on that date. For more, see: https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/calculator/rpz/