Rent Reviews: A Tenant’s Guide

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Rent reviews can be a crucial part of your renting experience, and understanding the process is essential to ensure a fair outcome. Here, we break down the key aspects of rent reviews outside Rent Pressure Zones, providing you with the knowledge you need to navigate this critical aspect of your tenancy.

Understanding the Timing

Outside of Rent Pressure Zones, landlords can only review the rent:

  • After 24 months from the tenancy start date.
  • Or, after 24 months from the date of the last valid rent review.

This ensures that tenants have some stability in their rental payments. Any rent review must be based on the current market rent, and landlords must provide evidence for this adjustment. They should present details of three comparable properties, similar in size, type, and character, located in a comparable area to establish market rent. This evidence can include recent advertisements for similar properties published within the last four weeks.

Notice of Rent Review

A crucial aspect of the process is providing tenants with proper notice. Landlords must give at least 90 days’ written notice of any change in rent. It’s important to note that an email or text message does not qualify as appropriate notice for a rent review.

To ensure compliance, landlords should use the official “Notice of Rent Review” form and follow it meticulously. Altering the form’s wording, changing the format, or omitting information may invalidate the notice. Additionally, landlords must fill in Part A to Part E of the Rent Review form, including essential details such as tenant(s) name, registered tenancy (RT) number, rented dwelling address, landlord/authorized agent name and address, previous rent amount, date of the last rent review, new rent amount, and the date the new rent becomes payable.

Providing Comparable Properties

Part E of the Rent Review form requires landlords to provide details for three comparable dwellings. These properties should be similar in size, type, and character to the tenant’s dwelling, situated in a comparable area, and have been advertised within the previous four weeks. It’s important to note that if fewer than three comparable properties are provided, the rent review notice may be deemed invalid. Comparable properties don’t have to be in the exact same town or geographical location; landlords can look for similar properties in similar towns nationwide.

Updating the Rent Amount with RTB

Once a rent review has been conducted, and the new rent has taken effect, landlords must notify the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) of the change. This can be done via the RTB’s online facility or by using a Tenancy Update Form. This update should be submitted to the RTB within one month from the date the new rent amount becomes payable. The landlord must have received the new rent amount before applying the update to the registration.

Dispute Resolution

If a tenant believes they are being asked to pay more than the market rent, they have options for dispute resolution. They can seek clarification from the landlord or take a dispute case to the RTB within 28 days of receiving the rent review notice or at any time before the new rent amount is due to commence.

Approved Housing Bodies

For tenants in properties managed by Approved Housing Bodies, the process for setting and reviewing rent should be outlined in the lease/contract provided at the start of the tenancy. The use of comparable market rent does not apply in these cases.

By understanding the ins and outs of rent reviews outside Rent Pressure Zones, tenants can ensure that they are treated fairly and in accordance with the law. If you need further information on Approved Housing Bodies Rent Reviews, you can find it https://www.rtb.ie/during-a-tenancy/approved-housing-bodies-rent-reviews

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