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Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) Searches – An Ellis & Ellis Explainer

What are Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) Searches?

At a time of ever-increasing rental costs, and as part of a governmental approach to making rented accommodation generally more affordable, Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) were initially introduced on 24 th December 2016, and have since been extended under the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Act 2021.

This special RPZ zoning was intended to identify areas where rents were highest and still rising. The regulations were intended, should a premises fall within an RPZ, to place certain upward-only restrictions on chargeable rents.

Currently under the legislation, any private rented property in a RPZ had its rent increase capped at 2% per annum pro rata, or if it is lower, by the percentage change in the rate of inflation since the rent was last set…’. *

RPZ caps are excused for any Approved Housing Body, Cost Rental Tenancies †, or where other exemptions apply (e.g. Change in nature of accommodation, or 2-year lapse in rented occupation). Under existing laws, it is an offence to breach such restrictions, and the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) can investigate and sanction landlords for participating in what is deemed ‘improper conduct’. 

It is against the databases maintained by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) that Ellis & Ellis conduct Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) Searches.

Why should the purchasing solicitor/ conveyancer search the Rent Pressure Zone
(RPZ) databases when investigating title in a property/ right/ interest?

During the process of examining titles for a purchase, it is the responsibility of the solicitor or conveyancer representing the purchaser to verify and confirm the ownership of the property, right, or interest being transferred or reassigned for their client.

While ultimately a set of searches should be used to confirm a clean title before finalising a sale, it is also very important for those legal representatives to ensure that their client is not acquiring any inherited issues that could potentially diminish their rights, the value of the land or building, or impose restrictions on the property’s use.

Given that a potential buyer may wish to ‘buy-to-let’, the existence of a restriction on the achievable rental returns could be material in the funding/ commercial decision-making process.

Moreover, if the purchasers require funding from a lending institution, the purchaser’s solicitor is also obliged by their undertaking to furnish good and marketable title for the lender. In turn, the prospect of a premises being subject to the limitations of a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) might also undermine the commercial calculations that underpinned the lending institutions original decision.

How to request a search for Rent Pressure Zones?
Post Log-in to our proprietary website at www.ellis.ie, simply input in the full address or Eircode into the field prompt. (Note: We would recommend using the Eircode primarily, as it offers greater efficiency and precision).

Once you have identified the correct premises, merely click the ‘add address’ icon, which should then appear in the ‘Selected’ field. From that point proceed to the ‘submit’ stage.

What details are recorded on a ‘Rent Pressure Zones Search?

Search results are quite straight forward, in that they state the address searched, its Local Electoral Area (LEA), most crucially a simple YES/ No answer as to whether the premises is in a RPZ or not, and if yes, give its designation date.

* Note: Inflation in this context is measured by the Harmonised Index of the Consumer Prices (HICP).   
† Typically premises under a cost rental housing schemes calculate rent based on the cost of building, managing and maintaining the homes, and are broadly 25% below the market rates for rent. As such these are usually built by approved housing bodies (AHB’s), local authorities and the Land Development Agency (LDA)

Use a trusted Law Search provider
Given the commercial consequences of either not conducting a Rent pressure Zone search at all, or worse, conducting an insufficient or flawed RPZ search; it is imperative that purchasing solicitors/ conveyancers use a dependable law search provider such as Ellis & Ellis.

With our fast and easy-to-use ordering platform at www.ellis.ie , over 130 years of expert know- how, and a terrific after-sales experience, we provide clients with an expert searching service.

For additional peace of mind Ellis & Ellis provide Professional Indemnity Cover of €10 million. Why not join the 1000’s of users who trust Ellis & Ellis to deliver them a competitive edge?

Did you find the above information to be of interest? Why not check out one of our other

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