Research shows that rent pressure zones are having a “moderating effect” on rent inflation but most landlords feel the restrictions are unfair.
The rate of price inflation across all RPZs fell from just under 9% before the regulations were introduced to just under 6.4%.
The Residential Tenancies Board commissioned the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and Coyne Research to examine the impact of RPZs on rental trends and the experience of landlords and tenants.
More than half of the landlords interviewed (55%) believe the RPZ restrictions are unfair. Many complained about being stuck in a situation where they are charging below-market rent due to having offered favourable rents in the past.
“I was the opposite to a terribly bad landlord; I was a terribly good landlord, and I have gotten kicked in the teeth for that now,” one commented.
A substantial majority of landlords with tenancies in RPZs (77%) believe they are charging below-market rents, with less than 1% believing they are charging more than the market rents.
Director of the Residential Tenancies Board, Rosalind Carroll, said that since the introduction of RPZs over two and a half year ago, there has been significant debate around their effectiveness.
She said the research is timely with the new Residency Tenancies Board legislation coming into effect, including new RPZ designation criteria, as well as 19 new RPZs that are not captured in this research.
“There are now 65% of tenancies in RPZs and since their introduction in 2016 we've been monitoring the impact reports closely," Ms Carroll also spoke of the need for the RTB to continue to support both landlords and tenants in improving awareness about their rights and responsibilities.
Chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, Pat Davitt, said it is understandable that more than half of the landlords interviewed are unhappy.
The IPAV had proposed to the Government that the whole country be put in an RPZ to allow landlords to charge up to market rent.
Mr Davitt said it would not follow that every landlord would start charging market rent but they would have the option.
Spokesman for the Residential Landlords Association of Ireland, Joe Doyle, said the Government and their associated bodies are doing “an amazing job” at running landlords out of the market.
Mr Doyle said he has no time for landlords who overcharge and they should be dealt with but the reality is that all the good landlords are being punished for the acts of a few.
Chief executive of Threshold, John-Mark McCafferty, said no profit-making organisation is going to be happy with the Government intervening and introducing new rules that limit their financial gain.
He sympathised with the landlords who kept rents moderate in the years before RPZs were introduced but noted that there are many people who had struggled for many years with very high rents.