Ireland reveals tough new rules for landlords using Airbnb

25 Oct 2018794 Views

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Landlords will likely be banned from renting properties on a short-term basis in areas with high housing demand from June.

Ireland is finally moving to regulate the use of short-term letting platforms such as Airbnb by landlords in order to ease the pressure on the housing market and reduce homelessness.

Under tough new rules, professional landlords will have to secure commercial planning permission from their local authority in order to lease their properties on a short-term basis.

The new proposals are expected to take effect from 1 June 2019.

As homelessness spirals, feelings are running high and many blame the rise of the short-term rental market for contributing to the accommodation problem as renting on a short-term basis is deemed to be far more lucrative than renting to long-term tenants.

New short-term rental guidelines

Under the new rules, owner-occupiers will be allowed to host people in their homes if they avail of an exemption. However, they will not be allowed to rent for more than 14 days at a time and for no longer than 90 days in a year.

People with a second property will no longer be allowed to arrange short-term lettings unless the property has permission to be used for such purposes as tourism. “In areas of high housing demand and, taking into account other relevant factors such as cumulative impacts, it is unlikely that permission would be granted,” said Ireland’s Housing Minster Eoghan Murphy, TD.

The changes will not affect holiday lets, long-term flexible lettings that apply to the corporate market or B&Bs.

It is understood that Dublin City Council will be granted more resources to implement the system due to acute pressure on rents in the Dublin area. Failure to comply will result in criminal prosecutions.

The scale of the accommodation crisis

Irish cities and towns join countless other cities around the world impacted by a homelessness crisis that has been exacerbated by the rise of the short-term rental economy, which has become big business for intermediaries operating between tourists and web firms, with tenants losing out. Cities such as San Francisco, where Airbnb was born for example, as well as New York and Paris, have implemented strict regulations around short-term rentals to ease pressure on their housing markets.

New figures from the Department of Housing show that there were 9,698 people, including 3,829 children, in emergency accommodation in Ireland in the past month.

We recently reported how Airbnb hosts’ details governing earnings via the platform in 2017 were to be submitted to the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland in September.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com