AirBnB data shows that full time lettings must be tackled

29 June 2017

Labour spokesperson on Dublin, Senator Kevin Humphreys has re-iterated his call for the Minister for Housing to indicate whether he intends to bring forward new rules or legislation to ensure those using properties for full time, short term lets have the proper planning permission in place. Senator Humphreys will shortly publish legislation he has drafted that will regulate the sector.

Senator Humphreys said:

“In the last week I have been inundated with people from across Dublin contacting me about the disruption being caused in their apartment blocks where owners are letting out properties for short term lets on a full time basis. When concerts, conferences or sporting events are on it is causing havoc in some complexes.

“I have been campaigning for a year now for a crackdown on the illegal full time, short term rental of properties without appropriate planning permission through AirBnB and the other 15 rental platforms operating in Dublin.

“At the Housing Committee, AirBnB said that in Dublin nearly 4,000 ‘entire homes’ were listed in 2016 on a full time basis. These are properties that could be available for long term leases. and it shows the impact it is having on the housing market. Even half of them, 2,000 would make a huge impact in the rental market.

“This is not about impacting on those who let out a room in their home or apartment for extra income. This is about full time, short term lets where owners operate a business out of their property without planning permission, concern for their neighbours, or any thought to the impact it has on the rental market.

“As a first step, our planning laws must be enforced. Light touch regulation of our laws is not good enough, and the Minister should ensure local authorities have the powers and resource needed to tackle this problem.

“Websites such as AirBnB that offer properties for short term lease on a full time basis should also be required to ensure that the appropriate planning permission is in place before allowing the ad to be placed.

“We are in the crazy situation in Dublin where homes are being used as hotels without planning permission, while hotels are used as homes for families forced out of the rental market.

“I discovered through Freedom of Information requests that only 35 enforcement orders have been issued across Dublin for those engaged in short term leasing without the correct planning over the last two years.

“We can no longer pretend that this welcome service which has allowed a lot fo people to make extra income, and provide an alternative to hotels isn’t having an impact on our housing crisis.”

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