Sunday 26 February 2017

City apartment made €79,000 through Airbnb

Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

Temple Bar is extremely popular with overseas visitors
Temple Bar is extremely popular with overseas visitors

The owners of a city centre apartment made more than €79,000 in the space of a year after converting it into an Airbnb-style holiday let.

The practice of turning homes into tourist accommodation is a phenomenon that has been increasing, even in the face of the serious housing emergency in Dublin.

But now a decision by Dublin City Council to limit such activity is set to have major implications for property owners who have been putting up entire homes or apartments on Airbnb and other holiday letting sites every year.

Residents of Temple Bar in Dublin have scored a major victory after a ruling that an apartment put up for rent on Airbnb has to have planning permission for commercial use.

Members of Temple Bar Residents Association have been campaigning against the large-scale conversion of residential apartments into holiday flats in their area.

They claim that the huge number of flats on Airbnb and other holiday sites is affecting the atmosphere of the neighbourhood and exacerbating the city's housing shortage.

AirBnb Photo: Getty
AirBnb Photo: Getty

Temple Bar residents recently wrote to Dublin City Council seeking to have it clarified whether a property in the area, that is let almost constantly as a short-term holiday apartment, needed planning permission for commercial use.

Boast

In an advertisement selling the apartment earlier this year, the sellers boasted that the flat was rented over 90pc of the time on Airbnb - and earned a staggering €79,000 in rent last year.

The property was up for sale for more than €400,000 - significantly higher than similar properties in the area, which go for about €270,000.

Dublin City Council has just responded to the residents, giving the crucial verdict that the development is not exempt from regulations to obtain planning permission.

Frank McDonald, chairman of the Temple Bar Residents Association, said last night: "We warmly welcome this ruling and presume it will be followed up by enforcement action.

"It sends out a clear message to others in the burgeoning but unregulated Airbnb sector that planning permission is needed for conversion to holiday lets," he said.

McDonald said it was a bizarre situation that Dublin's local authorities spend €25m per year on hotel accommodation for homeless families while up to 2,000 homes are given over to holiday use.

Authorities in Berlin and in other European cities have taken action amid fears that holiday rental sites reduce the number of homes available for long-term residents and push up rents. Declan O'Brien, secretary of the Temple Bar group, says there is a need for clampdown in Dublin, similar to that in Berlin.

According to the website Insideairbnb.com, 1,682 whole apartments or houses in Dublin are currently listed on Airbnb.

Airbnb did not respond to a request for comment.

Irish Independent

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