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Saturday 10 December 2016

Airbnb: ‘We’ll work with minister to clarify home-sharing rules’

Published 22/10/2016 | 02:30

Housing Minister Simon Coveney has vowed to clamp down on people using Airbnb as a regular and significant source of income Picture: Bloomberg
Housing Minister Simon Coveney has vowed to clamp down on people using Airbnb as a regular and significant source of income Picture: Bloomberg

Airbnb has confirmed it will cooperate fully with Government efforts to introduce new guidelines for property owners using the online rental service.

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Housing Minister Simon Coveney has vowed to clamp down on people using the website as a regular and significant source of income.

He wants to "clarify" at what point a residence become a commercial enterprise as a result of using Airbnb.

It comes after An Bord Pleanála ruled that the owners of an apartment in Dublin's Temple Bar breached planning laws by consistently using it for short-term letting, to the point where its annual turnover was €80,000.

Airbnb has now said it is open to discussions with the minister on how to devise suitable "home-sharing rules".

"Just as rules changed when we went from the horse and cart to the car, regulations that have been in place for decades sometimes need updating and clarifying to acknowledge new innovations and the opportunities they provide," a spokesperson for Airbnb said.

"We always welcome the opportunity to work with policymakers on clear home-sharing rules that make communities stronger.

"We know hosts want to follow the rules and we want to help. Already we have worked with policymakers in Europe and around the world on clear home sharing rules - including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Milan and Lisbon - and we look forward to doing the same in Ireland."

An Taisce has called on Dublin City Council to seek enforcement action on all residential accommodation that has been converted to "full-time holiday letting units" without the relevant planning permission.

It said the ruling by An Bord Pleanála this week "establishes a clear precedent".

Charles Stanley-Smith of An Taisce said "At a time when a major housing shortage and rent hikes are causing so much difficulty it is important that affordable residential accommodation in the capital city is protected.

"Dublin City Council has the clear responsibility to enforce proper planning on other conversions to full time holiday letting."

A study by Airbnb found the average Irish homeowner using its service earns €2,600 annually by sharing their space for 40 nights.

Irish Independent

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