Authorities get power to inspect Airbnb rule-flouters from July
The Department of Housing has emphasised that planning authorities will have the power to carry out physical inspections of properties to identify those flouting regulations for short-term lets on sites such as Airbnb.
Homeowners in rent pressure zones who wish to rent out a room in a property that is not their primary residence for over 90 days will now require planning permission from their local authority.
The department issued a circular this week to local councils ahead of the introduction of the new regulations which come into force from July.
It outlined that the local authority must adhere to its "statutory obligations and powers" under the Planning and Development Act and underlined the importance of "taking a proactive approach to enforcement".
"It will be essential that the relevant planning authorities actively implement and enforce the new provisions utilising the powers available to them," the department said in the letter.
The letter, seen by the Irish Independent, said authorities can review available information online; follow up on complaints received from the public; and carry out physical inspections of properties.
The department said extra funding would be made available for the increased workload for authorities.
Homeowners must apply for planning permission in the normal way and serious planning code breaches incur significant fines and imprisonment of up to two years.
Representatives for two councils told the Irish Independent they have received a small number of queries from members of the public with respect to short-term lettings.