Thursday 13 December 2018

Calls to limit time entire home can be let on Airbnb

Stock picture
Stock picture
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

National housing charity Threshold is leading calls for a limit on the number of days a property can be used through Airbnb, after it was revealed that some hosts are earning upwards of €100,000 a year.

Almost 5,000 properties are being let in their entirety for up to €800 a night, according to AirDNA. The market data organisation company found one Dublin property near Trinity College took in €172,227 in the past year alone.

Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty said intervention is necessary in cases where the full property is being rented out constantly through Airbnb.

However, Mr McCafferty thinks there should be balance in this, given Airbnb's importance to homeowners and the tourism industry in Ireland.

He said that Airbnb hosts who are letting out full homes are displacing what would have been previously used as long-term rental accommodation.

"At a time where we need more supply across the board, we're seeing the influence of Airbnb, especially when entire homes are made available," Mr McCafferty said.

"Intervention is necessary in those cases.

"I think we need a limit on the number days in a given year that an entire home can be let for and that can be less stringent limits if it's just a room in a house, because there's less displacement in those cases."

Threshold is waiting for further data to become available in relation to Airbnb before proposing what number of days might suffice.

However, Mr McCafferty said this should be an amount that would discourage hosts from wanting to let their entire home and entice them to use it in the private rental market.

Landlords

Meanwhile, the Peter McVerry Trust wants Airbnb accommodation to comply with rental standards and said that for those landlords using the accommodation as a business-model, they must be registered with their local authority.

Spokesman Francis Doherty said there are cases where landlords are evicting tenants and using the short-term tourism rental model instead.

He said that while the Airbnb figures overall are relatively low, in certain areas they are high. "This is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland. We've no issue with people renting out their home for a couple of weeks at a time," he said.

"People are buying apartments or evicting tenants and turning this into a business. They need to be registered and monitored.

"We can't allow a loophole to not uphold rental standards."

Irish Independent

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