Sunday 21 July 2019

Landlords face new Airbnb ban from next June

  • Landlords facing a new Airbnb ban from next summer
  • Landlords will effectively be banned from renting properties on a short-term basis in Dublin and other areas of high housing demand
  • Housing Minister called on to bring rules into place before June 2019
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Frank McGrath
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Frank McGrath
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Landlords are facing a new Airbnb ban from next summer.

They will effectively be banned from renting their properties on a short-term basis in Dublin and other areas of high housing demand from June.

Professional landlords will have to secure a commercial planning permission to lease their properties on a short-term basis on sites including Airbnb - which is unlikely to be granted in areas of high housing demand.

Measures to be announced by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy today will mean that only the principal residence, or family home, can be rented on a short-term basis.

But owners will have to tell the local authority that they intend to avail of an exemption allowing them to 'homeshare'.

In addition, they will not be allowed to rent for more than 14 days at a time, and for longer than 90 days a year.

The rules will come into force on June 1 next, with Mr Murphy saying that outside the family home, only properties with permission to operate as a tourist or short-term let could be used for this purpose.

This permission was unlikely to be granted in areas with a housing shortage.

"Planning permission for a change of use to short-term let can be sought and it will be up to each local planning authority to grant permissions, based on guidance that will issue from the Department of Housing," Mr Murphy said.

"In areas of high housing demand and, taking into account other relevant factors such as cumulative impacts, it is unlikely that permission would be granted."

The rules, which will be examined by the Dáil Housing Committee, come amid concern about the impact that short-term lettings are having on the rental market.

Hundreds of properties in high-demand areas of Dublin and other cities have been removed from rental stock, as the returns from short-term lettings are far more lucrative.

Last year, it emerged that at least a dozen hosts were earning more than €100,000 a year. Last month, the Revenue Commissioners revealed it had written to 12,000 homeowners to "remind" them to include rental income on their tax returns.

Dublin City Council will be given additional resources to compile registers of properties and monitor enforcement. Those not complying are subject to criminal prosecutions.

The changes will not affect holiday lets, long-term flexible lettings that apply to the corporate market, or B&Bs.

Where a property owner intends to rely on exemptions, every year they must inform their local council, which will use the information to monitor the cumulative impact of short-term lets. The Government wants the changes agreed by the end of the year.

Reaction

Labour senator Kevin Humphreys welcomed the news - but called on the Housing Minister to bring the restrictions in before June 2019.

"We shouldn't have to wait another 8 months when stricter laws could deliver an extra 3,000 homes now," he said in a statement released today.

"After two long years of continual pressure and campaigning from members of the Oireachtas like myself, I am glad that Minister Murphy has announced new restrictions on short lets. However, the delay of the implementation is worrying.

"We have just received new homeless figures yesterday which show 171 more without a home since last month, that’s nearly 6 people every day, 3829 of them are children.

"How many more people will be driven out of their rented accommodation between now and next June due to short-term lets?"

Irish Independent

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