Tuesday 15 October 2019

'Homeowners need to be incentivised to put homes back into long-term rental sector' - housing charity 

Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

The Government needs to adopt a "carrot and stick" approach if its radical plans to clamp down on professional Airbnb style rentals are to work.

Dr Aideen Hayden, chairperson of the national housing charity, Threshold told the Independent.ie that she believes it will be "difficult" for the Government to regulate Airbnb rentals, because there are many other online platforms that homeowners can advertise their properties on.

“How are you going to monitor all platforms?” she said, pointing out there are over 3,000 Airbnb properties to rent in Ireland.

New rules unveiled this week which will be implemented in June, will target professional Airbnb landlords, and will require an application for commercial planning permission to use a property as a short-term let.

 Dr Hayden said that she welcomed the move, but as well as a stick approach,  "homeowners need to be incentivised" to put their homes back into the longer term rental sector. 

“For example the Government have incentivised large institutional landlords, but small-scale landlords face a greater tax burden and this needs to be examined because it is in the main small scale landlords who house low- income families.”

She said the reason that many landlords are choosing to rent their properties on Airbnb was because the returns exceed profits they would make through the rental market.

“The intent with the new Airbnb measures  is to increase supply,” she said. “But the danger is that more landlords will sell rather than go into the long term letting sector, and houses here are sold from vacant possession, so that will add to the problem.”

She said that Threshold had already seen “reluctant landlords” who had bought at the height of the boom, now selling their properties as they had moved out of negative equity.

Dr Hayden gave the opening address at a conference as part of the national housing charity Threshold's 40 year anniversary in Woodquay Venue today.

The charity is hosting a one-day conference looking at housing policy in Ireland and across Europe, entitled: “Reimagining Ireland’s Future – Housing, Wealth and Inequality” bringing together a range of Irish and European housing and social experts to examine what renting and home ownership could look like in Ireland in the decades to come.

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