Saturday 25 May 2019

'One host, one home' regulations 'to address rental issues'

Stock photo: PA
Stock photo: PA
John Meagher

John Meagher

From June 1, a 'one host, one home' model for short-term letting will apply in areas of the country, including Dublin, where there is deemed to be a high housing demand.

Homeowners who let a second property on a short-term basis - on platforms such as industry leader Airbnb - will no longer be allowed to do so.

Furthermore, an annual cap of 90 days will apply for the renting out of a home and homeowners can only rent out their homes for 14 days or fewer at a time.

The new regulations will require people renting out their homes to register with their local authority.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said it is "unlikely" those renting out second homes on short-term platforms will be granted permits in pressure zones like Dublin.

"The purpose of these changes is to address the longer-term rental issues arising from the use of properties for short-term letting," said a spokesperson for the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

"They aim to bring homes...back into typical long-term renting, to regulate short-term lettings use, and to allow home-sharing to continue."

Enforcement

Housing expert Dr Lorcan Sirr, of the Dublin Institute of Technology, welcomed the move. The Government has gone further than was expected, particularly by restricting the use of the host's own home. The effectiveness of any regulation is only as good as the resources that are put into enforcing it. If there is lacklustre enforcement of the regulations, then they will have limited impact.

"Airbnb is not the cause of the housing shortage, but the extent of its presence, especially where entire apartments are being rented out, is certainly not helpful. The Government is right to step in - albeit belatedly - and mitigate the worst excesses of their impact," he said.

According to Airbnb, "home sharing with rules for the long term is good news for hosts in principle", but it argues that "there is no clear rationale" for the rules being proposed.

"There is no data to support a 90-night restriction on primary residences which are by definition people's homes, and not available on the long-term rental market," it said.

"Banning the use of secondary homes is also unlikely to significantly boost Ireland's housing stock."

Irish Independent

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