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Council is probing 395 Airbnb-style properties amid letting crackdown

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More than 9,400 properties in Dublin are listed on Airbnb. Stock image

More than 9,400 properties in Dublin are listed on Airbnb. Stock image

More than 9,400 properties in Dublin are listed on Airbnb. Stock image

No planning permission has been granted allowing property owners to use a non-principal residence for short-term lets since regulations were introduced last July.

Figures published by Dublin City Council also show only 16 providers of Airbnb-style accommodation have applied for such permission.

The council said eight applicants had been refused, while three were withdrawn and another two declared invalid.

A decision is pending in relation to the other three applications.

As part of the crackdown on the unauthorised use of residential units as tourist acc- ommodation, the council said it had opened investigations into 395 properties, with 87 cases resolved to date.

Warning letters and enforcement notices have been issued to many property owners, while one prosecution has been initiated.

Since last July 1, the regulations have applied to any property within a rent press- ure zone that is not the principal private residence of the owner.

They require any such property to obtain planning permission for it to be used as short-term tourist accommodation.

Anyone found offering short-term letting of such properties without authorisation is liable to a maximum fine of €5,000 and/or six months' imprisonment if convicted in the district court.

Anyone continuing to offer such accommodation after conviction faces a daily fine of €1,500.

There are no restrictions on homeowners who want to rent out part of the property that is their principal private residence, while they are resident at the time of the letting, but they are required to register with the council.

Absence

A homeowner who wishes to rent out their principal private residence in their absence can do so for a maximum of 90 days a year with a limit of 14 days for a single letting.

They are also obliged to register the property with the local authority.

A total of 315 notifications to register have been received by the council to date.

The local authority has estimated it costs €400,000 a year to enforce the regulations.

It is believed there are more than 9,400 properties in Dublin listed on Airbnb, with nearly half offering the use of an entire house or apartment.

The council said it had adopted the policy of refusing planning permission for any development that would result in the loss of permanent residential units within designated rent pressure zones.

An Airbnb spokesperson said the company was busy promoting the new regulations to hosts and was continuing to talk with all levels of government on how awareness could be boosted.

The spokesperson said Air- bnb's co-founder Nathan Blech- arcyk had written to Dublin City Council in December as well as to leaders of other European cities to express his support for ongoing collaboration.

"Cities can, should and do have their own rules for home sharing and we have worked with governments across the globe on measures to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay their fair share of tax," Mr Blecharcyk said.


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