Airbnb property rentals should be banned in Cork city until adequate housing is available for everyone, former Lord Mayor Des Cahill has said.
The Fine Gael city councillor said the rise in short-term Airbnb rentals for holidaymakers has resulted in fewer homes being made available for families caught up in the housing crisis.
Until the severe shortages of properties in the market are addressed, short-term rentals under the Airbnb system should be banned in areas designated as rent pressure zones, Mr Cahill said.
155 full properties were available on Airbnb for short-term rentals yesterday in Cork city, with just 48 properties for people seeking a long-term home.
For room-only rentals, there are 300+ rentals to choose from on Airbnb while on Daft.ie there were just 96 rooms available across Cork city and suburbs.
Mr Cahill said: “It is clear the Government have identified pressure zones and week on week more houses are falling out of the private rental market into Airbnb which is just compounding the problem.”
The city councillor said he thought Airbnb was first invented for renting out rooms in your house but it has grown into a different industry.
“While it has its place, I think in the current situation, when rent is outrageous, in the pressure zones, it should not be allowed.
Mr Cahill said he was open to reviewing the policy at a later date once more accommodation becomes available in the city.
“When in time there is adequate housing built it can be looked at again, but at the moment I wouldn’t be in favour of them at all.”
Mr Cahill has also written to Minister Eoghan Murphy with regards to the issue and highlighted the strict guidelines put in place for Airbnb by cities such as San Francisco, Barcelona and Berlin.
Mr Cahill said: “I would urge you to continue on the success of the pressure zones by implementing legislation preventing short-term rentals in secondary homes unless properties have previous planning permission for such short-term lets.”
In conclusion, Mr Cahill said landlords should be encouraged to provide long-term accommodation instead of short-term lets.