Housing Minister plans clampdown on short-term lets amid housing and rental crisis

The housing minister is to bring forward proposals to clamp down on Airbnb lettings and people who rent their homes out on a short-term basis.

A new licencing regime for homeowners who rent out rooms or entire properties to tourists is expected to be among the measures which Eoghan Murphy will bring forward for the Government’s approval.

Some 640,000 people have used Airbnb properties in Ireland this summer alone and opposition parties have expressed concern that these short-term lets are exacerbating the housing and rental crisis.

The Department of Housing has confirmed Mr Murphy will bring proposals to the Government next month to regulate the sector.

The measures are expected to broadly reflect the recommendations of the working group on short-term letting which handed its report to the minister earlier this summer.

In a letter sent to Sinn Féin housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin, it was confirmed Mr Murphy will bring forward plans to Government in September “that will provide further clarity on the next steps and timeline to progress the matter in facilitating a more managed approach to short-term tourist lettings around the country”.

The Oireachtas housing committee has already carried out an examination of Airbnb lettings and suggested the introduction of a two-level regulatory regime which would involve strict regulations targeted at the entire property.

These regulations would be underpinned by a licensing system and would require letting platforms, such as Airbnb, to register hosts with local authorities.

The working group on short-term letting also recommended a new licensing system for short-term lettings to oversee the letting of accommodation within homes.

This would aim to protect the existing stock of residential property, in particular, long-term rental accommodation, in areas of high demand.

Mr Ó Broin said: “The lack of regulation for short-term lets is another symptom of a dysfunctional housing system. Cities in countries across the world have moved to regulate the sector.

“The prevalence of short-term lets in high demand urban areas such as Dublin 1, Dublin 2, Dublin 7, and Dublin 8 is putting further pressure on the rental sector and adding to the dwindling supply of long-term rental properties,” he said.

Labour senator Kevin Humphreys said regulations similar to those seen in European countries should be introduced here.

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