Murphy: Tourism economy shouldn't be put above needs of people in emergency accommodation

Murphy: Tourism economy shouldn't be put above needs of people in emergency accommodation

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has defended new laws on short-term letting which will come into effect from Monday.

A 90-day cap on short term letting has been criticised by house-sharing website Airbnb, among others, who claim that the measure could cause a potential loss of 82,700 tourism nights in Dublin and 135,000 across Ireland.

Mr Murphy said that while tourism is important “we shouldn't put the tourism economy above the needs of people and children in emergency accommodation”.

“Essentially what the Government believes is that home sharing - where you let out a room in your home to a tourist or maybe your entire home, when you're on holidays yourself - is a good thing,” Mr Murphy told RTÉ’s News at One.

That aspect of the shared economy is very positive. It allows people to earn a little bit of extra money that helps them pay their own mortgage or their own bills.

"But it doesn't impact upon the total amount of homes that are available for people to live and work in.

"What we are effectively outlawing in rent pressure zones - and they are primarily in Dublin, Cork and Galway at the moment - is where you might have taken a second property out of the normal rental markets, the long-term rental markets, the 12 months' leases type of arrangement, and you're now using that on a short term basis."

“You can't do that anymore. So if you're doing this at all, what we're asking people to do, the people who rent a room in their house to tourists or their own house for two, three, four weeks in the year, they need to register with a local authority to let them know they're doing that.

"They can continue to do that, that's fine. But there's a 90 day cap with all of their home in a year.

"But where it's a second property, you can no longer do this,” he said.

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