Irish Examiner view: Register is welcome move

Short-term lets
Irish Examiner view: Register is welcome move

he advent of short-stay letting, exemplified by AirBnB and similar websites, has revolutionised the accommodation industry, but not always for the better.

The accommodation crisis is now such a many-headed beast that it is impossible to see the single legislative stroke that will solve it, but yesterday saw a welcome step forward. The announcement of a short-term lettings register by ministers Catherine Martin and Darragh O’Brien is at least an attempt to bring order to a sector which is bordering on the chaotic.

The advent of short-stay letting, exemplified by AirBnB and similar websites, has revolutionised the accommodation industry, but not always for the better. Barcelona, for instance, banned short-term rentals unless those renting had a specific licence to do so. At the time the impact on locals’ quality of life by increased numbers of tourists was held up as a reason for the ban, but the city authorities also blamed short-term letting for sharp increases in both rents and house prices, a familiar complaint to Irish ears.

The licensing system in Barcelona now has an equivalent here in the Fáilte Ireland registration system, and if a letting is not registered then the online rental platforms may be fined €5,000 per listing.

Regulating this area more tightly is a positive, as reported here, Fáilte Ireland believes up to 12,000 houses could return to the rental market based on international experience, though that international experience seems to be based on the example of Amsterdam during the pandemic.

In and of itself this move will not resolve the housing crisis; it does not address, for instance, the shockingly high prices being charged by gouging landlords for single rooms, and sometimes to share a single room. Those facing stark uncertainty about their chances of simply having a home next spring or summer will hardly be too exercised by tightening up regulation in the short-letting sector either.

However, it is a move to deal with one of many factors influencing accommodation and housing. There are others which may be more pressing, but this is a start at least.

More in this section

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
Execution Time: 0.238 s