Words: Eva O’Beirne
The Government has not opposed the progress of a Sinn Féin bill which would fine Airbnb and estate agents if they don’t have planning permission for short-term rents.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has indicated that he will bring forward his own legislation in the area.
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin brought his short-term lettings enforcement bill to the Dáil on Tuesday evening, saying that while the bill would not be a “silver bullet”, it is “not acceptable that anyone profits” from not adhering to guidelines.
Under existing rules established in 2019, homeowners can rent out their homes for 90 days in a year, but for no more than two weeks straight at any one time.
Anyone who goes beyond this has to apply to their local authority for change of use permission, which would turn the property into a short-term rental as its primary function.
Eoin Ó Broin believes these rules aren’t being followed, and his bill would ensure spot fines could be issued.
Government representatives have acknowledged the intent of the Sinn Féin bill but promise to deliver more with their own legislation.
Planning Minister Peter Burke said the bill is “well-intentioned” but said that it would not achieve what it sets out to do as the Government has a plan in train.
The website, Inside AirBnB Ireland has revealed that there are over 15,000 entire homes available on AirBnb while only 851 homes are available to rent on Daft.ie as of this month – the lowest number since 2006.
There are 25,515 AirBnB listings in Ireland, 60 per cent of which are entire homes or apartments.
Out of the 15,511 homes listed on AirBnB, nearly 6,000 are part of a “multi-listing”, meaning multiple properties owned by the same person.
AirBnB has increasingly come under fire as the housing crisis continues to squeeze as much rent as possible out of tenants for substandard or cramped housing. According to Daft.ie, the average monthly rent nationally stood at 1,567 euro in the first quarter of this year, up 11.7 per cent since 2021.
This was more than 50 per cent higher than the Celtic Tiger peak of 1,030 euro per month, seen in the first quarter of 2008.
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