Irish government announces new Airbnb restrictions amid housing crisis

Edmund HeaphyFinance and news reporter
Yahoo Finance UK
Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

With Ireland confronting a ballooning housing crisis, the Irish government on Thursday (25 October) announced new regulations designed to discourage certain types of short-term letting popularised by Airbnb.

While the move will not restrict homeowners from renting out rooms within their own residences, landlords will from June 2019 only be allowed to sub-let an entire house for less than 90 days in a given year, unless they seek planning permission.

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Where a person owns a second property and intends to rent it out in a short-term capacity, they will no longer be allowed to do so unless the property is already permitted to be used for tourism or short-term letting purposes.

“The purpose of these changes to the planning code is primarily to address the longer-term rental issues arising from the use of properties for short-term letting,” the Irish Department of Housing said in a statement.

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The department noted that the rise of “homesharing” has seen some professional landlords withdraw houses and apartments from the long-term rental market, and instead let them on a short-term basis.

“This is an unregulated activity, it is not homesharing as it is typically understood, and in a time of housing shortage it is unacceptable that rental homes would be withdrawn from the letting market, particularly in our cities and large towns where rents are high and supply is still constrained,” it said.

In recent months, Ireland has announced a series of measures, including a €1.25bn ($1.42bn) Land Development Agency that seeks to aid the building of 150,000 homes over the next 20 years, to tackle rising property prices and homelessness.

A key body that aims to bolster Ireland’s economic competitiveness warned in June that the housing crisis had the potential to “indirectly impact on enterprise costs and influence the competitiveness of Irish goods and services.”

Almost 80% of senior hiring managers from large firms said that Dublin’s high housing costs were the single greatest handicap to living and working in the city.

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