Another initiative to tackle the ‘housing’ crisis sees the Department of Housing (DHPLG) announce new regulations for short-term lettings, such as Airbnb. These new regulations put restrictions on owners of buy-to-let properties and come into effect from Summer 2019. Landlords of such properties will require a ‘change of use’ planning permission from Local Authorities if they want to use their rental houses or apartments for short-term lets, for more than 3-months of the year.
Local councils will have the power to refuse such permissions in areas where there is a high housing demand. Minster for Housing Eoghan Murphy has said it is “unlikely that permission would be granted” in these areas.
The regulations will not affect properties already classified for tourism, i.e. bed and breakfast accommodation, owner-occupiers when letting rooms in their principle private residence or long-term ‘rent a room’ schemes, such as student digs.
Only owners of second properties will be restricted by the 90-day limit per calendar year. The regulations have been introduced as popularity of short-term lets has resulted in landlords withdrawing their houses and apartments from the traditional private rental market.
A recent report showed that of the available homes to rent in Dublin, over 53% were being listed as short-term tourists lets on sites like Airbnb, rather than to those seeking long-term tenancies.
Property owners found to be in breach of regulations will risk criminal prosecution with extra resources being provided in Dublin City Council to help enforce the rules.
DHPLG anticipates that by introducing these regulations, the number of rental properties for long-term renting in the traditional sense will increase.