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New Housing Minister must move on full time AirBnB Rentals

19 June 2017

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Senator Kevin Humphreys has welcomed the move by Fingal County Council to take enforcement action against those using their properties as full time AirBnB rentals without appropriate permission. The Labour Party spokesperson for Dublin has called on the new Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to take action with new legislation and also ensure local authorities enforce planning laws. Over 2,500 properties in Dublin City alone are engaged in full time, short term lets.

Senator Humphreys said:

"I have been campaigning for a year now for a crackdown on the illegal full time, short term rental of properties without appropriate planning permission through AirBnB and the other 15 rental platforms operating in Dublin.

"The last Minister for Housing, and Dublin local authorities have done little to address this growing problem. The new Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy must now take immediate action by changing the law, which would help alleviate the chronic housing shortage in Dublin.

"As a first step, our planning laws must be enforced. Light touch regulation of our laws is not good enough.

"Websites such as AirBnB that offer properties for short term lease on a full time basis should also be required to ensure that the appropriate planning permission is in place before allowing the ad to be placed.

"We are in the crazy situation in Dublin where homes are being used as hotels without planning permission, while hotels are used as homes for families forced out of the rental market.

"I discovered through Freedom of Information requests that only 35 enforcement orders have been issued across Dublin for those engaged in short term leasing without the correct planning over the last two years.

"The move by Fingal County Council against a Malahide property and two others is welcome, but figures I have compiled show over 2,500 properties in Dublin alone on AirBnB are being let full time, with no appropriate planning permission. This is before taking into account other websites operating in the market.

"This has exacerbated the homeless situation as property owners see the potential to make large short term returns on apartments, due to the lack of enforcement of our laws. These are properties that could be housing families. Hotels and B&B's that observe the law and pay the appropriate taxes are also being discriminated against.

"It's time for the new Minister to take action."