News & Media

Failure of weak FG rules on Airbnb short term lets no surprise

2 January 2020

Statement by Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has said the revelations in today's Irish Independent shows the failure so far of new rules to limit short term 'AirBnB' type lets but warned it was no surprise as problems with the legislation were pointed out as it went through the Oireachtas, and he called for increased resources for more rapid and stricter enforcement.

Senator Humphreys said:

"The massive rise in short term lets by over 1,000 in a year in our major cities is unacceptable with so many people needing homes, and rents continuing to rise. I am deeply disappointed but not surprised that the model of regulation pursued by the Minister has so far failed.

"For nearly four years now I have been campaigning for action to regulate short term lets as the use of homes for tourists is directly contributing to the rental crisis and homelessness problem in our capital city and has now spread to Cork, Galway and elsewhere. Six months into the new regulations, the report in today's Irish Independent shows that the law isn't working properly yet.

"When these rules were brought in by the Minister I warned that he needed to ensure councils were adequately resourced to begin enforcement straight away. I also warned that the Fine Gael law would be very difficult to enforce due to how it was drafted, as the inspector would have to witness the short term let. What Labour had proposed instead was a desktop exercise to identify illegal short term lets and enforce the law that way.

"There has also been a very slow resourcing of enforcement. The new regulations on short term lets are in effect since 1st of July. Yet the extra resources were slow to come in, and staff then had to be hired, trained and put in place. The report today says there won't be a crackdown for a few more months, but in the meantime the law is being flouted. 

“I want the Minister to explain why there isn't a crackdown underway now. Soon there will be a general election and you can be sure the new Dáil will have to revisit these flawed laws."