Cian O'Callaghan TD

Overdue regulation of short-term lets must include proper enforcement

The Government’s long overdue announcement of plans to regulate the short-term letting market must include a nationwide extension of Rent Pressure Zones, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s Housing spokesperson, said:

“With homelessness numbers, house prices and rents all at record levels, it beggars belief that the Government is taking so long to regulate the short-term letting industry.

“Under proposals signalled today, properties advertised for short-term letting, including on online platforms such as Airbnb, will need to be registered with Fáilte Ireland. This will apply to suppliers of accommodation offered for periods of up to and including 21 nights.

“On the night of the census there were 35,000 empty rental homes across the country – many of which are short-term lets operating without any planning permission. These homes need to be urgently returned to the long-term rental market.

“These new regulations will be limited by the Government’s inadequate Rent Pressure Zone system. The current definition of a Rent Pressure Zone leaves significant portions of the population unprotected from astronomical rent increases and allows an unregulated short-term letting market to continue unchecked.

“It is clear that the housing crisis is not limited to the towns and cities that are covered by Rent Pressure Zones, so it is wholly unacceptable that rural communities and smaller towns should be left behind. The Government needs to expand Rent Pressure Zones to cover the entire State and ensure that the necessary powers and resources are deployed to enforce these measures.

“A heightened sense of urgency is also required. We have had numerous announcements in the past from this Government about the regulation of short-term letting. Effective regulation, along with proper enforcement, must be introduced urgently without any more delays.”

December 7, 2022

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