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People letting homes on Airbnb may need licence under new proposals

Concerns have been raised about the effect home-sharing is having on the rental market.

Image: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen

HOUSING MINISTER EOGHAN Murphy has said a new licensing system may be needed to “properly regulate” the home-sharing market.

Speaking today, Murphy said: “A cross-government working group including, amongst others, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Fáilte Ireland as well as my own officials, is working to design and establish an appropriate licensing and regulatory system for short-term lettings.”

Home-sharing services such as Airbnb have become very popular in recent years. In June, Dublin City Council said Airbnb is having an “adverse effect” on the rental market in the capital.

“The rise of the sharing economy has led to a growth in the availability of short-term lettings for tourism purposes, with a corresponding need for an increased supply of rental properties in those same areas.

“This is particularly the case where high housing demand coincides with high tourist potential – such as in Dublin and Cork,” Murphy said.

He added that developing a licensing system “will take more time to develop”.

“In the meantime, I have instructed my department to prepare specific guidance and advice for local authorities, which should issue in the coming weeks, to inform their decision-making on planning applications related to short-term lettings.

Just to be clear, I think that home-sharing – renting a room in your house for overnight guests or letting your whole home while you are on holidays – is a good idea. This can be an important source of income, helping “home-sharers” meet the costs of mortgages, rents or other household expenses – and actually supporting tenure security.

Murphy said the practice also supports tourism, but added: “Home-sharing needs to mean actually home-sharing.

“When landlords who normally provide residential rental accommodation turn to short-term lettings or when investors purchase residential units for the same purpose, these homes are lost to the housing system, and can exacerbate the already tight supply of properties for normal renting.”

Murphy made the comments when discussing rent control rules.

Read: Airbnb criticised for its ‘adverse effect’ on the rental market in Dublin

Read: New Bill seeks to limit Airbnb rentals to six weeks per year

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