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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# Housing Crisis
Government to introduce strict new controls on short-term lettings
Opposition TDs have described the move as a big mistake.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 11th 2022, 2:18 PM

THE GOVERNMENT IS set to introduce new controls on short-term lettings in a bid to increase the number of properties on the rental market.

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien said the new controls would result in more homes returning to the long-term rental market in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) where rents are highest and where people have the greatest difficulty finding affordable housing.

RPZs are areas in which landlords are only allowed to increase rents each year in line with the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices.

The new rules, if enacted, will mean that from 1 September, online platforms will not be able to advertise properties in RPZs which do not have the right planning permission.

Right now, those people who wish to let their homes short-term must have the right planning permission to do so. 

O’Brien said that non-compliance with these provisions will be an offence for both the individual property owners and the online platforms.

He said: “We know that significant numbers of properties have been withdrawn from the long-term rental market in recent years and diverted for use as short-term lettings, negatively impacting on the supply and availability of private residential rental accommodation with associated knock-on implications for rental prices.”

Criticism

The charity Threshold welcomed the Cabinet’s decision, but warned that the plans need to be fully enforced and better regulated than they have been to date.

“We still have concerns for areas outside of RPZs where short-term lets might distort the local housing market in a significant way, as they are doing in some places right now,” Threshold chief executive John Mark McCafferty said.

“While this legislation is not a silver bullet for the supply of homes in the private rented sector, it will help in returning homes back to longer term rental, which is critical right now.”

The decision to limit stricter controls on short-term lets solely to Rent Pressure Zones has been described as “a huge mistake” by the Opposition.

Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan said his party has been calling for stricter controls for many years.

“The Minister must explain why new controls on short-term lets will only apply in Rent Pressure Zones – and not in the 77 local electoral areas around the country that are not currently designated as Rent Pressure Zones.

“There are people becoming homeless in areas which are not designated as Rent Pressure Zones due to rising rents and a lack of supply of rental properties. Why is the Government ignoring these areas when it comes to regulating short term lets?

“Given the way the rules are constructed there are parts of the country that will never be classed as Rent Pressure Zones. As a result, they will never benefit from the proposed changes.”

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