Low compliance under laws restricting Airbnb lettings

Updated / Wednesday, 19 Feb 2020 15:48

Of the cases investigated so far 87 are classified as "resolved"

By John Kilraine

The latest figures on enforcement of new laws restricting Airbnb and other short-term letting agencies show a low compliance rate among property owners.

Only 249 property owners in Dublin city have come forward to register with the council even though there are 7,218 Airbnb properties in the area according to the monitoring website Inside Airbnb.

Owner occupiers in rent pressure zones like Dublin city are allowed to let out a room in their home - or the entire property for up to 90 days a year - if they send in a Form 15 Notification.

However, there have been just 223 applications involving short term lettings received from owner occupiers since the law came into operation last July according to a council report.

Those who want to let out property that is not their principal residence are required to apply for planning permission and are warned it is likely to be refused.

Only 16 planning applications in Dublin city have been made with 13 of them either refused, withdrawn or declared invalid and the other three are pending.

The city council has now set a target of 1,000 cases a year to be investigated by the Short Term Lettings Unit which has 11 staff including four enforcement officers.

A report to the council's Planning Committee states that the unit is examining online platforms, following up complaints from members of the public and making inspections.

So far it has opened 395 investigations with 87 cases "resolved" which is understood to mean that the property has been removed from short-term letting websites.

There are no references to criminal prosecutions which can be made under the new laws with maximum penalties of €5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. 

According to Inside Airbnb out of the 7,218 properties in Dublin city, more than half involve entire houses or apartments and nearly 45% appear to a number of properties owned by the same host.