The Government could make a decision within the next ten days to further restrict the short-term letting of houses and apartments.

The emergency move to suspend short-term letting is aimed at making more homes available for those seeking long-term tenancies.

It comes against the backdrop of increasing rents and a rise in the number of people who are homeless.

Advice from the Attorney General is expected to be ready in just over a week's time.

It will confirm if the Government can quickly change the rules around properties being rented out for very short periods.

There is some degree of confidence in the Coalition that it can swiftly proceed with the measure.

However, the advice may warn that such a change could only happen after a three month lead-in period.

Any short lettings after the change is introduced would require the permission of a local authority.

Property owners would still be able to rent their own private homes for a short period under the proposed changes.

The Government is also aiming to have an online registration system in place by the end of the year which will regulate short-term lettings.

Figures compiled by the housing charity Threshold showed that just under 4,000 properties were available for short-term accommodation in Cork, Limerick, Dublin and Galway at the end of last year.

In 2019, a regulation was introduced which required the permission of a local authority if a property was being rented out on a short-term basis for more than 90 days a year in a rent pressure zone.

However, the opposition parties have said the rules are not being strictly enforced.