The Department of Tourism hopes to make up to 12,000 properties available through a new registration system for homes that are advertised for short-term lets through online platforms.

Property owners who do not comply will face an initial penalty of €300, which could be increased to €5,000 in the district court, while online platforms could also face penalties of up to €5,000.

Under the new rules, the properties will be required to have a valid registration number with Fáilte Ireland.

The proposals are expected to increase the number of homes available for long-term housing.

The plan will focus on accommodation that can be rented for short periods of up 21 nights.

Homeowners will have to register online and confirm they have planning permission where needed.

Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said "the establishment of the register is another step in achieving our short-term letting objectives".

"There are currently 30,000 short-term tourism letting properties and 60-70% of them are full houses or apartments. It's estimated 12,000 properties could return to the traditional long-term rental market through this measure."

Fáilte Ireland Chief Executive Paul Kelly said the system is simple and user-friendly, and described it as "good news for housing and good news for tourism".

He said he is confident they have the staff in place to police the system.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien said legislation giving effect to the regulations will come before the Dáil in the first quarter of next year, adding that the system will bring "more transparency to the sector".

"It is similar to other jurisdictions as it places the onus on the platforms, and it will complement other planning regulations."

The new legislation is part of the Government's Housing for All strategy of making better use of existing housing.

Airbnb welcomed the proposed registration system for short-term rental properties.

In a statement, the property hosting website said it is in favour of measures to support responsible hosting in Ireland and that it wants to make "existing home sharing enforceable and effective".

It said it recognises the historic housing challenges facing Ireland and it wants to be part of the solution.

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The Irish Self-Catering Federation (ISCF) also welcomed the introduction of the register and the six-month transitionary period.

"However, we are concerned that the management of the planning requirements across the board haven't been fully resolved or considered," said Maire Ní Mhurchú, chair of the ISCF.

"Every property undertaking registration (approx. 30k) will now require planning permission."

"We ask for clarity for our members, many of whom have been in business for over seven years, and we will continue to negotiate with government on their behalf over the next three-month pre-legislative period."

Additional reporting: Micheál Lehane