Dublin City Council refuses permission for Airbnb-style lets in city centre

Friends First had applied to use six apartments for short-term letting

Dublin City Council has delivered an emphatic "no" to property owners seeking planning permission to change the use of their properties to Airbnb-style lettings in the city centre.

The council has refused planning permission to Friends First Life Assurance DAC for the temporary use of six apartments at 43-44 Clarendon Street off Grafton Street for short-term letting.

Friends First said it had discerned a demand for short-term letting of the apartments as they were located in the heart of the city, surrounded by hotels, cafes, restaurants and shopping streets.

However, the city council planner’s report said planning permission for this purpose would result “in an unwanted precedent for similar development in the area which may then result in the further unacceptable loss of long-term residential rental properties in the locality”.


The council’s planner’s report stated there were “serious reservations” over the planning application.

The council also acknowledged the need to balance the competing demands of the city centre, including the need to provide additional tourism accommodation. It concluded, however, that the proposal “would result in existing residential stock being lost to the residential housing system, meaning less long-term and secure accommodation will be available to the growing number of families and people who need it”.

Rent pressure zone

The planner’s report pointed out that the area is a rent pressure zone, where is there is high demand for long-term residential rental properties.

Consultants for Friends First said the council had refused a previous change-of-use application for the apartments last November and the impetus for the fresh application was the lack of progression of regulation and policy around short-term letting.

The consultants said that since 2016, there had not been a single planning permission for the change of use of apartments to short-term letting in the city council area, despite the rate of web and central hosted short-term holiday lets exponentially increasing.

Friends First now has the option of appealing the council decision to An Bord Pleanála.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times