Dublin City Council takes action over 25 ‘Airbnb-style’ rentals

‘Madness’ we are putting homeless in hotels and tourists in houses, says Patrick Costello

Temple Bar is one of the places where “Airbnb-style” lettings may be depriving the city of much-needed housing supply. Photograph: Fran Veale

Dublin City Council is investigating 25 suspected cases of homes being illegally used as Airbnb or other holiday rental accommodation.

The council’s planning enforcement department is taking action in relation to complaints that the homes, most of which are apartments, are being used as short-term rentals without planning permission.

The council has to date received 36 complaints in relation to unauthorised short-term lettings. In 11 cases, the planners found there were no breaches of the planning rules, or that short-term letting had stopped. However in another 25 investigations are still on going.

Several of the complaints relate to apartments in Temple Bar.

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An Bord Pleanála last year upheld a council decision that an apartment in Temple Bar had been changed from residential use to short-term letting and that change was not exempt from requiring planning permission.

The case was the first of its kind taken to the board in relation to the use of homes as Airbnb lets in the city. While the board’s ruling applied only to the specific apartment, it has been seen as a test case by homeowners unhappy with the use of their neighbours’ properties as holiday accommodation.

Housing supply

Green Party councillor Patrick Costello said the proliferation of Airbnb or "Airbnb-style" rentals was depriving the city of much-needed housing supply.

“It is absolute madness that are we putting homeless families in hotels and tourists into houses. This is a completely backwards situation.”

Some of the investigations had been ongoing since 2015 but had yet to be resolved, he said, indicating a need for more resources to be dedicated to enforcement.

"Proper enforcement of 'change of use' aspects of planning permission must be used to control excessive Airbnb-style rentals which are reducing housing supply. The chief executive of Dublin City Council must ensure there is adequate staff to ensure that no one is breaking the law and as a result reducing availability of housing."

Three investigations relate to one apartment complex near Christchurch in Dublin 8, while another two apartments are in a single complex in Temple Bar. The remaining investigations are in relation to single apartments or houses. Six are in Temple Bar, five are in Dublin 7, and four are in the Ranelagh-Rathmines area.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times