Airbnb host claims he sub-lets 40 rented rooms in Dublin

Seamus Murphy said hosting a lucrative business and ‘not rocket science’

 Airbnb visitors to  Dublin this month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Airbnb visitors to Dublin this month. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

A man has claimed he is sub-letting 40 rooms on Airbnb that he has rented from landlords around Dublin.

Seamus Murphy told RTÉ’s Liveline programme that all the landlords he rents the rooms from are aware they are being sub-let to others. The rooms are in apartments and houses and located in the Drumcondra area, he said.

Mr Murphy, who said he worked as a lecturer, said he does not rent out rooms in his own house because his wife does not want strangers there.

When asked how he managed to accumulate so many properties over the last two and a half years, he told presenter Joe Duffy “it’s not rocket science”.

He described being an Airbnb host as a “very lucrative business” but an “absolute mountain of work”.

When it was suggested to him that the number of Airbnb properties was contributing to the housing crisis, Mr Murphy replied: “There are plenty of empty houses in Longford”.

He claimed the earnings from Airbnb are double the rent he pays, but that he had to pay bills relating to the upkeep of the Airbnb rooms.

‘Pristine state’

Mr Murphy claimed landlords like what he does because he leaves the properties in a “pristine state”, as Airbnb is very competitive.

His ex-landlord Angela Black told the programme that she was not aware her apartment was being sub-let on Airbnb.

She discovered through a neighbour that it was going on without her permission as there had been a fight in the street involving some Airbnb clients.

“This was the first I discovered it was being let for Airbnb. I didn’t even know what Airbnb was,” Ms Black said.

She had been under the impression that her apartment was being let out to a single tenant as a normal lease.

Mr Murphy denied that she was not aware of the purpose of the let, which he had secured through an agent. “That’s not my fault. I was of the opinion she knew,” she said.

He has now paid up his rent and handed back the property to Ms Black.

Last week An Bord Pleanála ruled that the continuous use of an apartment in Temple Bar for the purposes of Airbnb constituted a breach of the planning permission.

The owners of a Temple Bar apartment that has been banned from use as an Airbnb holiday home could seek planning permission to run the property as a short-term let, Dublin City Council has said.

The board’s ruling upheld a council decision made earlier this year that planning permission was required to use the apartment for short-term letting.

However, the council has said there was nothing in the board’s ruling to prohibit the owners from now seeking permission to use the property as a full-time holiday home, and that any application would be judged on its own merits.