Landlords need permission for Airbnb lets, Minister confirms

Simon Coveney says rentals through the website should be subject to B&B standards

Landlords are not allowed to use Airbnb for the short-term letting of their properties unless they get the proper permissions, the Minister for Housing has confirmed. File photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Landlords are not allowed to use Airbnb for the short-term letting of their properties unless they get the proper permissions, the Minister for Housing has confirmed. File photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

 

Landlords are not allowed to use Airbnb for the short-term letting of their properties unless they get planning permission for bed and breakfast or hotel status, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has confirmed.

Mr Coveney said landlords should be treated differently to somebody who is allowing someone on holiday to stay in their home for two or three weeks through Airbnb.

He said the planning enforcement distinction made by An Bord Pleanála “is a good way of dealing with this [issue] without having to go through legislative change”.

He was speaking during a Seanad debate on Dáil amendments to the controversial Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Bill, which will enforce a 4 per cent rent cap in Dublin and Cork for the next three years.

The Bill was passed in the Seanad without a vote. It now goes to the President for an early signature, in lieu of the standard five days between a Bill’s passage and the President signing it into law.

During the debate, the Minister said Airbnb “should not be facilitating people to use properties that are not their homes effectively as B&Bs, without having to go through the procedures that every other B&B must go through, including standards, inspections and tax treatment”.

Mr Coveney was responding to Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys, who had highlighted a “huge migration in the Dublin rent pressure zone from apartments for long-term letting into Airbnb”.

Rent cap

Meanwhile, a Labour motion in the Seanad to link increases in rent to the consumer price index was rejected by 22 votes to 11. Fianna Fáil abstained from the vote.

Earlier, claims that Fine Gael is the party for landlords were rejected by Fine Gael Senator Paudie Coffey.

He said the Government’s housing and rental legislation “proves that we are working to bring certainty to renters around the country and to ensure that their rental accommodation is sustainable.

“My party has been charged with being a landlords’ party, but I certainly do not agree.”