Airbnb insists home hosting is not taking housing off market

Firm responds to suggestion short-term lettings exceed homes available long-term

Holiday lettings: If other agencies, such as Booking.com or the Key Collection are included with the 1,748 on AirBnB’s website, the overall number in Dublin exceeds 2,000. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Holiday lettings: If other agencies, such as Booking.com or the Key Collection are included with the 1,748 on AirBnB’s website, the overall number in Dublin exceeds 2,000. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Homeowners who rent out their houses for short-term holidays are not taking housing off the market, the company Airbnb has said.

It was responding to research which suggested the number of properties available to rent in Dublin for short-term holidays exceeds the number available for long-term letting.

There are 1,748 apartments or houses available for holiday lettings in the capital on the Airbnb website.

If other agencies, such as Booking. com or the Key Collection are included, the overall number exceeds 2,000.

There are 1,276 residential listings for Dublin on Rent.ie compared to more than 5,000 apartments or houses available for long-term letting in the city between 2008 and 2012.

An analysis undertaken by InsideAirbnb.com shows that 73 per cent of the holiday lets advertised on the Airbnb website are available for more than 90 days a year.

The Temple Bar Residents Association said this week the figures “suggest the majority of these premises are operating as commercial concerns”.

Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan, who is the chairman of the Dublin City Council’s housing committee, claimed the issue was contributing to high rents and a lack of suitable accommodation in the city.

A spokeswoman for Airbnb said yesterday its hosts were “regular people who share their homes and use the money they earn to pay the bills”.

“They aren’t taking housing off the market – the typical host in the Ireland earns an additional €2,600 by sharing space in their home for 46 nights a year.”

Airbnb claims its hosts’ income and visitor spending here is worth €202 million. It says travellers stay an average of 2.9 nights and spend €561 per stay.

Local authorities, meanwhile, insist that they have no role in policing how people use private homes.

Planning permission

South Dublin County Council

“Essentially the use is for residential purposes and only if, for example, residential use is changed to commercial use, as in a shop or other commercial activity, is planning permission required.”

Dublin City Council said there was nothing under the Planning Act that precluded the use of a residence for short-term purposes.

Fingal County Council said it investigates alleged unauthorised uses and takes enforcement action as necessary.