New rules will force 12,000 homes out of short lets market, Minister says

Catherine Martin tells Green Party event that property owners who fail to comply will face sanctions

About 12,000 homes will be forced from the short-term lettings market under new rules that will introduce sanctions for those who fail to comply, Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin has said.

Ms Martin, the Green Party deputy leader, told the party’s convention in Athlone that she would bring proposals to Government soon for “robust legislation” to put in place a new short-term letting register which will be operated by Fáilte Ireland.

“Property owners and online booking platforms offering short-term accommodation will be required to comply in a transparent way with the new system or otherwise face sanctions,” she told the convention on Saturday evening.

It’s understood the new rules will mean anyone offering accommodation for up to and including 21 nights will need to be registered with Fáilte Ireland. Platforms offering short-term lets will be required to check property details and only advertise properties with a valid registration number.

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All short-term and holiday lettings will be required to register with Fáilte Ireland via an online portal that will confirm whether they have the necessary planning permissions. The tourism body has estimated the measure will take 12,000 full-unit properties – meaning houses or apartments – out of short-term platforms.

The agency said there was about 27,000 properties with 130,000 beds in the State being advertised on online platforms, with 20,000 of them thought to cover full properties. Sources indicated that the plan is to have the legislation through the Oireachtas and the required European Union notification procedures in place by the end of March next year.

In her speech, Ms Martin said the Green Party in Government had “remained focused on the urgent action needed to tackle climate change and to protect our natural world”. She said she was “delighted” to welcome back Green Party TDs Patrick Costello and Neasa Hourigan who were readmitted to the party after a six-month suspension for voting against the Government.

She said there was “no quick fix” to the housing “challenge and those who suggest there is are being disingenuous”.

In Government, she said the Greens had “proven to be prudent, demonstrated essential credibility in the midst of the severe cost-of-living crisis which is biting so hard globally”.

“We have been rock steady in Government, having no time for populist, knee jerk policy reactions which have unintended consequences of fuelling inflation. We have provided a crucial level of stability for our economy and that stability is amplified when we have seen instability, unfortunately, in policies adopted in neighbouring countries.”

She told delegates the Government “must act urgently and effectively to move towards a new, better, fairer society; one which respects the world around us, protects our most vulnerable and secures a bright future for all our children”.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with The Irish Times