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Report: Impacts of Airbnb in Ireland

On 30 June 2019 the Irish Housing Network in collaboration with Inside Airbnb released a report on the impacts of Airbnb in Ireland.

Airbnb in Ireland

From the report:

Airbnb is having impacts in cities all over the world that pose challenges for policy makers. Our report makes it clear that Airbnb is having a major impact on housing in Ireland, and is contributing to a housing crisis in which over 10,000 people are homeless and over 3,500 children are homeless. It is the duty of the national government to regulate operators like Airbnb – corporations that manipulate laws to avoid zoning regulations and to make houses into investment portfolios for national and international property managers. International examples show that with effective regulation, the Irish government can and should reign in Airbnb and rogue operators, because first and foremost houses are homes; housing should be a right and not for profit.

Summary and Key Points

  • There is an important distinction between AirBnb hosts listing short-term rentals of otherwise residential homes or rooms that are primary residences and AirBnb hosts listing short-term rentals for commercial purpose, listing multiple entire homes or a home for more than 90 days per year.
  • Airbnb listings are dominated by listings for commercial use, NOT for short-term rental of otherwise residential homes or rooms that are the primary residence.
  • Commercial listings also dominate beyond Dublin and beyond the Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs).
  • Airbnb has a major impact on housing across the country. The largest impact is in cities and towns that are known as holiday destinations.
  • Airbnb has been unlegislated and unregulated to this time. ​New regulation​ is inadequate for dealing with the impact of Airbnb on the rental and housing market.
  • The new regulations do not include the appropriate compliance and enforcement tools that have been proven internationally to limit short-term rental activity to planned use.These tools must include mandatory permits AND platform compliance to ensure that every short-term rental is meeting the appropriate planned use, and that platforms are not able to advertise un-permitted or unregulated short-term rentals.
  • Without effective national regulations that ensure transparency and compliance, the onus will be on Local Councils to investigate anonymous non-compliant listings. It will be impossible to identify addresses or responsible parties from platforms; and councils will have to rely on inefficient research, inspections and complaints.
  • Cities that have had success in regulating the short-term rentals are opting for regulations that include: a permit or license system; platform accountability to ensure only listings that have a permit are allowed to operate; large fines for the platform and hosts for promoting illegal lets; and data reporting by the host or platform to further ensure compliance.
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