Short term lettings in excess of 90 days should require change of use planning permission: Housing Committee Report on short term letting

Report also calls for licensing system for short term letting platforms

The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government has today published its Report into the Impact of Short Term Lettings on Ireland’s Housing and Rental Market.

The Committee agreed to examine the issue of short term lettings in order to establish the impact of short term lettings on Ireland’s housing and rental market.

Some of the report’s recommendations include:

• That a two level regulatory regime be introduced via primary legislation in relation to short term lettings with a strict regime of regulations targeted at entire property, short term commercial lettings at one level, and a less stringent second level focused at those that rent out their own primary residence for a period of 90 days or less per year;

•  That a licencing system be introduced for short term lettings and short term letting platforms; such a system should require platforms to register all hosts with the relevant local authority and to share information on letting type, availability and use with the local authority, and the revenue generated by the host with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners;

•  That casual short term lettings of up to 90 days in a given year should be exempt from planning permission. Any short term letting in excess of 90 days should require change-of-use planning permission.

Committee Chairperson, Maria Bailey TD said, “The report we have published today makes 13 practical recommendations which we hope will assist both the Department and the working group in their efforts to provide clarity on the appropriate regulation and management needed for controlling short term lettings.”

“This report represents an important step in tackling the rapid growth of online platforms offering short term lettings. Whilst acknowledging that short term lettings fulfil a valuable role in meeting particular accommodation demand and can be an important source of income for people, the Committee found that the rapid growth of online platforms offering short term lettings continues to challenge Ireland’s existing regulatory framework.”

“Over the course of its hearings, the Committee heard from a variety of stakeholders who emphasised the high level of demand for short term lettings, particularly in Dublin. Recurring issues such as regulation, lack of data and legal issues were raised at our meetings. The withdrawal of property from the rental sector is the most obvious potential impact of short term lettings as landlords may be swayed to offer their accommodation for short term let over longer term let. The Committee are recommending that a licensing system be introduced and that any short term letting in excess of 90 days should require change-of-use planning permission. We are also recommending that local authorities be provided with the resources to enable them to undertake a systemic inspection and enforcement regime of short term lettings.”

“It is our hope that this report will contribute in some way to the Government’s work on short term lettings and we would urge the Minister for Housing to carefully consider our recommendations.”

Read the report here

ENDS/

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Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Maria Bailey (Fine Gael)

Vice-Chair: Pat Casey (Fianna Fáil)

Deputies:

Ruth Coppinger (Solidarity)
Barry Cowen Fianna Fáil)
Mattie McGrath (Rural Independent Group)
Eoin O Broin (Sinn Féin)
Fergus O’Dowd (Fine Gael)

Senators:

Victor Boyhan (Independent)
Paudie Coffey (Fine Gael)
Jennifer Murnane O'Connor (Fianna Fáil)
Grace O'Sullivan (Green Party)