Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (246)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

246. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the phenomenon of five night leasing affecting students in which a student must leave the property and take away all belongings on Friday to return on Sunday evening in order that the property can be used for rental (details supplied) over the weekend; and if this issue will be addressed in his review of legislation governing short-term rentals. [41386/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. Further information on landlord and tenant obligations is available on the RTB website https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/during-a-tenancy/maintenance-inspections-and-access/inspections-and-access.

The Act provides that a landlord should allow a tenant of a rented dwelling to enjoy peaceful and exclusive occupation. A landlord is only allowed to enter the property with the tenant’s permission or in an emergency.

Under Action 18 of the Strategy for the Rental Sector, my Department established a Working Group, involving representatives of all major public stakeholders with a policy interest in short-term lettings, to develop guidance in relation to planning applications, changes of use relating to short-term lettings and to examine the need for new regulatory arrangements.

The proposals under consideration by the Working Group have been aimed at facilitating short-term letting of accommodation within permanent residences, known as homesharing, while protecting the existing stock of residential property in areas of high demand, safeguarding neighbourhood amenity and consumer protection, and generating revenue to address any negative effects of short-term letting.

Having considered the Group's report as well as the recommendations in the Oireachtas Committee's report on short-term lettings, I am engaging with other relevant Ministers in relation to the appropriate next steps in taking the proposed regulatory regime forward.

Among the options under consideration are the development of a new licensing regime for short-term letting platforms and homeowners who rent out rooms or entire properties to tourists to facilitate a more managed approach to short-term tourist lettings, and protect the existing stock of residential property, in particular, long-term rental accommodation, in areas of high demand. Recognising that the introduction of such a regulatory regime will take time, I am also considering what other measures might, in the interim, support the recommendations and objectives set down in both the Working Group's report and the Oireachtas Committee.