Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1429)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

1429. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a series of matters relating to proposed planning for a company (details supplied) will be considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14156/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Under Action 18 of the Strategy for the Rental Sector, a Working Group was established, 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. 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.

Having considered the Working Group's report as well as the recommendations in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on short-term lettings, I recently announced plans to introduce a “one host, one home” model in areas where there is high housing demand.

Homesharing will continue to be permissible for a person’s primary residence. In addition, an annual cap of 90 days will apply for the renting out on a short-term basis of a person's entire home where it is their primary residence, with such short-term lets being restricted to periods of 14 days or less at a time. Under these arrangements, people who wish to avail of the new planning exemptions to use their own home for home-sharing or limited short-term letting purposes will be required to register this with their local planning authority.

Where a person owns a second property and intends to let it for short-term letting purposes, they will require planning permission to do so unless it already has planning permission to be used for tourism or short-term letting purposes. Planning permission for a change of use to short-term letting can be sought and it will be up to each local planning authority to consider such applications, based on guidance that will issue from my Department, taking account of housing demand pressures in the area and other relevant factors such as cumulative impacts.

These proposed changes will not affect the operation of holiday homes as typically understood, or longer-term flexible lettings which are provided for those coming to Ireland under employment contracts.

It is intended that the proposed new planning changes will come into effect on 1 June 2019, to allow property owners sufficient lead-in time to prepare for and adapt to the proposed new laws. In addition to the making of revised draft exempted development planning regulations, which are being progressed, amendments to primary legislation will also be introduced which will underpin and strengthen the new proposals. This element of the changes proposed is currently being developed and details will be published in due course.

Issues in relation to taxation are a matter for colleague the Minister for Finance. Matters relating to quality of tourism related accommodation are overseen by Fáilte Ireland.