Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Questions (73)

Eoin Ó Broin


73. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the contact he has had with local authorities regarding the implementation of the short-term letting regulations since 1 July 2019; and his views on the level of exemptions and planning applications to date. [37637/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department has been in regular contact with relevant planning authorities regarding the new short-term letting legislation, both before and subsequent to its commencement on 1 July 2019.

In order for the new legislation to have the desired effect and achieve its objective of returning much-needed accommodation to the long-term rental market, it is essential that relevant planning authorities adopt a pro-active approach to enforcement. This will add to the planning enforcement workload of the affected planning authorities, necessitating dedicated additional staffing and complementary resources.

In this regard, my Department wrote to planning authorities on 4 June 2019 seeking estimated resource funding requirements for the implementation and enforcement of the new provisions. My Department wrote again to planning authorities on 2 July 2019 seeking new or revised estimates following my designation of additional Rent Pressure Zones in certain parts of the country, which extended the application of the short-term letting provisions to the new areas.

Since then, further communication has taken place between my Department and all relevant planning authorities regarding the clarification and refinement of the resourcing requests, as well as in relation to the practical implementation of the short-term letting provisions. As an example, on 2 August last, my Department issued a detailed “Guidance Note for Planning Authorities on the Regulation of Short-Term Letting” to planning authorities to assist in this regard and to facilitate a consistent approach in the implementation of the provisions.

My Department will continue to engage with relevant planning authorities regarding the implementation and enforcement of the short-term letting legislation. The legislation does not require planning authorities to report statistical information to my Department regarding the receipt of notifications from concerned property owners of the letting of their properties on a home-sharing basis, thereby being eligible to avail of the exemption from the requirement to obtain planning permission, or the number of change of use planning applications that have been received further to the commencement of the provisions. However, as part of my Department’s provision of enforcement funding, planning authorities will be required to submit an initial progress report six months after the commencement of enforcement activity, and to submit further reports at subsequent appropriate intervals.