'It's my house and I can do what I want' - Should Ireland consider an Airbnb ban?

The Spanish city of Barcelona is planning a ban on all short-term rentals like Airbnb to address a local housing crisis and soaring rents
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.04 24 Jun 2024

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'It's my house and I can do wh...

'It's my house and I can do what I want' - Should Ireland consider an Airbnb ban?

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.04 24 Jun 2024

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Should Ireland clamp down on Airbnb owners in a bid to address the housing crisis?

On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, several Airbnb owners reacted angrily to calls for tighter restriction and regulation on the sector – insisting they can do “whatever they want” with their properties.

It comes after the Spanish city of Barcelona announced plans to ban all short-term rentals within the next four years.


Announcing the move over the weekend, the city’s Mayor Jaume Collboni said licences for more than 10,100 apartments currently approved as short-term rentals will not be renewed when they expire in November 2028.

County Clare resident George told Lunchtime Live that Ireland should consider a similar move.

"Although I would be the one to say that Airbnb is not the cause of the housing crisis it definitely affects the west of Ireland more than anyone else," he said

"Last time I checked there were 12 houses to rent on Daft and over 750 Airbnbs to rent in Co Clare.

"Let's take that with a grain of salt because some of those Airbnbs are pods and there are more ways to get a house than just Daft - but still that is an outrageous ratio".

A man looks at his phone which displays the Airbnb logo A man looks at his phone which displays the Airbnb logo, 19-4-19. Image: M4OS Photos / Alamy

George said he doesn't think a full ban is the way to go.

"An outright ban I actually disagree with because I am aware it's a form of income for people who have, let's say, pods on their land," he said.

"An outright ban would be extremely unpopular and it seems to be a bit of a jump.

"Let's enforce the regulation before we start banning it".

'It's my house, I paid for it'

Alan in Kildare said it all comes down to people's choice.

"It's my house, I can do what I want - and if I want to rent it on Airbnb that's my choice," he said.

"It's my house, I paid for it, I can do what I want.

"If regulations are failing people, they need to take it up with the regulators [and] politicians.

"So let’s not go after the Airbnb providers – because they're an easy target when some of the biggest landlords in this country are politicians".

Alan said some people prefer short-term tenants.

"A lot of people don't want the hassle of long-term rentals and the grief that can bring with it," he said.

"People having their properties destroyed, people renting out to one family and finding out there's six or seven families living in the same property.

"We don't want to talk about those stories because renters are never to blame for anything".

'Earning extra money' on Airbnb

Paul in Galway said it is "next to impossible" to rent a property there.

"I regularly get updates on - maybe three or four per day - 75% of them, by the time I have looked up that ad the property is no longer available," he said.

"It's just impossible really because a huge amount of the property in Galway is let to students and then let on Airbnb in the summer.

"I think the attraction of having students for nine months, and then earning extra money on Airbnb in the summer, doesn't incentivise landlords to let for year-round rents."

Paul said he's concerned people will get pushed out of their locality.

"We need to avoid the situation that's come to light in Barcelona... or closer to home here in Roundstone," he said.

"Locals can't afford to live in their own area anymore because people have second homes that they either stay in for a couple of weeks of the year or they Airbnb let them as well.

"There is no future for young people there because they're just never going to be able to find or afford a property in their own locality".

'Long-term market'

Airbnb host Lorna said she would never rent her property on the long-term market.

"I have a granny flat attached to my home in my garden," she said.

"It will never, ever enter the long-term housing market as it's in my garden and I use it for my family when they come to stay.

"If I were to long-term rent it, I would have somebody here all the time.

"If I had problems with those tenants, it could be incredibly difficult - I could be walking into my garden and they would be there."

Lorna dismissed "myths" about large amounts of money being made by hosts: she said she makes "between €10,000 and €15,000 a year", adding that the rental is her full-time job.

Legislation on short-term lets, which has been delayed from September 2022, would require properties to be registered with Fáilte Ireland.

Main image: The home page of the Airbnb website, 26-9-12. Image: sjscreens / Alamy 

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Airbnb Airbnb Ban Barcelona Daft Failte Ireland Jaume Collboni Lunchtime Live Short-term Rentals

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