Landlords that rent out their properties on Airbnb are to be hit with extra charges from this summer.
The Irish Examiner reports that landlords who rent out their entire property to tourists will have to apply for commercial planning permission under the new rules.
Extra water, insurance and commercial rates will then be enforced from July 1st.
Property owners will still be able offer rooms within their own homes for short-term stays year round.
It is part of a major clampdown on short-term holiday lettings – which housing services have warned are adding pressure to the housing crisis.
The paper reports that the new rule will apply to ‘accidental landlords’ as well as those who purposefully entered the market.
Fianna Fáil had warned that the new rules are unfair to people who found themselves in negative equity; however, the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has said the rules must be enforced across the board.
“Fianna Fáil are changing their tune on this,” he said.
“We cannot have a twin-track system. We support home-sharing but not turning long-term rentals into holiday homes."
Local authorities will be given powers to refuse planning permission in areas where there is a high demand for housing.
The housing charity Threshold has welcomed the new regulations, insisting they will go “will go some way towards alleviating” the homeless crisis.
Threshold CEO John-Mark McCafferty said there were 5,762 Airbnb listings in Dublin alone last month, 41% of which were available as full-time holiday rentals.
He said the data indicates that 3,476 housing units were potentially removed from Dublin’s housing stock on a permanent basis as a result of short-term tourism.
He said thousands of properties have also been removed from the housing stock in Galway and Cork.
“The number of people who can be accommodated in Airbnb properties far exceeds the current 10,264 homeless figure,” he said.
“While tourists are always welcome and short-term letting platforms, such as Air BnB, have a role to play in the tourist market and wider economy, this volume of short-term lets is taking units that would otherwise be available for long-term rent out of that market.
“These new restrictions will release badly needed housing onto the market and we believe it can have a positive impact for those families who are currently experiencing homelessness.”
Airbnb said it was a “false promise” to claim that the regulations could offer a solution to the housing crisis.