26 October/November 2023 October/November 2023 PB
CEO Brian Chesky to discuss the changes in
However, when asked by Village about this, a
spokesperson from the Department of the
Taoiseach said “there was no meeting on this and
the matter was referred onto another
The changes at national level, however, were
postponed after an intervention by the EU
Commission over concerns the rules would apply
“indiscriminately” to rural and urban properties.
A softening of the rules appears to have
satisfi ed EU o cials’ concerns, however. In April
of this year, the Irish Independent reported that
properties situated in areas with a population
under 5,000 people would no longer be required
to obtain short-term-let planning permission.
This will do nothing for long-term tenure.
With over 27,000 properties listed on AirBnB
as of June 2023, and new records for the number
of people in emergency accommodation set in
ve consecutive months, the need for these new
rules cannot be overstated.
– though no prosecutions have been secured
according to the data.
A large disparity that arises from the data is
between the number of properties identifi ed –
either by public complaints or proactive
investigations by the Council – as potentially
breaching the regulations and the number of
actual investigations opened into those
For example, since 2020 Cork City Council has
identifi ed over 2,000 properties as potentially in
breach of the short-term letting regulations.
However, only 159 investigations were opened
into those properties. Of those, 123 warning
letters were sent.
Similar disparities are evident in Cork County,
Fingal, Louth and Westmeath Councils.
The data also highlights the cost to the
exchequer, with local authorities able to claim
expenses from the Department of Housing for
additional staff, land registry searches, IT
equipment, legal services, advertising and travel
related to the enforcement of short-term lets.
Over 5 million has been claimed since 2019,
with Dublin City Council once again accounting
for almost half of the total.
The vast majority of costs are associated with
additional sta employed by the Councils, though
some other expenses have been claimed. In
2020, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
claimed a further €1,000 in “advertising”
expenses related to short-term-lets enforcement.
A spokesperson for the Council did not respond
to a question asking what the money had been
spent on.
Proposed changes to the regulations had been
due to take e ect in September of last year and
would have made it an o ence to advertise
properties for short-term let without the required
planning permission, placing the onus on sites
like AirBnB to ensure their listings complied with
the regulations.
Landlords also would have been required to
register their property with Fáilte Ireland and
display their registration number on the listing.
As reported by The Ditch, recent lobbying
attempts by American PR company, Edelman,
where the Taoiseach’s former press secretary,
Feargal Purcell, is Managing Director, sought to
set up a meeting between Varadkar and AirBnB
ust 237 applications for short-term-
letting planning permission have been
received by Councils since 2019,
according to data released to Village
Magazine under freedom of
information legislation.
This is despite almost 14,000 listings on
AirBnB for short-term rentals lying within rent
pressure zones, where planning permission is
Of those 237 applications, just 53 were granted
while a further 103 were refused, meaning that
Councils are generally adhering to the 2019
guidance from government which aims to shift
AirBnBs in built-up areas back to long-term
This guidance instructs Councils to “consider
whether there is a su cient supply of rental
properties available for longer-term rental in the
It continues, “in areas of high housing demand
it is unlikely that permission would be granted.
For comparison, over 1,600 properties are
listed on Daft.ie across the entire country.
Listings here also range from ludicrously
expensive apartments in Dublin City to converted
garden sheds.
While many of the listings on AirBnB are
traditional B&Bs and will already hold the
required planning permission, many others are
not and would otherwise be listed on the long-
term rental market.
Enforcement of the requirement to have
planning permission also falls under the remit of
the local authorities, but once again, the output
is paltry.
Over 3,800 warning letters were issued to
those alleged to have breached the restrictions
over the period of 2019 to Q1 2023. However,
digging deeper into the data highlights that over
71% of the warning letters were sent by Dublin
City Council.
A further 208 enforcement notices were issued
by Councils to those who failed to comply with the
warning letters; and again, the vast majority were
sent by Dublin City Council. And 12 legal
proceedings have been initiated – 11 by Dublin
City Council and one by Kildare County Council
237 ou of 14,000
The number of planning applications does not
re ect the number of AirBnBs that require them
By Conor O’Crroll
Since 2020 Cork City
Council has identifi ed
over 2,000 properties as
potentially in breach of
the short-term letting
regulations, with only 159
investigations opened and
123 warning letters sent
A mp showing
every Airbnb listing
in Irelnd. Source:
Inside Airbnb


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