Skip to main content

Greater enforcement of short-term letting Airbnb legislation needed to tackle rental crisis– Lombard

Up to 10 times as many properties to rent on Airbnb compared to in some cities

25th November 2021 - Senator Tim Lombard

Greater enforcement of short-term letting legislation is urgently needed as there are ten times as many properties on Airbnb than on long term rental sites, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Tim Lombard was speaking after he uncovered the alarming figures online when comparing popular short-term letting site, to which caters for longer term rental properties.

Senator Lombard said: “We must tackle the fact that there are many more rental properties available on short-term rental sites like Airbnb than there are on

“We need to ensure that the legislation brought in by Fine Gael in 2019 to tackle this issue is implemented and enforced by our local authorities.

“This legislation was introduced to ease the housing crisis by freeing up properties which are currently used for short term lettings or Airbnb and introducing them back into the traditional long-term rental sector.

“In Galway city, for example, there are only 25 properties available to rent on On Airbnb right now, there are 300+ properties available to rent in Galway city. That’s over ten times as many properties available to rent in the short term compared to long term.

“In County Galway there are 57 properties on, compared to 300+ on Airbnb.

“In Waterford city, there are only 17 listings on compared to 22 on Airbnb. In County Waterford, there are 24 properties listed compared to 300+ on Airbnb.

“In Cork City, there are 51 properties listed on compared to 94 on Airbnb. In County Cork, there are 115 properties listed compared to 300+ on Airbnb. In my own constituency in Kinsale, there are only five properties available on Daft compared to 85 on Airbnb.

“In Limerick City, there are only 14 properties available to rent on compared to 18 on Airbnb. In County Limerick there are 27 properties listed on compared to 270 available on Airbnb.

“Figures provided by the Department of Housing show that planning authorities have reported 6,121 instances of properties potentially in breach of the short-term letting legislation since its introduction, resulting in the commencement of almost 3,000 investigations and the issuing of 2,300 warning letters.

“Only 806 of these breaches have been resolved which indicates that a much more robust system of reporting and more importantly enforcement is needed.”

According to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB): “A person who does not comply with their responsibility to register their tenancy/ tenancies faces a criminal conviction and a fine of up to €4000 and/ or 6 months imprisonment, if convicted.”

Senator Lombard continued: “Landlords have an obligation to register any tenancy with the Residential Tenancy Board. Anyone who wants to rent out their property for short-term lets in a Rent Pressure Zone must gain planning permission in order to do so through their local authorities.

“The RTB can share information with local authorities, which enforce the regulations relating to standards and rent books. It can also share information with the Department of Social Protection and the Revenue Commissioners.

“It’s clear that some landlords may not be applying for planning permission through their local authority. We need to ensure that information requested by local authorities in relation to investigations into short term lettings are also shared through the RTB.

“We need a person responsible in each of our local authorities to ensure any property, listed on sites like Airbnb, can only be let for up to 90 days in total annually and for a maximum of 14 days at a time.

“I’ve checked many properties in our cities which allowed me to provisionally book for long periods of up to six weeks despite the legislation stating that you can only let your house for a maximum of 14 days. This is a clear breach of the law.

“In some cases, the minimum stay required to rent was 14 days which completely goes against the spirit and intention of the legislation. We need to act urgently to ensure sites like Airbnb cannot offer lettings above 14 days as it is against the law.

“Local authorities have to do their job,” Senator Lombard said.

Stay Up To Date With Fine Gael