Up to 12,000 properties may become available for long-term housing requirements as a result of the establishment of the new Short Term Tourist Letting (STTL) register, according to Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard.
Senator Lombard said, “I very much welcome today’s news that Government has approved the priority drafting of the Registration of Short-Term Tourist Letting Bill and publication of the General Scheme of the Bill. The new legislation means that a Short Term Tourist Letting Register is to be established.
“Property owners advertising short-term tourism accommodation for periods up and to and including 21 nights will have a statutory obligation to register their property with Fáilte Ireland,” he explained.
“Upon successful registration, property owners will receive a registration number, which they must provide to all online platforms that advertise their property. Before advertising properties, booking platforms will have to electronically check property details and only advertise properties with a valid Fáilte Ireland registration number.
“The STTL register will be available online and local authorities will be able to check properties in their area. Any found not to have planning permission will be reported to Fáilte Ireland, who will remove the property from the register and advise all booking platforms that the property should no longer be advertised.
“This is really positive news and while it’s impossible to forecast with any certainty at this stage, of the 30,000 relevant properties, these new requirements could possibly free up to 12,000 properties for long-term housing requirements.
“The lack of any proper regulation within the short term rental market has impacted hugely on tourist towns such as Kinsale and all around West Cork. A big problem facing the Cork hospitality sector is the provision of accommodation for workers. I’ve been in touch with hoteliers, publicans and restaurateurs who have found their ability to trade severely curtailed because their staff cannot find accommodation close to work.
“I am very hopeful that this legislation, when it passes, will rebalance the current rental difficulties being reported all around our tourist hotspots. What’s imperative now is that this legislation passes as quickly as possible to enable the new Register to go live.
“Local authorities will also have to be proactive in fulfilling their obligations and to do an extensive audit of all planning permission records for short-term tourism accommodation properties in their areas. Fáilte Ireland and local authorities will have to work hand-in-hand on this one to deliver on these new statutory obligations. In doing so, we will see much more efficient use of existing housing,” concluded Senator Lombard.