Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has moved the Housing (Temporary Provisions regarding Short-term Lettings) Bill through the first stage of the Dáil today. Speaking on the Bill in the Dáil, Deputy Tóibín stated:

This Aontú Bill is particularly important in dealing with the Housing crisis that has receded not in severity but in the priority of this government. The Housing (Temporary Provisions regarding Short-term Lettings) Bill 2020 seeks to deal with the failure of Government Airbnb legislation. In Ireland we have a crazy situation where tourists are staying in people’s homes and families who cant find homes as a result are staying in hotels. This is enormously damaging to families and young children with regards their development, nutrition, education, socialization and mental health and it is costing the state millions.”

“However in March we saw something really interesting happening. March and April saw an increase in the number of available rentals across the country. The number of homes available to rent across the State increased by just under 40%. There was a particular spike in Rental Accommodation in Dublin during these months. The rise in available properties is understood to have been as a result of the crash in Short Terms Let/Airbnb market and landlords offering them as long term lets on websites such as Daft.ie instead. All of a sudden we saw an raft of pictures of homes on Daft that were dressed as if they were holiday homes. Pretty towles and short term let paraphernalia. This equates to a jump of 900 homes available to rent in just a couple of months. Rents also fell in these months no doubt due to the economic damage done by Covid-19 but also possibly as a result of a 40% increase in supply.”

“Last year the government was forced to introduce legislation to tackle the crazy situation where we have tourists staying in homes and families staying in hotels. Due to the outcry from citizens the government committed to tackling this illogical situation. However, its clear that a large chunk of the Short Term Rental market either availed of loopholes in the Fine Gael legislation or ignored it completely”. 3 months ago the number of homes for rent on Airbnb across Dublin was enough to house all the capital’s homeless people. This includes over a thousands people living in hotels and hubs in the city. This is astounding. Rental income from Air bnb homes can be as high as €230,000 a year. There is no doubt that this type of income is pushing house prices up in the city. In the first half of the year there was only one prosecution under the new regulations.”

“In the first half of the year according to Dublin City Council only 19 people applied for planning permission for short term letting and only one was granted planning permission. These figures are replicated across many cities and towns across the state. This information tells us that the sector has ignored the FG legislation or has more holes than a colliders .”

“The Aontú Bill is a temporary measure lasting 3 years with a possible extension to 5 years aimed at increasing the number of dwellings available for long term rent. It aims to significantly house families. It aims to significantly reduce rents. It aims to shut down loopholes and make the system much easier to enforce. The Aontú Bill will, if enacted, prohibit any short term lets of non-principle residence in a town or a city with a population of over 10,000 people. The Bill defines Short Term lets as periods of time under 28 days in duration. This in effect completely rules out the function of Airbnb in large towns and cities for Short Term Lets. It is a significant reform. It will mean that those homes that Covid has forced out of the Sort Term Letting market will remain out and many more homes will come into the long term letting market.”