Airbnb Ruling Upheld By An Bord Pleanála
An Bord Pleanála has upheld a decision to prohibit the letting of a two-bed property in Temple Bar, through the Airbnb property-sharing website. The board ruled that the use of a residential apartment for short-term holiday lettings constitutes a change of use, and therefore requires planning permission.
The listing of the property as an Airbnb rental raised planning considerations relating to the frequency of visitors coming and going to the apartment, and associated concerns for the security of and disturbance to other residents in the building.
A critical factor in the ruling was that “no one staying in the apartment lives there, resides there, considers it their home or their abode. Thus, the subject apartment is no longer in use as a private residential apartment but as short-term holiday lettings accommodation” leading to Board to conclude that a change of use had occurred, meaning that property was no longer residential.
The decision is part of a growing international trend in which planning authorities and city officials attempt to regulate and control Airbnb, Uber and other players in the ‘sharing economy’. This, in addition to the taxation of income earned through the site, may lessen its appeal to Irish households.
Figures provided by Airbnb show that Irish listings increased by 66% in the twelve months preceding August 2016. Visitors to Ireland who found accommodation through Airbnb grew by 136% in the same period.
Airbnb has come under growing criticism amid fears that it is exacerbating Dublin’s existing rental crisis, as more than 3,000 apartments in the city centre are only available through the site for short-term lets. Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney has said that he believes the judgement to be the right one, and his department would now provide clarity about the role of Airbnb within the Irish property market.
The company has yet to respond to the outcome of the referral, but emphasises on its website its commitment to responsible hosting.
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