First Step in Regulating Short-Term Rentals
With more than 640,000 reported guests staying in Airbnb accommodation in Ireland over the Summer, there have been many calls to regulate the short-term rental giant.
The rise of Airbnb popularity with property owners is largely financial as short-term rentals incur a premium, often on a per night basis, similar to a hotel or bed and breakfast.
However with rental availability dropping, the cost of renting rising and an increase in homelessness, many are calling for regulations to be put in place to reduce any further pressure on the rental market.
The first step in this process is that Airbnb hosts’ details are to be handed over to Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners ahead of announcing new regulations to govern the short-term letting market.
There is international evidence to support placing regulations on Airbnb, with countries such as Canada and Australia already enforcing maximum rental periods and tougher tax regulations.
In Sydney, Australia the government imposed strict legislation including:
- A property cannot be rented for more than 180 days per year
- Strata and building committees of apartment blocks can vote to ban short-term letting (unless the property is owner-occupied)
- Airbnb and other similar operators, will be required to sign up to the code of conduct and share their data with the NSW government
Violation of these policies comes with tough penalties, companies in breach can face fines of up to $1.1 million and $220,000 for individuals.
Vancouver, Canada brought in even tougher legislations and regulations in April 2018, where homeowners renting their property through Airbnb will need a licence to operate.
Failure to comply will result in the listing being removed from Airbnb and a $1,000 per day fine.
Vancouver have also imposed that the homeowner must live in the property for more than 180 days per year. This restricts a property owner from renting more than one property through Airbnb and makes any additional investment properties available on the long-term letting market.
We can certainly take a leaf out of both Sydney & Vancouvers regulations book. Ensuring homeowners have a clear cap on how many days per year their properties can be a short-term rental with data sharing between Airbnb and Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners.
Sydney will review their policy again mid 2019 however rental availability is at an all time high, with a record fall in rental asking prices down 2.2% on houses and 0.1% on apartments.
The Department of Housing is drafting new regulations aimed at reducing the impact that short term letting has on long-term rental availability with the end goal of putting more properties back on the market.