The future of short-term rental properties in Dublin

he future of short-term rental properties in Dublin 

As a property investment strategy, short-term rentals fall squarely into one of two categories; they are for niche operators or they are an interim phase in the overall execution of a larger development project. Most seasoned residential investors will have engaged in short-term lettings at some stage, perhaps while waiting to sell, expand, demolish or redevelop. There is a time and a place – and indeed a market – for short-term rentals. And it would appear that right now in Dublin is neither the time nor the place.

According to the RTÉ news earlier this week, the full-time or permanent use of houses and apartments within the capital for short-term lettings will no longer be permitted.

Recent legislative changes means that all short-term rented properties in Ireland must be registered with the relevant local authority. Despite the listing of 7,218 rooms/homes in the greater Dublin area on Airbnb, only 249 property owners or operators have registered with Dublin City Council.

It must be noted that home owners in designated rent pressure zones are allowed to let out one room in their own home provided they register and file the relevant paperwork (Form 15). Investors or property owners who are not owner occupiers are required to apply for planning permission. From the start, it was made clear that this planning was likely to be refused so surprise expressed by the local authority or the media at the low levels of registrations and planning applications is somewhat disingenuous.

To date there have been 16 planning applications submitted to Dublin City Council, of these, 13 have been either refused, withdrawn or declared invalid. The remaining applications are currently pending a decision, however, according to RTÉ and The Irish Times, Dublin City Council has now made the decision not to grant planning permission to any short-term rental properties.

Instead, it would appear that council resources are being focused on investigation and, ultimately, enforcement, with a stated target of “1,000 cases a year to be investigated by the Short Term Lettings Unit which has 11 staff including four enforcement officers. So far it has opened 395 investigations with 87 cases “resolved” which is understood to mean that the property has been removed from short-term letting websites”, according to an article in The Irish Times.

45% of ‘hosts’ with properties listed on Airbnb appear to have a number of properties available, which is ringing alarm bells with the local authority. For any investors here who might own/operate short-term rentals and are not familiar with the most recent legislative changes, the maximum penalties for non-compliance are fines up to €5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.

News has broken today that a property company behind five €1 million, luxury Dublin rental properties is to appeal this ban on short-term lets, we will keep an eye on this case as it progresses. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing what you have to say about this…