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Minister must legislate to close Airbnb loophole – Ó Broin

17 May, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin has called on the Government to bring forward regulations to close the ‘Airbnb loophole’ that enables Airbnb hosts to use properties as full-time B&Bs. Deputy Ó Broin raised the matter with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny today during Order of Business in the Dáil. Unfortunately, the Taoiseach had no answers on this occasion.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Unfortunately, we all know that the chronic lack of supply of housing is pushing up rents and forcing families into homelessness. A contributing factor is the ongoing abuse of the spirit of Airbnb by some unscrupulous landlords.

“Airbnb is a good idea; however, Sinn Féin is of the view that renting out a room in your home for a weekend is entirely different to renting out your entire property on a rolling basis.

“The problem is starkly illustrated when you look at the data available. This week there are almost 8,000 properties available in Dublin on Airbnb but only 1,200 rental properties on in Dublin.

“The March homeless figures show that 7,472 people, including 2,563 children, are now living in emergency accommodation. We need to ensure that the maximum amount of properties is available for long term let.

“Media reports seem to indicate that Minister Simon Coveney is leaning towards asking the industry to self-regulate. Self-regulation is not the answer. It doesn’t work. We need clear and comprehensive regulations in place so that everyone knows where they stand and that the service that companies like Airbnb provide is not abused.” 

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