AirBnB short term home lettings could face chop under Labour Party Bill

Party wants houses restricted to providing accommodation for students and the homeless.

Sligo News File.

Labour is rolling out a bill which could virtually kill off short-term accommodation property lettings.

Some 3,000 homes are currently being offered for short stays under arrangements with an international organisation known as AirBnB.

House lettings facilitated by the United States company has been one of the growing success stories of Irish tourism, enabling visitors to avail of low priced quality accommodation while travelling the country. At the same time, property owners can enjoy a relatively modest financial return from renting furnished rooms or entire homes for short periods of time.

Labour concerned over expansion of AirBnB lettings.

But the Labour Party is reportedly unhappy with the expanding industry and is proposing to knock it back with controls where lettings in their present form would be restricted to only a few weeks per year. Owners of AirBnB properties would also need planning permission, obliging them to dole out substantial commercial rates to local councils.

Humphreys, one of the small party’s leadership, believe the controls will force the 3,000 AirBnB owners to open their houses to students and the homeless instead.

AirBnB, based in San Francisco, operates the flourishing online hospitality service. The company has over 5 million lodging listings in 81,000 cities and 191 countries and has facilitated over 300 million check-ins.

Homeowners relying on income from home sharing.

Many people on the brink of losing their homes have come to rely on AirBnB for additional income. Homeowners in the United States who refinance their mortgages with some agencies can include the income they earn from their Airbnb rentals on their refinance loan applications.

The Labour bill would require a register to be kept to prevent homeowners from moving from one letting type to another to supersede the regulations. Those failing to maintain a register will be subject to a ‘Class A fine’ of upwards of €50,000.