Call for government to regulate Airbnb to help renters

Kevin Humphreys

There have been calls for the Government to impose regulations on Airbnb as new figures show that the hospitality company has had its busiest ever summer in Ireland.

According to figures released today by Airbnb, 640,000 people are predicted to have availed of Airbnb accommodation in Ireland over the summer-holiday period. The company does not release data on the number of properties using its service.

Airbnb says it will contribute €57m to the economy, with a typical host home earning €2,000 over the summer, but critics say it is putting extra pressure on a housing market that is already in crisis.

Labour Senator Kevin Humphreys has called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to regulate the sector and to "act now to curb the worst excesses of Airbnb".

“There are an incredible number of properties across Ireland, especially in major cities like Dublin, which are being used exclusively for short-term Airbnb rentals, while the sacristy of medium to long term lets for working people has led to the worsening of the housing crisis," he said.

“The Minister for Housing has had a report on his desk for six months with recommendations on how we can regulate Airbnb and bring more dwellings back into the standard rental market. Such regulations have been seen in many European cities such as Berlin.

“There are innumerable families, and single persons, looking for medium term rentals, with a high concentration in Dublin.

"While the government plans for house building are lagging behind its own targets, regulating Airbnb is one thing Minister Murphy could be doing to help renters.

“Neighbourhoods only develop with long-term residents. Short-term lets/Airbnb aids in the erosion of neighbour building."

“Regulating Airbnb won't solve the homelessness crisis overnight but it would help bring more medium term rentals back into the market when they are desperately needed,” he said.

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