Irish housing minister to introduce home sharing restrictions

Ireland: Housing minister Eoghan Murphy plans to stop landlords from putting rental properties in Dublin on Airbnb by restricting home sharing in the city to the principal family residence.

According to a report in The Times, Murphy will bring proposals to cabinet this week to restrict short-term lettings to vacant rooms in a family home or the use of the whole house when a family is on holiday.

Critics say more than 3,000 homes in Dublin are available for short-term letting on sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, while only 1,200 are available for long-term rental on property sites such as In response, Murphy told colleagues at a Fine Gael gathering in Galway last week that he aims to crack down on landlords taking apartments off the rental market.

Property owners offering short-term rentals will be required to register with local authorities.

“Home sharing, when it works, means a family going on holiday can let out their entire home and help pay for that holiday,” said Murphy last week. “What we don’t want is people removing long-term lets from the market and getting an unfair advantage in an unregulated short-term letting market when we have a housing crisis and severe pressures, particularly in urban areas.”

Murphy said he was responding to a report from Inside Airbnb which showed that short-tern rental properties outnumber those available for long-tern rental by nearly three to one. “I have been working through it with experts to find the best regulatory system to bring into the short-term letting market,” he said. “I want to find the quickest way to do it so we can get any long-term lets that have been withdrawn from the market back out there for people to live in, long term. I can either do that through tourism or planning legislation, which I am trying to resolve at the moment, and I hope to bring something to cabinet on this shortly.”

It is understood that Murphy is finalising a regulatory system for short-term lettings that will allow holiday-home and apartment owners across the country to continue offering their properties on Airbnb and other sites for short stays, but remove rental properties from the short-term market in Dublin.

Airbnb said: “While we have not seen any details on these proposals, clear rules that legitimise home sharing are good news for hosts in Ireland. We have long called for clear rules and look forward to continuing our work with the government to learn more on the details and their impact on people-powered tourism in Ireland.”