Homelessness is an issue of uttermost importance in Ireland. Two staggering numbers mentioned below are being directly addressed by members of the Irish government.
10,378 – number of homeless people as of April
3,794 – number of homeless children as of April
Eoghan Murphy, minister for housing, planning, and local government, blames short term renting (letting) as a big contributor. Ireland has seen increasing numbers of people immigrating over plus many British citizens are moving to Ireland due to Brexit concerns. With this influx of people coupled with an increase of short-term renting, many citizens find the lack of few homes for sale too expensive and are resorting to homelessness.
The new legislation will be going into effect on July 1st. The legislation mainly targets the multinational company, Airbnb, who allows people to post their homes for rent on the web. Owners who reside in a rent pressure zone (rpz) will be required to fill out a form at the beginning and ending of each year. Additionally, a ninety-day total limit per year will be enforced and each rental session must be limited to 14 days or less. Homeowners that own a second property in a rpz will no longer be allowed to use their properties for rent.
This legislation is a start but will not solve the problem of homelessness and the pressure on housing demands. The legislation will be examined at the end of year 2021 and changes will be made accordingly.
It will be tough to regulate this new legislation. Eoghan Murphy responded to this concern by having local authorities to keep an eye out. Additionally, the people that reside in rpz zones will be able to determine if their neighbor is staying true to the law. It will take a small unit within the police department to accurately enforce this legislation and at the moment that will not happen. New legislation takes time to implement and it will be a work in progress for many months. However, it is wonderful that the government is taking action at solving homelessness and issues in the housing market.
Two strong adversaries for this legislation is Airbnb and the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation that stated, “it is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut” when referring to the new implementation of the renting laws. The head of experiences policy at Airbnb warned against the, “loss of 82,700 tourism nights in Dublin.” Ireland receives millions of visitors annually which could be threatened by the lack of rental properties available due to new rules. Ireland’s billion-dollar tourism industry could take a hit.
Something needed to be done to address the shortage of homes for sale in Ireland and the increasing number of homeless people. This new legislation is being heavily debated and we will have to wait to see what positive and possibly negative ramifications arise from it.