New rent laws

Holiday homeowners must now have planning permission to rent out their property to tourists or stays ip to two weeks. This new rule are in effect as the start of July, 2019. The new rental law only applies to properties in a rent-pressure zone (RPZ). An RPZ is a zone where rent is typically above the national average.

This summer could mark the last summer that holiday home owners in the RPZs will be able to rent out their properties to tourists. Property owners will be breaking the rules if they continue to rent their homes out to tourists unless they are granted the planning permission to do so. Failing to get planning permission for renting to tourist can result in fines up to  €5,000 or six months of imprisonment – or both.

Homes that are not effected by the rental restrictions can be defined as homes which were purposely designed, constructed and approved to be dedicated to tourism accommodation.

According to Jacinta Doolan, the founder of Trident Holiday Homes, about 80% of holiday homes throughout Ireland do not have planning permissions to serve as tourist accommodations. Doolan stated that “the introduction of these regulations means that many traditional owners of tourism-based products in RPZs now have to apply for change-of-use planning permission [for their holiday homes], while their neighbors in counties outside the RPZs do not.”

Currently, there is no guarantee that a homeowner will be able to get a planning permission for tourist accommodation or short term letting of a property in a RPZ. It is likely for a holiday homeowner to struggle to receive planning permissions.

Recently, there has been an expansion of RPZs. This means that more holiday home owners are subject to the new rental rules. Local electoral areas such as Arklow, Gorey, Kilkenny, Gort-Kinvara and Athenry-Oranmore in Galway, Athlone and Kells are now defined as a RPZ as of the beginning of July.

Homeowners are not the only group effected by the changes in rental regulations. Individuals renting out a second property or investment property for short term stays must have a planning permission to do so. A short term stay can be as little as a few days to two weeks. Many AirBnB hosts who prefer short term stays need planning permissions or they will face the consequences of not abiding to the newly established regulations.

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