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Stanley: Sinn Féin Bill will tighten regulation around Airbnbs – and free up more houses to rent and buy

additional homes in two existing Laois housing estates

Laois-Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has said that the ‘Short-term Lettings Enforcement Bill’ proposed by his party and passed unopposed through first stages in the Dáil this week will have a hugely positive impact on the supply of homes.

“The bill creates an offence to advertise or let accommodation for short-term rental, such as Airbnb, without having the required planning permission from the Local Council,” he said.

“It also provides for on the spot fines for landlords or estate agents who ignore this.

“This is a positive development, and it is important the Government don’t stall the legislation in committee, Dáil or Seanad.

“Sinn Féin have brought forward this bill to address one of the problems that is inflating home purchase and rental prices, by tightening regulations around Airbnbs.

“If this becomes legislation, it will have a positive impact on home purchase and rental prices in Laois and Offaly.’

“The cost of renting or purchasing a house is now slipping past the grasp of a lot of workers and families.

“In Laois, house prices have increased by 10% in the last 12 months and 8.6% in Offaly. Over the same period rents have increased by 10.5% in Laois and 14.6% in Offaly.”

He says that two of the factors driving up house prices are: investors buying homes to let at high rents as well as Airbnb and short-term lets.

“Airbnbs are reducing the supply of housing available for sale and rent.

“On the 17thof May, there were 57 units to rent on Airbnb in Laois, while there were only four units for medium-to-long term rent on Daft.ie.

“Our legislation would see more of these Airbnb homes available to rent for long-term accommodation.’’

“On a recent visit to the constituency Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien gave misleading information regarding the Governments ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ when he described it as a ‘grant’, when it’s actually a tax rebate.

“He also mentioned the Shared Equity Scheme, which is a second loan from Government on top of one from a building society or a bank to purchase a house.

“This just puts another layer of debt on couples trying to buy their first home.

“Since its introduction, it has been another factor in the escalation of house prices, and is similar to what has happened in Britain, as developers are just using the second loan available to purchasers as a means to drive up house prices even further.’’

“Sinn Féin is committed to dealing with the housing crisis. We need to see the ‘Short-term Lettings Enforcement Bill’ progressed through the Dáil quickly to provide another part of the solution.”

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