Short Term Landlords Must Register
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin announced that the Government has approved the priority drafting of the Registration of Short-Term Tourist Letting Bill and publication of the General Scheme of the Bill.
Minister Martin was joined at the announcement by Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland.
The Government "Housing for All" policy commits to the development of new regulatory controls to ensure that houses are used to best effect in areas of high housing demand. The new register will help ensure that properties built for residential accommodation will be used for that purpose, and Fáilte Ireland estimate that up to 12,000 properties could come back into the long-term rental market or the residential housing market as a result.
Benefits for tourism will include helping to address the staffing challenges facing many tourism businesses as it will provide housing options to tourism and hospitality workers in these areas. The introduction of the register will also provide a level playing field for all accommodation providers by ensuring transparency and visibility across the sector. Finally, the register will allow Fáilte Ireland, for the first time, to have a full picture of the stock of tourist accommodation across the State. This will significantly enhance Fáilte Ireland’s ability to promote and drive tourism investment.
The introduction of the register will:
- Provide the Department of Housing and Local Authorities with an accurate register of all short-term letting stock across the country.
- Allow Fáilte Ireland, for the first time, to have a full picture of tourist accommodation across the State, significantly enhancing their ability to promote and drive tourism investment.
- Deliver on the "Housing for All" commitment to introduce new regulations in the area of short term tourist letting.
Speaking at the announcement, Minister Martin said:
“As Minister for Tourism, I am committed to growing the tourism sector in a sustainable manner. The measures announced today are an important step in addressing the availability of private residential rental accommodation. 'Housing for All' includes an objective to make more efficient use of existing housing, and we are aware that in some parts of the country an imbalance has emerged between the short-term and long-term rental markets.
“We have examined the international context and conducted significant research in this area, which has illustrated the issues caused by an imbalance in supply. These new regulatory controls will ensure balanced and sustainable tourism development. Addressing the housing challenges will also help address the staffing issues facing many tourism businesses as it will provide housing options to tourism and hospitality workers in these areas. Working with the Oireachtas, I hope that the legislation will be enacted in Q1 2023.
“To minimise disruption to the tourism industry and to tourists, property owners operating within the sector that need to apply for change of use planning permission are allowed, for a limited time period of up to six months, to continue to offer their accommodation as tourist accommodation while their application is being considered. These new measures will bring our approach to regulation in line with major tourism destinations across Europe, including Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona.”
Paul Kelly, CEO, Fáilte Ireland, said:
“Fáilte Ireland is working closely with our colleagues in the Department of Tourism and the Department of Housing on the development of the Short Term Tourist Letting Registration System as outlined in the Government’s 'Housing for All' policy. As part of this work, we have conducted detailed research into the experience of cities and countries across the world and have designed a registration system which will allow property owners to quickly and easily register short-term letting properties.
“As the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland is mindful of the need to balance an appropriate mix of long-term private rental and short-term letting accommodation. Fáilte Ireland will also continue to work with Local Authorities across the country to ensure any housing stock that is not suitable for private housing may continue to be used for tourism purposes. We look forward to working with the tourism industry and relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the registration.”