Friday 22 March 2019

AirBnB bonanza as a dozen Irish hosts pocket €100k-plus

Sinn Fein’s Eoin O’Broin
Sinn Fein’s Eoin O’Broin

At least a dozen AirBnB hosts are earning more than €100,000 a year from renting out homes on short-term contracts as the housing crisis deepens.

Figures supplied by Air DNA, which analyses market trends across the globe, show that one Dublin property owner has earned €172,227 in the past year alone for an apartment near Trinity College.

As many as 4,840 properties are being let in their entirety for as much as €800 a night.

In Galway, one owner earned nearly €158,000; the top earner in Limerick secured just over €66,500; in Cork, an owner was paid almost €63,000; while in Waterford, a landlord received almost €41,500 in a year.

AirBnB and other short-term letting sites allow property owners to advertise a home online for holiday stays.

It is seen as a lucrative source of income, but there have been opposition calls to regulate the sector, given the extent of the housing crisis.

Others fear that a two-tier system of holiday letting is now in place, with short-term lets not subject to the same regulations as hotels or B&Bs.

Sinn Fein housing spokesman Eoin O'Broin said regulation was "urgently" needed.

"AirBnB properties can make phenomenal profits without being registered with the Residential Tenancies Board and without being inspected by local authorities," he said.

An analysis of AirDNA data shows that in Dublin, 5,191 properties have been listed as available for letting in the past 18 months. Of these, 2,870 are entire homes.

Sources suggest that in some parts of the city, housing stock is being bought and refurbished to provide short-term letting accommodation.

This has raised concerns that homes for council and private tenants are being removed from the housing stock, which ramps up rental costs.

There are also suggestions that some owners may be avoiding tax on their properties.


A spokesperson for the Revenue said it used "leading-edge digital systems", data analytics and data sources to identify tax evasion.

Since 2016, property owners have had to provide details of rental income, whether residential or commercial, but the spokesperson said short-term letting income was not separately listed.

This income was taxable, and owners were responsible for ensuring they were tax-compliant.

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