herald

Sunday 25 August 2019

Landlords on Airbnb 'will sell up over new letting regulations'

Irish Property Owners’ Association chairman Stephen Faughnan said landlords are likely to now sell properties. Stock Image
Irish Property Owners’ Association chairman Stephen Faughnan said landlords are likely to now sell properties. Stock Image

Dublin landlords who run Airbnb rentals say they are considering selling their properties because of onerous new short-term letting regulations.

The regulations, which came into force yesterday, could result in those who flout the rules being fined €5,000 or jailed for six months.

It has been claimed that the new legislation will see landlords take their properties off short-term rental schemes, such as Airbnb.

Speaking to the Herald, the chairman of the Irish Property Owners' Association Stephen Faughnan said that short-term letting was "labour-intensive" and did not appeal to most landlords.

Rental

"It is likely that there will be some properties brought back into the private rental sector, however, landlords with large borrowings will not be able to service the borrowings from the income from letting in the private rental market and are likely to sell," Mr Faughnan said.

"Legislation around rental property is continually changing, complex and difficult, with more changes expected this year, in a market where 70pc of landlords own one property."

A Dublin landlord with two apartments on Airbnb, who did not wish to be named, said he would be selling his properties instead of leasing them out to long-term tenants.

"It's not a pot of gold - there is a very high cost for services such as linen, internet and bills," he said.

Mr Faughnan added that leasing the properties short-term through Airbnb works out at an additional profit of 10pc, as opposed to long-term rents.

"It works out as an extra 10pc, but it's very labour-intensive," he said.

"If I went back to private, I would get my weekends back.

"There's an assurance of income, as it's paid in advance."

The landlord explained that the short-term lettings help to pay the costs of his mortgages.

"My biggest fear in the rental sector is that if someone doesn't pay rent, it takes a year to remove them from the property," he said.

"This is enough for me to lose everything, including my own house."

Ridiculous

A separate Airbnb host, who has a large number of properties in the capital for rent, told the Herald that he would also be ceasing letting out his property through Airbnb for short-term lettings.

Instead, the landlord, who owns 20 properties in Dublin, said he would be turning to long-term lettings.

"Of course it puts me off Airbnb," he said.

He said that the legislation was a "ridiculous" move by the Government in order to tackle the housing crisis.

"There's something wrong somewhere, but it's not with Airbnb," he added.

"There are thousands of visitors coming into the country a week, into Dublin.

"It's going to devastate the tourism."

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