Dodgy Airbnb owners ‘are scared’ as Council issues over a thousand warnings

Dodgy Airbnb landlords are ‘scared’ after Dublin City Council issued more than a thousand warning letters.

Rules that limited the number of days a home could be rented out on a short-term basis per year came into force in July 2019.

The restrictions on short-term rentals were introduced to ease the housing crisis by increasing the supply of accommodation that people living in Dublin can take advantage of.

According to the rules, a landlord must obtain a building permit to rent their house on sites like Airbnb for more than 90 days a year.

When a property is flagged for potentially breaching the 2019 law, the Council begins an investigation which is followed by a warning letter.

If the owner continues to break the law, an enforcement notice is issued and if this does not stop the owner, legal action is taken.

However, DCC data shows that the vast majority of Airbnb owners break the rules after receiving a warning letter.

Councilor Michael Pidgeon, who obtained the DCC data by asking chief executive Owen Keegan a question, told Dublin Live that dodgy Airbnb landlords “are scared”.

He said: “It shows that the Board does a lot of investigating and when it looks into the matter it’s pretty clear that Airbnb owners are scared when they get an enforcement letter which is a good news.”

“All they have to say is ‘we know what you’re doing’ and that’s enough to put some people off.”

Cllr Pidgeon has urged members of the public to “absolutely” report landlords they suspect are renting a property on Airbnb all year round.

“It’s a house that could house a family or someone struggling to find accommodation,” he said.

Green Party Councilor Michael Pidgeon.

Since 2019, 1,255 warning letters have been issued, which has shrunk to just 33 enforcement notices. At the same time, legal proceedings have been initiated in only four cases.

The data also shows that reporting a landlord suspected of violating short-term rental laws often produces results.

A total of 1,176 complaints were received and 914 cases were closed, according to CDC data.

However, Cllr Pidgeon was told by Council officials that not every case closed meant an owner breaking the rules was arrested.

He said: “There are also a lot of cases that have been closed because they couldn’t find any evidence.”

“I’ve been told that it’s really, really difficult to apply these cases in apartment buildings because on Airbnb you can see a picture of the apartment or a view from a window, but it’s very difficult to establish which unit it is because you can’t enter the building to inspect it.”

He added: “I shared a building in Kilmainham and we know there were three or four units that were full-time Airbnbs, but unless you’re an Airbnb guest you won’t find out the number of the apartment. ‘apartment.”

Cllr Pidgeon said the Council needed “different national powers” to be able to carry out its work fully.

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