US company avoids short-term rental rule with 14-day minimum stays
A US multinational that offers serviced apartments for hotel-style rentals in Dublin has said its business is not governed by restrictions on short-term rentals introduced in July 2019.
Sonder Holdings Inc, headquartered in San Francisco, offers serviced apartments in two adjacent buildings on Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1, and in an upmarket luxury apartment building in the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin 2.
It recently signed a contract for 91 additional “units” in the Dublin 1 area, according to a recent statement from the multinational, whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The latest accounts from the multinational’s Dublin subsidiary say it offers accommodation that “brings together the authenticity of peer-to-peer home rentals, along with the reliable, high-end services of a hotel”.
Founded in 2014, Sonder offers quality studios and apartments in buildings that do not have lobbies, receptions or dining rooms like typical staffed hotels, but allow calling services through its dedicated phone app .
The multinational has around 6,300 “units” in more than 35 cities and reservations can be made on its own website or through platforms such as Airbnb or Booking.com.
Sonder’s apartments on Gardiner Street are in two adjoining buildings which were once used as short-term accommodation for men recovering from substance abuse issues. More recently the building was used for the rental of serviced apartments by a Dublin family involved in the hotel business, but they are now let by Sonder.
According to Sonder Hospitality Ireland Ltd’s most recent accounts, it entered into a 10-year lease in August 2019 for Dublin Central Suites, 38-39 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.
In the same month, it entered into a number of leases for apartments in the Opus building, at 6 Hanover Quay, in the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin 2. These leases will run until January 2025, according to the accounts.
Opus building apartments, with concierge service, feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls overlooking the canal quay. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the building is currently advertised online for long-term rental at a rent of €3,700 per month.
On the Sonder site, a two-bed apartment with a balcony in the building is available for $312 (€296) a night. The minimum stay allowed is 14 nights.
Sonder offers accommodations in a number of cities in the United States as well as European cities such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.
In an announcement to markets in April, Sonder said it was adding four new hotels to its portfolio in London, new units at a location in Edinburgh and had signed a contract for 91 new units at Dublin 1.
He also announced that he will open his first hotel in Dublin later this year. The ’26 Keys’ hotel will be located on Leeson Street, near St Stephen’s Green, in a 19th century Georgian building currently being refurbished.
A spokesperson for Sonder told the Irish Times that its properties in Ireland are not subject to restrictions on short-term rentals introduced by the government in July 2019.
The restrictions, which aim to restrict the use of residential accommodation in the short-term rental market in areas of rental pressure, only apply to rentals of less than 14 days in properties which do not have the building permit required. “Sonder does not operate short-term rentals in residential properties in Dublin,” the spokesperson said.
« Survey Britain Quay [the Hanover Quay apartments] offers stays of 14 nights or more, in accordance with regulations. Sonder Mountjoy Square [the Gardiner Street apartments] and the future Sonder property on Leeson Street are classified as tourist accommodation.
Sonder Hospitality Ireland Ltd’s accounts show that in 2020 it earned €3.5 million in income from its Irish rental properties and paid €2.5 million in rent.
She also incurred legal, cleaning and hospitality costs totaling €164,657. It produced a loss for the year of €5,659.