By John Smith
A ruling has been upheld by An Bord Pleanála stating that a Temple Bar apartment owner must apply for planning permission if they are to continue to rent out their property on the popular short-term letting site Airbnb.
The case was brought by the Temple Bar Residents Association which highlighted security and disturbance issues caused by the renting of the property, due to the frequent comings and goings of both renters and service staff.
An Bord Pleanála decided that the property had undergone a material change of use due to its Airbnb activity and was therefore not exempt from planning regulations.
After the ruling, Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, said that there is a lack of clarity around the role Airbnb plays in the property market and this needs to be addressed.
Laws and regulations surrounding Airbnb have been a topic of conversation a lot recently, due to the sudden increase in popularity of the site for holiday-renters.
Earlier this year, a law was introduced in Berlin forbidding the commercial, short-term letting of apartments to tourists without a city permit. This followed concerns over increased rents and a growing housing shortage in the German capital.
Cities in the United States such as New York, Santa Monica and San Francisco are clamping down on the use of the site by implementing strict regulations for short-term rentals.
Personally, I welcome any laws and regulations put in place by cities and countries that strengthen the framework surrounding Airbnb and thus increase safety and fairness for all those directly and indirectly affected by Airbnb.
That being said, I would be against any lawmakers that try to ban Airbnb altogether.
While safety, noise et cetera are definitely concerns, there are also many advantages to Airbnb, such as the increased number of tourists it brings, who then spend their money in local businesses, adding to the growth of the economy.
As someone who uses Airbnb multiple times a year, I feel more good comes from it than bad.
Hopefully local and national governments can come together with Airbnb to ensure that certain procedures are put in place that can benefit everyone rather than a small few.