Dublin City Council has confirmed it is investigating 25 homes on suspicion they're being rented on holiday accommodation web sites like Airbnb in breach of planning regulations. Houses and apartments in Christchurch, Temple Bar, Dublin 7 and the Ranelagh / Rathmines area are under the microscope.
It's believed Dublin City Council has received 36 complaints about them being rented to tourists in breach of planning regulations. For 11 of them there was no case to answer, because either the residents hadn't broken planning rules or had stopped letting the properties. Investigations are ongoing into the other 25.
Last year An Bord Pleanála ruled an apartment in Temple Bar needed planning permission to be permanently rented out on AirBnb.
Frank McDonald of the Temple Bar Residents Association claims Dublin City Council only opened a file on that property after he contacted them to see what would happen next in light of the ruling.
The Temple Bar homeowner also believes the local authority is only 'scratching the surface' when it comes to investigating thousands of other homes that may be being let to tourists, full time. The former Environment Editor of the Irish Times is echoing calls by leading homeless charities to regulate short term rental web sites.
Focus Ireland, The Simon Community and St Vincent De Paul believe the number of homes being advertised on sites like AirBnb is contributing to the city's housing crisis.
An Airbnb spokesperson said "We remind hosts to check and follow local rules before they list their space and throughout the year, and are continuing to work closely with policymakers in Ireland on clear home sharing rules."