21 March 2022
By Roger L. Kennedy
Short-term rental properties are on the rise and far outnumbering suitable long-term options for permanent private rental market tenants. Multiple cases have been discovered throughout the country, including Cork, where landlords are leasing out appropriate long-term rental properties as short-term stays for holidaymakers. In doing so, a majority can gain a far greater income.
This is despite regulations introduced in July 2019 that requires homeowners in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) to apply to their local authority for planning permission to change property use to short-term lettings, where these types of lettings exceed 90 days in the year.
All of Cork City, Ballincollig, Carrigaline, Fermoy, Midleton, Macroom, Cobh, Mallow, Bandon and Kinsale are designated as “Rent Pressure Zones”. While not every property in the area is in breach of the legislation as there are many long-standing holiday homes/villages registered with Fáilte Ireland in Cork, multiple homes that are suitable for long-term tenants are being leased out for short stay holidaymakers.
Research carried out by the national housing charity Threshold on AirDNA, a data collection website for short-term rental properties, shows that in December 2021, there were 1,247 short-term listings in Cork, 782 of which are entire properties. However, on March 16th only 73 entire properties were available for long-term rent in the entire county, with just 36 costing €1,500 or less per month.
County wide challenge
In one example, a landlord has multiple properties listed in both Cork City and County. One short-term property is a two-bed apartment along the coast, costing €302 for a two-night stay. Currently, the only two-bed apartment to rent on a long-term basis in the same area costs €1,650 per month.
A separate landlord advertises just under ten properties in Cork City as short term lets. One of these a central, one-bed apartment, costs €250 for a minimum two-night stay. For a one-bed long-term rental apartment in the same vicinity, the cheapest available property costs €1,201 per month.
Threshold’s Regional Services Manager for Cork, Edel Conlon stated:
“The Rent Pressure Zone regulations for change of property use are certainly more welcome than no regulations at all, but there needs to be a greater enforcement of them to be effective. Currently, we can see that there is a troubling issue of appropriate housing being used for short-term letting, which is a large factor in tenants struggling to find alternative accommodation. Enforcing change of property use regulations in a better manner would certainly aid in combatting this problem and bringing appropriate long-term rental accommodation back to the market.”
Short-term property regulation
A new short-term let registration system is set to be launched by Fáilte Ireland early next year. This new system will mean that property owners must register accommodation the accommodation with Failte Ireland to let the home as a short-term holiday let. This forms part of the government’s Housing For All Plan, launched last September.
Edel Conlon added that: “The Fáilte Ireland registration system is an additional welcome measure, and we look forward to and seeing the impact it has on property owners leasing out accommodation for short-term stays. We hope that this additional measure will aid in bringing back suitable housing to the long-term rental market.”
Threshold hopes the Government will go one step further and place a responsibility on the letting platforms to require proof of registration before publishing the advertisement.
Threshold’s helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am- 9pm at 1800 454 454, with webchat at www.threshold.ie/advice/help for any renter in need of advice or support.