One way to help solve Dublin’s rental crisis

Over the course of our series of blogs, we have highlighted the inescapable fact that the lack of supply of Dublin housing is a significant cause of the city’s prohibitively expensive rental situation.

A key (but not the only) reason for this lack of supply is because of the lack of any real legislation surrounding short-term rental accommodation, meaning the likes of AirBnb can flourish and, in the process, negatively affect the market by hoovering up properties that could otherwise have been used for long-term rental accommodation.

In the midst of this boom, a large percentage of landlords could be illegally renting out these units on a short-term basis. If a landlord wants to rent out an entire property on the likes of Airbnb or a related platform, they require commerical planning permission. We have heard of countless landlords operating these rentals without the required permission.

In March 2018, the Irish Times reported that there were 5,521 Airbnb units available to rent in Dublin alone, with 55% of these being whole properties. So, what can be done to deal with this issue? In our opinion, the answer may lie with management companies of apartment blocks across the city.

A number of management companies in Dublin have begun to use global system for mobile (GSM)-enabled codes to gain access to buildings, in an effort to improve security. This means that in order to access a building, a resident must dial a number, which then activates a system that recognises the number as part of a residents’ database, opening the door remotely.

Because the residents’ numbers must be stored on an external, secure database, it is clear that security is enhanced. But how does this deal with the short-term rental issue?

Simply put, all management companies have to do to deal a huge blow to the burgeoning short-term rental crisis is enable this GSM technology wherever possible on apartment buildings and car parks. They can refuse to enable any mobile other than the landlord’s (or long-term tenants’), meaning multiple numbers (i.e. short-term tenants) cannot access any one property.

Additionally, because so many of these landlords do not have the requisite permission for running these rentals in the first place, the likelihood of them lodging a complaint with the management company is very low.

This measure should lead to a significant reduction in the amount of short-term rental properties in the city, and would, by extension, free up some much-needed supply for the Dublin market.

For more information, see http://www.dublinlettings.com/

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