Planning v Airbnb

The meteoric rise of Airbnb has been well publicised over the last 5 or more years across the world. It is now that Governments are reacting to the presence of short term let properties and introducing legislation to deal with them appropriately. This is to ensure an adequate stock of available homes on a long term basis to residents.

Dublin, Edinburgh and Copenhagen are three cities which are alike, attracting large quantities of tourists and visitors every year, immersing themselves in the history and culture of each.

Copenhagen was the first city to response to the existence of short term lets, introducing regulations in May 2018 which limits the number of days let per year to 70 (up to 100 at the discretion of the Municipality) and capping non-taxable income from such lets to 40,000 DKK (c. 3,500 EUR).

In Dublin, the Irish Department of Planning, Housing & Local Government introduced similar Regulations in July 2019 to limit lets to 90 days per year in rent pressure zones (basically all of Dublin), with an assumption against a grant of planning permission for lets exceeding this mark.

The Scottish Government, on the other hand, have approached this slightly differently, with local authorities able to issue licenses for STL from April 2021. This translates to planning permission always being required for the change of use of whole properties for short term letting.

Of course, each respective Government seeks to secure a progressive approach to securing tax from such enterprises whilst trying to maintain healthy, sustainable communities in which residential amenity is respected.

No doubt these various regulations are necessary, however, the contributions which such business brings into respective economies (when done properly) should not be undervalued. It will be interesting to observe further actions following a period of implementation and monitoring, with a more flexible approach thought to be adopted in future.