Property owners can pull in hundreds of euro per night renting out homes as round-the-year accommodation on platforms like Airbnb and hotel booking sites, making similar amounts in a week to what they could otherwise expect to receive in a month or more from a long-term tenant.
The practice is happening despite current planning rules effectively outlawing the practice unless owners get council approval to operate a site as a short-term let.
Many residents have raised concerns about issues like antisocial behaviour or parking problems in their neighbourhoods as what were once family homes are converted into spaces for sometimes a dozen or more visitors at a time.
But councils routinely face year-long battles just to shut down a single illegal short-term rental, leading to questions over the viability of enforcing tougher restrictions on Airbnb and other listings under laws due to come into force later this year.
One local authority has already said it needs hundreds of thousand of euro more per year to set up a dedicated team to investigate cases of those suspected of breaching the rules - and to enforce its decisions.
HELP US INVESTIGATE
We want to find out more about the number of complaints being lodged about short-term lets in the parts of Ireland where housing pressures are the most acute for renters.
We’ll also dig into the ways property owners are skirting planning rules to continue operating lucrative short-term lets in the face of council threats, and investigate how well-equipped local authorities are to handle the incoming rules.
Have you got a story you'd like to share with us about short-term lettings, contact us at [email protected]