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Eight ‘Airbnb’ operators in Louth asked to desist by council, meeting hears

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Cllr John Reilly raised the issue at the October meeting of Louth County Council.

Eight persons operating ‘homesharing’ short term lets in the county of Louth have been asked to desist by Louth County Council since the start of the year, in line with new government regulations of short term lets.

The figure was revealed on Monday during the October meeting of Louth County Council, held in St Gerard’s Hall in Dundalk.

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Fine Gael councillor John Reilly told he meeting that the new regulations were specifically impacting the village of Carlingford. He said property owners, many who offer their homes via popular online utilities such as Airbnb, in the north Louth village wanted to engage with the council on the new regulations.

“I think we would all favour more regulation but at the current time. But I believe the time frame to get a property registered is quite short,” he said.

Director of Services Frank Pentony confirmed that the local authority had issued 87 letters throughout county Louth at the start of the year. “Eight warnings have been issued where people have been asked to desist,” he said. “36 of the premises who have not replied. They are the people we are chasing.”

Homesharing is where a person rents out a part or all of their home for a period of time, usually to tourists who are visiting the area.

However, as homesharing has become more popular as a form of tourism letting, it has resulted in some professional landlords withdrawing houses and apartments that would normally be rented on a long-term basis to instead rent them out as short-term lets.

Prior to the new regulations being brought in last year, the activity was unregulated. It was deemed unacceptable that in a time of housing shortage that rental homes would be withdrawn from the letting market, particularly in areas where rents are high and supply is still constrained.

Homesharing will continue to be permissible where it is a person’s primary residence, and people will have to now register with their local authority as such. An annual cap of 90 days now applies for the renting out, on a short-term basis – i.e. for 14 days or less at a time, of a person’s entire home where it is their primary residence.

Where a person owns a second property and intends to let it as a Short Term Let, they are no longer allowed to do so unless the property is already permitted to be used for tourism/short-term letting purposes.

Planning permission for a change of use to STL can be sought and it will be up to each local Planning Authority to grant permissions.

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