I am no fan of Air BnB and I think they’re creating a rental squeeze, but this is a profoundly brain-dead ruling IMHO. Why would there be more comings and goings in a short-stay apartment than a long-stay one? Why would there be more security concerns? Why is it “commercial” if it’s rented as short-stay but not if I rent up to four rooms in my house on a short-stay basis? What is the cutoff between short-stay and long-stay? Where are any of those things set down in legislation?
Can’t see it being enforced as the government don’t give a toss about the rental crisis. That said, if any apartment block’s management company got a bee in their bonnet about it, then it’s clear that they can stop owners from operating Airbnbs based on this ruling if they so wish.
Disagree. There’s a big difference between short term v long term. Short term don’t care about the building and are less likely to be respectful of rules. They don’t care if they annoy neighbours - they’re only there for a few nights. As for comings and goings, there’s a difference between a resident walking in and out of the building daily, and tourists dragging loads of suitcases in and out every few days. They’re whacking the hell out of doors, walls, etc. and leading to greatly increased wear and tear in common areas.
Also it is ‘commercial’ if you rent a room in your apartment on a short stay basis, much as a traditional BnB is. That is why you would not qualify for rent a room relief for doing so.
There’s an interesting article in the current Private Eye about the shenanigans Airbnb have been up to in the UK, in particular how they’ve been cosying up to the Tories. Basically a lobbyist group called Sharing Economy UK (which is riddled with Conservative party connected people) partly funded by the company was established following a recommendation by minister Matthew Hancock who has received donations from Airbnb. It specifically quotes Hancock boasting about having a 1956 London housing regulation removed to enable Airbnb to continue trading as normal in the city.
With me being a curious little man I googled the phrase “Sharing Economy Ireland” which brought up a link to this article:
And there’s been no suggestion that AirBnB where the owner is present requires planning either (they could use the B&B exemption); the concern is whole-property rentals. It’s essentially using an apartment in a building which mostly contains peoples’ homes as a hotel room (or worse, as I’m assuming that security will step in at some point if people are having a loud party in their hotel room at 4 in the morning). It seems reasonable to require planning for this; you’d certainly need planning for any other commercial activity which produced lots of noise at unsocial hours and brought a stream of unknown people to the apartment.
Both are ‘commercial’ in that the goal is to make money, but there is a discernible difference. Renting out an apartment for 3 days as a quasi-hotel room requires constant advertising, check in, handover of keys, showing the guests around the apartment, quick turnaround with cleaning, constantly changing linens, maybe providing other services and inspection upon departure. In 3 months you could turn the apartment over 30 times, which is very labour and time intensive. In my mind it is absolutely a business, which should technically require planning permission as it is treating the property as a commercial premises essentially. That is why this ruling was upheld. Renting an apartment out to a tenant for 3 months on a lease is a totally different ballgame. You sign a lease, hand over the keys, get the rent payment every month and get it back after 3 months. That is just ‘unearned income’ rather than a full time business, and the apartment is being used for residential purposes as intended.
Right, I know they are different, but they are both commercial enterprises where the apartment is being used as a residential dwelling.
My point is not that they are the same, but that ABP has made hand-wavey distinctions that one is “commercial” and the other isn’t. If they’re going to try and require AirBnB to have planning permission I think the differences should be explored rigorously and the criteria well-defined. For example it might make sense to set a minimum letting period (e.g. 3 months) above which planning is not required. But claiming they need planning because it’s “commercial” makes no sense to me.
So IMHO this is the right decision but for the wrong reasons, and would fall under a rigorous examination.
Someone who stays somewhere for 3 days is not ordinarily resident there; it’s not his or her **primary residence. **. Someone who stays somewhere for 3 months is different. There are tax and legal implications following
so what’s the difference between AirBnB in the city and people renting out holiday homes by the week down the country (many of which are also advertised on AirBnB)? If one requires specific commercial planning permission, then surely so does the other - that would not be politically popular.
Renting a three-bed semi-d holiday home in Dingle is a little bit different, because you have freedom as to what you do with it as the freehold owner, and renting it short term doesn’t have as much impact on others. If you are doing it within an apartment block, it does impact upon all residents, especially with regards to increased wear and tear in common areas and other associated issues. If it’s a private house with its own door, the impact upon others is limited.
It is an interesting point though, but I guess the crux of it is freehold v leasehold and that all of the well-established holiday areas were intended for that purpose, and owners expect other houses to be rented on a short term basis. As outlined above, this ruling will probably only be enforced in other developments where residents/management companies take legal action to halt Airbnb use in their development. This isn’t likely to happen in housing estates down the country that were largely built for use as holiday homes.
I don’t think the freehold vs leasehold thing has relevance in planning law though does it? If the CoCos are going to enforce against one set of short-term lets they would surely have to enforce against all of them.
There is a house vs apartment distinction in some planning regs though.
And if you have a home office in the apartment for your business, where you don’t have customers visiting, that’s commercial, but (probably) does not require a change in planning permission. However, if you run a restaurant in your apartment, that’s commercial, and will need planning permission. In terms of noise and non-resident traffic, the renting the apartment is closer to the home office, while the airbnb is closer to the restaurant.