Landlords’ short-term rental greed exacerbating the housing crisis

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National housing charity Threshold has criticised the rise in short-term rental properties for holidaymakers in Galway city as the housing crisis continues to wreak havoc across the country.

Research carried out by Threshold shows that in December 2021, there were 1,525 listings of short-term stays in Galway city and county. Of these, 972 were entire homes.

On March 16, there were just 45 entire properties available to rent across Co. Galway.

One landlord offers over 20 properties in Galway city and its surrounding suburbs, with one property – a three-bed apartment – costing €735 for a three-night minimum stay.

In comparison, the nearest apartment to a central location available for long-term rent is a one-bed costing €1,430 per month.

A separate landlord offers over ten properties for short-term lets outside of Galway City, one of which is an entire home along the Galway coast that hosts up to 14 people. For a two-night stay, this property costs just shy of €1,500.

The cheapest three-bed home near this area costs €1,750 per month and the only other home near the area is a five-bed property, costing €2,000 per month.

In early March, there were just 21 homes available to rent long-term in Galway city, with costs starting at €970 a month for a one-bed and up to €3,500 for a five-bed home.

Only two homes were found to cost less than €1,000 a month, with a majority listed as over €1,500 per month.

“Quite frankly it’s appalling that such a high number of appropriate long-term homes are being leased out as short-term stays for holidaymakers,” said Threshold’s Western Services Manager Karina Timothy.

“This is leaving private renters who are facing eviction with few options of alternative long-term accommodation.

“While regulations are in place for change of property use, it’s clear that there is a strong need for a greater enforcement of these regulations in order to resolve the problem of long-term rental property supply.”

A new short-term let registration system is set to be launched by Fáilte Ireland early next year, which will mean that property owners must register the accommodation with Fáilte Ireland to let the home as a short-term holiday let.

This forms part of the government’s Housing For All Plan, launched last September.

Threshold hopes the Government will go one step further and place a responsibility on the letting platforms to require proof of registration before publishing the advertisement.

“While the short-term registration system with Fáilte Ireland will be of great benefit to landlords and holidaymakers, it’s really important that it is enforced correctly and regulated,” Karina Timothy added, “or else we risk ending up in the same scenario again where long-term options become ones that are advertised as short-term.”