Poll: Should Airbnb hosts be blocked from renting out homes they don't live in?

The home-sharing site says many people use its service to pay off mortgages and other bills.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

THE GOVERNMENT LOOKS set to finally clamp down on home-sharing platforms like Airbnb as part of an effort to ease the housing crisis in the capital.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy announced last week that his department intends to introduce regulations for short-term letting in a bid to bring empty housing units back on the rental market.

Murphy said the rules will be similar to those introduced by city authorities in Toronto, which ensure that a person can only rent their home as a short-term let if it is their principal residence – they’re restricted from renting out properties they don’t permanently live in.

The government hopes that such a measure will help ease the pressure on Dublin’s shortage of available housing, which has driven up rental prices in the city.

An estimated 640,000 people used Airbnb in Ireland this summer at a time when the capital is grappling with a lack of available hotel stock to meet consumer demand.

The company said in August that its users contributed €57 million to the Irish economy from June to September. It has previously argued that the average host uses the platform primarily to pay off bills like mortgage repayments.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Should Airbnb hosts be blocked from renting out homes they don’t live in?

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