Regulation of Short Term Letting

As part of measures to help address pressures in the private housing rental market, planning legislative reforms to regulate the short term letting sector - as provided for in the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 and supplementary regulations made by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government entitled the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 - came into effect on 1 July 2019.

The reforms are primarily aimed at addressing the impact on the private rental market by the use of residential homes for short-term tourism type letting in areas of high housing demand.


Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ)

These provisions apply in areas designated as “Rent Pressure Zones” (RPZ) under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended. On 4 of June 2019, the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 introduced changes to the qualifying criteria to designate an RPZ. The qualifying criteria to designate a Rent Pressure Zone is as follows:

  • The annual rate of rent inflation for the area must be more than 7% in at least four of the last six quarters; and
  • The standardised average rent for the area in the last quarter must be above the appropriate reference standardised average rent for that area in the last quarter.

The Administrative Area of Waterford City and County Council qualifies as a Rent Pressure Zone.  Under the arrangements applicable in Rent Pressure Zones:

  • Short term letting is defined as the letting of a house or apartment, or part of a house or apartment, for any period not exceeding 14 days.
  • Home sharing (the letting of a room or rooms in a person’s principal private residence) will continue to be permissible on an unrestricted basis and be exempted from the new planning requirements.
  • Home sharers will be allowed to sub-let their entire principle private residence (house or apartment) on a short term basis for a cumulative period of 90 days where they are temporarily absent from their home.
  • Where the 90 day threshold is exceeded, change of use planning permission will be required.

If you homeshare your principal private residence in a rent pressure zone and wish to avail of the new planning exemptions, you will need to register this with your local authority and fulfil specified reporting obligations:

  • Form 15 should be completed at the start of the year
  • Form 16 should be completed when the 90 day cap has been reached
  • Form 17 should be completed at the end of each year

However, where a person owns a property in a rent pressure zone which is not their principal private residence and intends to let it for short-term letting purposes, s/he will be required to apply for a change of use planning permission unless the property already has a specific planning permission to be used for tourism or short-term letting purposes.

A “Frequently Asked Questions” document has been prepared to assist in providing a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the new short term letting reforms and the new reporting obligations on homesharers.

Queries

Any queries relating to Home Sharing or Short-Term Letting should be directed by email to shorttermletting@waterfordcouncil.ie

Completed registration/notification forms can be returned by email to: Planning Department, 1st Floor, Menapia Building, The Mall, Waterford, X91 PK15 Or alternatively scan and email to: shorttermletting@waterfordcouncil.ie


Enforcement

Under the Planning Act, all development, including a material change of use, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission. Planning authorities can take enforcement action if a development does not have the required permission or where the terms of permission have not been met.

Unauthorised Development is development and /or use that is in breach of the planning laws. If you think that there is a breach of these provisions and want to report it, you should contact the planning@waterfordcouncil.ie

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