Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
251. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the resources available to local authorities to enforce short-term letting regulations; his plans to provide additional assistance in this area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27580/21]
On 4 June 2019, my Department wrote to planning authorities with Rent Pressure Zone designations (RPZs) - to which the short-term letting regulations apply - seeking estimated resource funding requirements for the implementation and enforcement of the new short-term letting provisions, to cover the period until the end of 2021. My Department wrote again to planning authorities on 2 July and 26 September of that year seeking new or revised estimates following the designation of additional RPZs in certain parts of the country, which extended the application of the short-term letting provisions to these areas. Details of the resource requirements sought primarily relate to the recruitment of additional enforcement staff, but also include, inter alia, associated legal, IT and other administrative costs.
Since then, further communication has taken place between my Department and all relevant planning authorities seeking clarification and refinement of the resourcing requests, as well as in relation to the practical implementation of the short-term letting provisions.
For 2020, €2.5m was made available by my Department to support planning authorities in the implementation and enforcement of the short-term letting legislation. Similarly, a further €2.5m has been made available in respect of 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the level of enforcement and implementation of the short-term letting regulations by planning authorities and also the number of properties being made available for short-term letting purposes, with many - at least temporarily - now operating in the long-term letting sector. To date, based on funding requests received from planning authorities, a total of €1.44m has been drawn down by the relevant planning authorities for the purposes of implementing the short-term letting regulations. My Department will consider any further requests for additional assistance as it receives them.