New stricter controls on short-term rentals could be in place by September.
Under the new rules, short-term letting sites like Airbnb will not be allowed to advertise properties in rent pressure zones unless they are certain they have the required planning permission.
Under the current rules, anyone looking to rent out a second home on Airbnb must apply for planning permission to do so.
The new regulations would see both the property owners and the online platform fined for advertising properties that do not have the necessary planning permission.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said the changes would see more homes returning to the long-term rental market.
“We know that significant numbers of properties have been withdrawn from the long-term rental market in recent years and diverted for use as short-term lettings, negatively impacting on the supply and availability of private residential rental accommodation with associated knock-on implications for rental prices,” he said.
“This trend has been made easier through the use of online platforms and has been particularly acute in urban areas of high housing demand.
“Through these new controls, we are strengthening the regulations which are in place and ensuring that homes are used to the best effect in areas of acute housing need.”
He said the new controls will be in place for an initial period of six months to allow the Department of Tourism to establish a new register of short-term letting properties.
“Government are acutely aware of the pressures on the rental market at present and we expect that these new and significant controls will help to ease that pressure,” said Minister O’Brien.
The register is expected to be in place by the end of the year.
It is being overseen by Fáilte Ireland and will allow the short-term letting market to be properly regulated with the aim of balancing the needs of the housing market and the tourism sector.