Housing crisis

Landlords’ greed for short-term rentals exacerbates housing crisis

National housing charity Threshold has criticized the increase in short-term rentals for holidaymakers in Galway city as the housing crisis continues to wreak havoc across the country.

Research by Threshold shows that in December 2021 there were 1,525 short stay adverts in the city and county of Galway. Of these, 972 were entire houses.

On March 16, there were only 45 whole properties available to rent in County Galway.

One owner offers more than 20 properties in Galway city and its surrounding suburbs, with one property – a three-bed apartment – costing €735 for a minimum stay of three nights.

In comparison, the closest apartment to a central location available for long-term rental is a one-bed apartment which costs €1,430 per month.

A separate owner offers over ten properties for short term rental outside Galway city, one of which is a whole house along the Galway coast sleeping up to 14 people. For a two-night stay, this property costs just under €1,500.

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

At the start of March, there were just 21 houses available for long-term rental in Galway city, with costs starting at €970 per month for a bed and up to €3,500 for a five-bed house.

Only two houses cost less than €1,000 per month, with the majority costing over €1,500 per month.

“Quite frankly, it’s appalling that so many suitable long-term accommodations are being rented out for short-term stays for vacationers,” said Karina Timothy, Threshold’s Western Services Manager.

“This leaves private tenants who are facing eviction with few alternative long-term accommodation options.

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

A new short-term rental registration system is due to be launched by Fáilte Ireland early next year, which means landlords must register the accommodation with Fáilte Ireland to rent the house as a holiday rental in short term.

This is part of the government program Housing plan for alllaunched last September.

Threshold hopes the government will go further and impose a responsibility on rental platforms to require proof of registration before posting the ad.

“While the short-term check-in system with Fáilte Ireland will be of great benefit to owners and holidaymakers, it is really important that it is applied correctly and regulated, added Karina Timothy, “otherwise we risk finding ourselves in the same scenario where long-term options become those advertised as short-term.