For Written Answer on : 14/02/2023
Question Number(s): 229 Question Reference(s): 6509/23
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if he will outline the current planning requirements with respect to providing short-term self-catering letting accommodation in areas designated as rent pressure zones; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Legislative reforms to regulate the short-term letting sector through the planning code, in areas designated as “rent pressure zones” (RPZs), were introduced under the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) which came into effect on 1 July 2019.
Under this legislation applicable in RPZs:
– 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;
– Homesharing (the letting of a room or rooms in a person’s principal private residence) continues to be permissible on an unrestricted basis and is exempted from the new planning requirements;
– Homesharers are allowed to sub-let their entire principal 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 is required.
If a person homeshares their principal private residence in a RPZ and wishes to avail of the new planning exemptions, they need to register this with their local planning authority and fulfil specified reporting obligations.
However, where a person owns a property in a RPZ which is not their principal private residence and intends to let it for short term letting purposes, s/he is 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.
Under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the Act), all development, including change of use, unless specifically exempted under the Act or associated Regulations, requires planning permission. It is a matter for the relevant planning authority to consider each application on a case-by-case basis and to decide to whether to grant the permission, subject to or without conditions, or to refuse permission.
In making their decision, planning authorities shall have regard to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area, the policies of Government, Ministerial Guidelines and any submissions or observations received on the application during the public participation process in accordance with section 34 of the Act.
Where an applicant wishes to question the decision of the planning authority made under section 34 of the Act, they may appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála under section 37 of the Act within four weeks of the decision of the planning authority. In addition, the decision of the Board may be subject to judicial review within 8 weeks of the decision of the Board under sections 50 and 50A of the Act.
If a person wishes to establish whether or not planning permission is required for a particular development proposal, they can seek a declaration in this regard from their local planning authority under Section 5 of the Act.