KT

Penalising short-term rentals is wrong

The Sruthán na Sailí development in Killarney, built recently by Michael Cronin of Thermohouse, is the result of a partnership between Clúid, Kerry County Council, the Department of Housing

Any person who owns a house should have the right to rent it on a short-term basis, or do whatever they want with it, if they need to generate extra revenue to pay basis costs without having to deal with the red tape of legislation, a Kerry TD has insisted.

Commenting on the strict requirement for people to register with the local authority if they wish to rent their property, Deputy Danny Healy-Rae told the Dáil that he knows many landlords or people who own houses who rent them for a few months and are “glad of the few bob”.

He said he recently met a couple who are letting their own home for the legally permitted 90 days and they move in with the woman’s mother for that three-month period.

“They are letting the house because they want to put money aside to send their youngsters to college. God almighty, they should not be stopped from doing that. They are a very respectable and honourable couple but they were encountering problems with letting the house,” he said.

Deputy Healy-Rae said the visitors who rent a house for a few months mean a lot to the local economy in rural places such as Gneeveguilla, Scartaglin and Kilgarvan.

Deputy Danny Healy-Rae
Builder Michael Cronin

“It boosts the local pub or shop. That means something. We should not deprive those people of that,” he said.

“The other thing is these visitors want to experience rural areas. Perhaps they left cities and hotels and gave half their life living in those very bright-light urban areas and want to experience a local place.

“If we hurt those people who operate what they call this Airbnb system, it would be wrong,” he stated.

Deputy Healy-Rae said Kerry County Council has enough to do besides having to enforce the new legislation on behalf of the government.

The state-of-the-art Sruthán na Sailí development in Killarney

He said the local authority should concentrate on providing houses to those waiting for a home rather than sending out enforcement letters to those renting a property.

The Kerry TD added that the new tenant purchase scheme for local authority houses in not fit for purpose and more funding should be allocated to local authorities to build new houses.

He welcomed recent housing projects in Killarney, Barrafuff  and Milltown by Kerry County Council and housing agency Clúid and he praised the local construction companies involved for building them in a very short space of time.

“I thank the likes of Michael Cronin – or Mike Jack as we call him in Kerry – for all the houses he has built in Killarney and Milltown for Clúid. We should also recognise the great work KPH Construction is doing in Barraduff,” Deputy Healy-Rae said in the Dáil.

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