The new Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 was signed into law on 31 May 2019 and supplementary regulations entitled the Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (“Regulations”), came into effect on 1 July 2019. The new legislation aims to relieve the unrelenting pressure on a housing market struggling to provide affordable accommodation and to return properties to the long-term housing market by placing restrictions on a previously unregulated short-term letting market.
Who and what is affected by the Regulations?
The Regulations will only apply in areas designated as rent pressure zones  i.e. those zones which have been highlighted as areas where the housing shortage is at its worst.
The Regulations mainly affect those who rent out all or part of a property that is not their principal private residence. However, some of the Regulations will apply to those who homeshare.
Licensed accommodation such as serviced apartments, guest houses, holiday homes, B&Bs and hotels will not be subject to the Regulations.
The key changes
- Those who wish to short term let a property that is not their principal private residence will have to apply for a change of use planning permission, before being allowed to continue to sub-let. 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 will continue to be permissible on an unrestricted basis and be exempted from the new legislation.
- Those who homeshare will be 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 will be required.
Effect of the new rules
The new legislation has the most impact on landlords throughout these rent pressure zones many of whom rely on the more lucrative short-term letting income. Critics of the Regulations submit that the introduction of these new provisions will cause undue hardship to landlords for a potentially minute trade-off in housing availability.
About the author, Nicola Walsh, Partner – Head of Property
 Full list of rent pressure zones is at https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/rent-pressure-zones/
 The letting of a room or rooms in a person’s principal private residence