Renting your property for short-term lets

Introduction

If you rent out your property, or a room in your property to visitors for short-term lets there are certain tax implications, and there may also be other rules that you need to follow. Short-term lets are stays of less than 14 days at a time, for example, if you rent out your property on a booking website such as Airbnb so people can stay there for a weekend.

The rules around short-term letting are based on new regulations introduced on 1 July 2019. The regulations aim to bring properties used for short-term tourist lettings in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) back to the long-term rental market. Rent Pressure Zones are areas where rents are highest and rising quickly. These short-term regulations will continue as long as RPZs are in place. RPZs are set to expire on 31 December 2021, unless they are extended by further legislation.

If you are renting out your property for short-term lets in any area you need to declare the income you make from this to Revenue each year.

Rules

Planning permission

If you are renting out a property, or a room in your property for short-term lets, you may have to apply to your local authority for planning permission to change the use of the property, so it can be used for tourism and short-term letting purposes.

This requirement for planning permission only applies to homeowners in Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) who:

  • Let out their entire home (principal private residence) for short-term lets of more than 90 days in total while they are away. (Your principal private residence is the place where you ordinarily live).
  • Let out a second property for short-term lets

It is unlikely that planning permission for short-term lets will be granted in areas of high housing demand, where there is high rent inflation, insufficient supply and lots of applications.

Exemptions from the planning permission requirements

You do not have to apply for planning permission if:

  • Your property is not in a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ)
  • Your property is in an RPZ, but you let rooms or the entire property out for 15 days or more at a time
  • Your property is a holiday home that has already been approved as dedicated tourist accommodation
  • Your property is used for corporate or executive lets. For example, lettings provided for people coming to Ireland under employment contracts.
  • You rent your property out under the rent-a-room scheme
  • The property is purpose-built student accommodation. (This accommodation generally has the required planning permission, which means accommodation is reserved for students during the academic year, but short-stays are allowed outside of term time.)
  • You are ‘home-sharing’. Home-sharing is where a homeowner rents a room or rooms in their principal private residence for short-term lets while they are also occupying it. (In this situation you can offer unlimited short-term lettings for less than 14 days at a time.)
  • You rent out your entire principal private residence for short-term visitors for less than 90 days a year while you are temporarily away. The 90 days do not have to be consecutive and the full 90 day allowance is allowed for 1 July – 31 December 2019.

Note: Purpose-built student accommodation is exempt from the planning permission requirement. But, if you own an apartment or house in an RPZ that is not your principal private residence and you rent it to students during the academic terms, but want to use it for short-term lettings during the summer holidays, you need to apply for planning permission from your local authority.

Registering with the planning authority

In certain situations you will need to register with the planning authority in order to get an exemption from the requirement for planning permission. This applies if:

  • You rent a room in your principal private residence for short-term lets while you are also occupying it
  • You are going to be away from your principle private residence and you want to let it out on a short-term basis, for less than 90 days in a calendar year

See the ‘How to apply’ section below for information on what you need to do to register with the planning authority.

For more information on these new regulations see the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s New Regulation of Short-Term Lettings FAQ’s.

What happens if I don’t follow the regulations?

Under the Planning and Development Act 2000 planning authorities can take legal action if a property does not have the required permission, or where terms of the permission have not been met.

Tax obligations when renting on a short-term basis

You must pay tax on any income you make from renting accommodation to guests on a short-term basis, for example, through an online booking website such as Airbnb. This income must be declared to Revenue each year. You can complete and submit your tax return form online using:

Alternatively, you can complete a hard-copy annual tax return and return it to your local tax office. The tax office can answer any queries you may have and will help if you have any difficulties completing the form. Find more information in our document on ‘How to comply with your tax obligations’ or on revenue.ie.

Rates

To apply for planning permission to use a property for short-term lettings the usual fees for ‘change in use’ of a building from residential to commercial apply, see below.

Class of development Fee for planning permission Fee for retention permission
Other buildings (for example, offices or commercial) €3.60 per square metre (minimum €80 per building) €10.80 per square metre (minimum €240 per building)

There is no charge to register your short-term let with the local authority, if you are exempt from the planning permission requirement but need to notify them about the exemption, see ‘Registering with the planning authority’ above.

How to apply

Applying for planning permission

If you need to get planning permission you fill in a planning permission form, which is available on your local authorities website. Submit the completed form and the required documents to the Planning Department of your local authority. For new short-term letting use you should apply for planning permission, whereas for existing unauthorised use you must apply for retention permission. It normally takes about 8 weeks to process an application.

When making its decision on a planning application about short-term letting the planning authority will take a number of things into account, such as whether the area is experiencing high housing demand, high rent inflation, insufficient supply and lots of planning applications for short-term lets. It should be noted that if this is the case, it is unlikely that planning permission will be granted.

You can appeal a planning permission decision to An Bord Pleanála. For more information on how to do this, read An Bord Pleanála’s Guide to making a Planning Appeal (pdf).

Registering with the local authority

If you are offering short-term lettings in an RPZ area, but are exempt from the planning permission requirement, you still need to register with the local authority in order to avail of this exemption.

You must complete the following forms and provide any additional documents needed and send them to your local authority within the required time limits.

  • Form 15 – Start of year notification form. This form should be sent to your local authority within 4 weeks of the start of each year, and no later than 2 weeks before the first short-term let of the year for that property.
  • Form 17 – End of year notification form. This should be sent to your local authority between the 1 and 28 January of the year after the lettings have taken place.
  • Form 16 – 90 day threshold notification form. This should only be sent to your local authority if you are a homeowner temporarily away from your home and reach the 90 day threshold during the year. You should submit the form no more than 2 weeks after the 90 day threshold has been reached.

You will have to provide documentation proving that the property is your principal private residence.

These registration forms are available on your local authorities website and they can be sent by email or post. Dublin City Council also has an online application option.

Where to apply

Apply to your local authority.
Page edited: 30 July 2019