At the Dublin office of Airbnb at the weekend

On Saturday.

Members of the Take Back The City action group took advantage of the Open House Dublin architectural festival – when the offices of Airbnb  on Hanover Quay were open to the public – and occupied them for about two hours.

The group explained:

“As of August 2018 there were 3,165 entire properties for rent on AirBnb in Dublin, compared to 1,329 properties available for longterm rent on

“This is at a time when there are over 1,350 families homeless in the greater Dublin region alone.

“In 2015, Airbnb lobbied the Irish Government to ensure profits made through Airbnb got a substantial tax break.

In 2017, there was a 63% increase in Airbnb usage across Ireland. During the same time period, homelessness in Ireland increased by 2,000 people.

“Our tenant support groups frequently hear from people who have been evicted on grounds of “significant renovations”, only to find their old homes subsequently rented out on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms

“Airbnb appears to have rapidly colonised vast amounts of our city, locking people out of homes.

“The budget will accelerate this process, as it incentivises landlords to buy for let only and, as we all know, Airbnb gives you a much higher yield per property than just renting to long-term residents.

“Airbnb have exacerbated the housing crisis in Dublin and Ireland as a whole. A platform that markets convenience by “disruption” has delivered nothing but chaos to the people of our city.

“They have no place in our city – the city should serve the needs of all its people, not the needs of tech, finance and the tourism industry. Today was another strong showing of people power and civil disobedience – the only two tactics that can drive a solution to this crisis.

Take Back the City Demands:

1. All vacant land and property be taken by compulsory purchase order and put to social use as universal public housing.

2. All vacant land and property across the country be taken into public ownership and put to public and community use.

3. Tenant Security and Fair Rent: Ban all evictions, reduce and cap rent at 20% of the occupants income or at €300 per room per month.

“In addition to our original demands we are calling for:

“A total ban on whole properties being offered on Airbnb and similar short-term letting platforms in the city; regulation has failed in other cities, we need only to look at Amsterdam or Berlin to realise this.

“A total ban is the only way of reversing the effect of short-term letting on our crisis.”

Previously: More Airbnbs Than Rental Units (January 2017)

Pics: Take Back The City and Barney Doherty

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36 thoughts on “Open House

  1. Paul Davis

    As of August 2018 there were 3,165 entire properties for rent on AirBnb in Dublin, compared to 1,329 properties available for longterm rent on

    AirBnB properties are free every second night or so on average I woud think, Daft rental come available every 18 months or so.

    Basic maths needed here.

  2. Halfdoor

    Nothing to do with AirBNB. Its lack of regulations that created the issue here, not AirBNB itself.

    1. George

      There protest is calling for regulation of Airbnb. or AiRbnB or AIRbnb or whatever you want to call it.

        1. Dr.Fart MD

          what?!?!??! does Cian, the greatest government shill ever actually want air bnb regulated? could this be the very first time i’d ever agree on anything with him?

          1. Cian

            Yeah. Except I’m not a shill. And I do disagree with some government policies. I just give people the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Joe

      we need full property temporary rentals, the market wants it. hotels are missing a trick by not creating more apartment type accommodation instead of rooms.

  3. john f

    Proto-Marxist scum.
    Ban all evictions? Whilst the landlord still has to pay insurance, mortgage, maintenance local property taxes et cetera. If it was not possible to evict somebody why would anyone pay rent?
    Their made-up statistics are a laugh. They have confused correlation with causation. The problem with the high homelessness rates has been caused by many factors, most of all the state not building enough social housing units and the unwillingness of many to move to areas outside of cities because it’s too far away from their mammy’s.
    Most use airbnb to rent out a spare room in the house to generate passive income. They are not to blame for the current housing crisis. There seems to be a real bitterness behind all these ‘protests’and the politics of envy seems to drive them.
    They protest for a few hours, take lots of selfies for the public relations campaign, take to social media and explain how righteous and virtuous they are and then go home to their comfortable home’s.

    1. john f

      As with other new paradigm shifting emerging technologies Airbnb needs to be properly regulated but the calls for an outright ban are just ludicrous.

    2. Dr_Chimp

      Spot on.
      Why don’t they come out and say that they want to repeal the constitutionally protected right to private property. That’s all this is. Scapegoating Air BnB to progress ideology

  4. Anomanomanom

    The list of demands is ridiculous, people like this with utopian thinking are the worst. You need to be realistic, not just spout out poopy sound bites to sound outraged and be on the “little” guys side.

  5. kellMA

    Air BNB does definitely need tightening. It’s not the sole issue and the underlying lack of housing additions over the years is the key issue that is further exacerbated by Air BNB. A few work colleagues of mine fell foul of the notice to move out one week and then the week after the property is on Air BNB for 3 times the rent.
    Apart from that, it is a scourge for those that live near those apartments/properties as they have to deal with transient neighbours in constant holiday mode. Banning evictions and basing rent on incomes on private properties is a tad ludicrous. having said that I’m all for these ructions if it means it is putting a bit more pressure on the government to move things along here.

  6. Vanessa off the Telly

    I have mixed thoughts on this
    On a personal level I don’t like the Air B n’ B model, and it matches the expression I’ve seen here a lot lately

    But it is a business

    I’m not sure about regulating their business as that would be bringing us down the route of restricting commercial enterprises going about their core activities

    However, one thing about its presence here and how it got so dominant in the rental sector
    is the use of the Rent-a-Room scheme to exempt earnings from Income Tax
    Maybe Revenue and the Minister for Finance should consider removing income from Air B & B Tourists from that generous Tax Credit
    or maybe re-brand the Tax Relief from Rent-A-Room to Local Household Accommodation for students and workers (vouching proof could be easily provided from the College the occupying Student is registered in, or the employer)

    its just a thought not an opinion

    1. Brother Barnabas

      rent-a-room-relief doesn’t and has never applied to Airbnb earnings

      revenue clarified that around 5 years ago

      1. Vanessa off the Telly

        Hi Brother
        They clarified that the relief was for accommodation and not ‘guest’
        along with a few other restrictions

        But they have never actually pinned it down beyond referring to the occupancy being sourced through an online booking forum

        So owner of say, an apartment in Harold’s Cross, can remove that portion of income from their exempt relief, but then retain the contact information of the guest for repeat bookings made direct.
        I understand this happens too regularly
        and in fact on the Telly Stephen Garland referred to it happening all the time

        1. Brother Barnabas

          well good luck with that if they’re audited – that’s evasion

          it clearly states that the relief does not apply to “short-term stays, including [but not limited to] accommodation booked through online booking sites”

          states separately that it applies only to residential accommodation, which has been defined elsewhere

          1. Vanessa off the Telly

            Loopholes it what makes people rich Brother

            another way to completely define it is to ban Air B & B and similar from allowing Owner Occupied listings

          2. Brother Barnabas

            i don’t see where the loophole is – and I don’t think there is one

            if you’re engaging in short-term lets via airbnb or anything else and not paying tax on the income on the basis of it being covered by the rent-a-room scheme (which it isn’t), that’s straightforward evasion

            and anything you’ve earned via airbnb since 2015 is on record with Revenue as of august 2018

            time for an amended return

          3. Vanessa off the Telly

            I read as sourcing the let from an online booking platform being the restriction
            once contact details are secured
            there is noting stopping a manual booking in the future

            I think barring Air B & B from all owner occupied properties is a firm and unambiguous start

          4. Brother Barnabas

            i don’t think so

            it says “including but not limited to”

            obviously if people exchange details and do it for cash, unlikely you’d get caught – but it’s not a loophole; It’s still illegal

  7. Baffled

    “Ban all evictions, reduce and cap rent at 20% of the occupants income or at €300 per room per month”

    That manifesto would see the private rental stock collapse as:

    (i) Every would-be buy to let landlord would be handily outbid by an owner-occupier whenever a rental property is offered for sale by its present owner (i.e. the prospective landlord would be pricing off this artificially low rent while the would-be owner occupier would use sane metrics); and

    (ii) There will be no new build-to-rent stock coming to market as the average cost of delivering an apartment is €330k as per SCSI estimates and you can’t make the economics of new rental properties work if you can only charge €300/month per room.

  8. Gavin

    If they got everything they wanted the rental market would be devoid of people willing to rent. Demands are insane. And if I want to rent out a room via Airbnb, who’s business is that but my own…. and Revenue of course

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