Tag Archives: Airbnb

Barker family and a hidden camera in a Cork property they rented via Airbnb

On Monday.

Nealie Barker, from New Zealand, who was visiting Cork with her husband and five children, wrote on Facebook:

We are avid Airbnb users. We love the platform.

We just found a camera hidden in a smoke alarm case in the private living room of a listing. We were travelling with children.

The host admitted to the concealed camera over the phone, only after presented with our irrefutable proof.

The Airbnb safety team investigated our complaint (we provided photos and snapshot of video feed). Their “thorough” investigation which didn’t include any follow-up with us exonerated the host, no explanation provided.

The listing (with hidden camera not mentioned) is still on Airbnb.

The host is now claiming our accusation is false on the public platform.

Guest safety is not an Airbnb priority!

After this post on Facebook, the Barker family were offered a refund and Airbnb said it would reinvestigate the matter.

The host has since been permanently removed by Airbnb from its listings.

In a statement to The Irish Times, Airbnb said:

“The safety and privacy of our community – both online and offline – is our priority. Airbnb policies strictly prohibit hidden cameras in listings and we take reports of any violations extremely seriously.

“There have been more than 500 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are incredibly rare.”

Family found hidden live cam in Airbnb in Cork after trying to connect to wifi (The Irish Times)

Data Protection Commission investigating hidden camera in Airbnb property (The Irish Examiner)

Airbnb logo

Fiona Reddan, in The Irish Times, reports:

Dublin’s top earning Airbnb property is now pulling in about €230,000 a year from short-term lets, as new figures from aggregator AirDNA show no decline in listings on the platform despite Government plans to restrict its use through new regulations.

…The median monthly revenue is currently €1,997 for an entire property, or €880 for a room, falling to €1,143 for the lowest earners, and rising to €4,664 for the top 10 per cent of earners. Revenue for this top cohort reached a peak of €6,249 a month during the summer of 2018.

While Airbnb said its average Irish host earned about €3,500 a year in 2017, figures from AirDNA show that the earnings for the top properties in Dublin can be significantly more.

Gulp.

Dublin’s top earning Airbnb property pulls in €230,000 a year (Fiona Reddan, The Irish Times)


‘Take Back The City’ protestors occupy the offices of Airbnb on Hanover Quay, Dublin last October

Via John Harris in The Guardian:

I stay in a flat just to the north of Dublin’s city centre, booked via Airbnb…

As if to prove that I am not the only person there paying for a short let, there is a gaggle of young men in the flat above me, who – despite the fact that it is Monday – repeatedly sing a dire and apparently drunken version of Robbie Williams’s Angels between midnight and 1am.

But the buggies and tricycles on each landing suggest that most of my temporary neighbours are families.

I pay £95 for a single night’s stay (including a £43 “cleaning fee”), which highlights why whoever owns it has decided to rent it out in this way.

The same move has been made by scores of other landlords: in August 2018, there were reckoned to be 3,165 entire properties listed on Airbnb in Dublin, compared with only 1,329 available for long-term rent.

This is one vivid element of a housing crisis that combines the most contorted aspects of the private market with a rising need that continues to go unanswered.

About 10,000 people in Ireland are reckoned to be homeless. The number of families who have nowhere to live has increased by more than 20% since 2017.

These are national problems, but they are inevitably concentrated in Ireland’s capital, home to more than 10% of the country’s population.

In the four months between June and September, 415 Dublin families – including 893 children – became newly homeless, adding to a total across the city of about 1,400. Increasing numbers are being forced to live in hotels.

Meanwhile, residential neighbourhoods echo to the clack-clack-clack of suitcase wheels. The city is smattered with key boxes for Airbnb apartments.

A stock line among activists demanding action from the government gets to the heart of all this: in 21st-century Dublin, they say, homeless families stay in hotels, and tourists stay in houses.

Last week, a survey titled the Expat City Ranking found that among people who live and work abroad, Dublin came out as the world’s worst capital for affordable accommodation.

Since the summer, there have been repeated protests in the city, focused most spectacularly on occupations of vacant buildings.

Tomorrow [Saturday] a protest organised by the National Homeless and Housing Coalition is expected to attract thousands of people to the middle of Dublin, set on making the case for housing as a basic human right and venting their anger and fear about a simple enough fact: that Ireland’s capital is fast becoming an impossible place to live and thousands of lives are being ruined as a result.

30,000 empty homes and nowhere to live: inside Dublin’s housing crisis (John Harris, Guardian)

Yesterday: Rory Hearne: Why Your Country Needs You To Join The Housing Protest

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 Daft.ie.

“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

Saints, Scholars and Short-Term Lets: The Reality of AirBnB in Ireland,

A new documentary by PushPull Media Collective.

They write:

August 2018, in the midst of a nationwide housing emergency, there are roughly 10 times the available housing stock for rent on AirBnB in Dublin City as there are on Ireland’s leading property website daft.ie.

For this short documentary, we speak to those affected by AirBnB, from individuals being evicted to make way for AirBnB, to local business owners who cannot find housing for their staff due to short-term lets, to those on the front line campaigning for a change in this unregulated space. San Francisco Tenants Union filled us in on their experiences with AirBnB and the recent regulations that have been put in place there.

We also got the inside track from a company that services AirBnB properties in Dublin, who explain how they maneuver around London’s AirBnB regulations and how they anticipate doing the same in Dublin if regulations are enacted here.

PushPull Media Collective

At the weekend.

Rob Cross tweeted:

“This image [top] shows 4,810 private rooms and the 5,038 entire houses/apartments currently listed on Airbnb Dublin lettings. Airbnb is taking potential shared accommodation away from renters which increases rents, house prices and is adversely affecting housing crisis…”

Anyone?

Previously: ‘Hitting 10,000 Doesn’t Tell Us Anything That Hitting 9,000 Didn’t Tell Us’

Gulp.

Meanwhile…

airbnb


Judith Goldberger writes:

I see Airbnb is offering ‘free’ housing to people stranded by immigration order in the US.
Could they not they have done the same for homeless in Dublin? Airbnb is playing a role in eliminating the number of units available to everyone not well off whether they are homeless or want to buy….

Fight!

Airbnb offers free housing to people stranded by immigration order (TechCrunch)

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil yesterday

Yesterday.

In the Dáil.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin asked the Taoiseach Enda Kenny about the regulation of properties on Airbnb in Dublin.

They had the following exchange…

Eoin Ó Broin: “As the Taoiseach knows the November homeless figures showed, yet again, a further rise in the number of people living in emergency accommodation, with 6,985 people in such accommodation, including 2,549 children. ”

“In addition to the lack of supply of social housing, the lack of adequate private rental accommodation is feeding this crisis.”

Today in Dublin there are only 1,564 properties available for rent but there are 6,225 units listed on Airbnb. The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy [Simon] Coveney, gave a commitment in October to introduce secondary legislation to properly regulate this sector to ensure that only properties adequate for the purposes of Airbnb would be considered and the rest would require planning permission. When will this secondary legislation be published and will the Opposition be consulted on its contents?”

Enda Kenny: “We have been through this at some considerable length over the past period of time. The action plan allows for the building of 1,500 rapid-build units and 1,600 vacant units have been sourced by the Housing Agency.”

“The expanded HAP scheme for homeless tenancies reached 550 in 2016 and will reach 1,200 in 2017. The plan also includes a 40% increase in homeless funding from €70million to €98 million in 2017. This year there will be a spend of €1.2 billion on social housing.”

“I will ask the Minister to give Deputy Ó Broin more accurate details and a date on which he expects the legislation to be published. I would point out that 200 extra beds have been provided at Ellis Quay, Little Britain Street, Carman’s Hall and Wolf Tone Quay.”

Meanwhile…

Further to this…

Yesterday evening, Mr Ó Broin released a statement, in which he said:

“In Dublin there are currently 6,225 Airbnb listings. According to data available on Inside Airbnb 2,847 or 45.4% of these listings are for entire homes and apartments. Furthermore 44.5% of the hosts have multiple listings which can indicate that it’s more likely they are running a business.

“Today, according to Daft.ie there are only 1,564 properties available to rent in the capital. With the homeless figures for November showing that 6,985 people were accessing emergency accommodation, including 2549 children, we need to ensure we are looking at every option possible to make more housing stock available.

“Back in October 2016, when An Bord Pleanála upheld a ruling that a property owner in Temple Bar required planning permission to continue renting the property out for short-term lets, Minister Coveney backed this ruling. In December, when the issue was raised in the Seanad, the Minister stated that efforts were underway to clamp down on this activity and that a change in the planning treatment was a good way to deal with it.

“Today I asked the Taoiseach to detail when the secondary legislation promised to deal with this issue will be published. Unfortunately he couldn’t give me an answer but I will be writing to Minister Coveney asking him to provide the information requested and to ask if the opposition parties will have an opportunity to have some input on the development of the regulations.

“Sinn Féin is not against the principle of Airbnb as it was originally designed however it is my view that renting out a room in your home is entirely different to renting out your entire property. If the latter is the case then you need planning permission to change the property from residential use to commercial use. While we will assess the Minister’s regulations when they are published, we believe that a maximum of six weeks rental per year is reasonable. If you are providing a commercial accommodation service then standard B&B permissions should apply.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie