A Dublin landlord who evicted tenants last year and told them he was selling the apartments they lived in has been ordered to stop listing them as short-term rentals on Airbnb.
Ublin City Council has given Marc Godart four weeks to stop letting the apartment complex – Reuben House at 8 Reuben Street in Dublin – in the city center as a short-term holiday rental without planning permission.
The council issued an enforcement order following an inspection ordering the “cessation of the unauthorized use of the property”.
The block houses a restaurant, offices and three apartments.
Three tenants were evicted last year and their apartments are now used for short-term vacation rentals on Airbnb, despite the landlord not getting permission to do so from the council.
A resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said so Independent.nl she was evicted last August because the landlord sold the property.
The tenant said that another resident had been notified of their eviction via WhatsApp and that electricity to one apartment was cut off a day before the eviction was to take place.
Following the eviction, the tenant lodged a complaint with Dublin City Council in February and the council carried out an inspection of the property.
As a result of the inspection, the council issued an enforcement notice to the landlord, Mr Godart, on 28 March for “unauthorized use of the property” under section 154 of the Planning and Development Act 2000.
“The cessation of the unauthorized use of the property at Reuben House, 8 Reuben Street, Dublin for short-term letting,” the enforcement order said.
The landlord has been given until April 28 to comply with the cancellation and to stop the short-term rental of the house.
In a rental pressure area, a landlord needs permission from the municipality for short-term rental if the property is not their ‘main home’.
Councilor Darragh Moriarty said the short-term letting is “absolutely illegal”.
“It is absolutely illegal, it is illegal in a rent pressure area to convert living space into short-term rentals without planning permission,” he said.
“The tenants in this situation were told the building was for sale, and it hasn’t. He is planning future developments on the site.”
The planning officer on the case has been notified of the enforcement notice that will be considered when making a planning decision.
“The matter will be forwarded to the Senior Executive Planner, who will decide whether to invalidate the application,” the enforcement notice said.
The urban development permit aims to convert the office space on the first and second floors and the living space on the third to fifth floors into bedroom suites.
There are currently three large apartments on the third, fourth and fifth floors.
Permission is also being requested to convert the two retail units on the ground floor, one of which is vacant and a restaurant, into a reception, launderette and facilities area.
The proposed development will include 16 bedrooms from the first to fifth floors, with terraces along the Reuben Street facade on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors.
According to planning documents, the development, which is located near Coombe Hospital, would provide “short stay accommodation” in the form of an aparthotel.
In the rationale for the conversion, the applicant said he had “discussions” with hospital administrators and claimed that “there is a need for affordable multi-day/week stays for patient families traveling from other parts of the country to visit sick relatives.”
“If consent is granted, the applicant will seek to provide preferential access to hospital staff and relatives of patients in conjunction with the consent of the hospitals,” the planning documents said.
“The aparthotel will have only one or two staff members and a maximum of 16-32 visitors at a time,” it added.
It also said the applicant is “willing to accept an appropriate condition limiting short-term rentals for a period of two months”.
Permission was submitted by Reuben Street Hot Desks Ltd to Dublin City Council last month and the application is open for comments until 11 April.
Independent.nl tried to contact the landlord for comment.
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