Airbnb 'pricing young Mayo people out of rental market'

There are 27 properties on Airbnb to every long-term let in County Mayo and this is having a shocking impact on young local families.

This is according to Castlebar independent election candidate, Harry Barrett.

Barrett was commenting on a recent report by Dr. Lorcan Sirr, Professor of Housing at the University of Galway, on the effects of the Airbnb platform on local rental prices.

The report found that the lack of long-term lets countrywide was severely impacted by the number of short-term lets available on the Airbnb platform.

Barrett continued: "I am meeting families who are really struggling with high rents, made poorer as a result, people who are stuck at home unable to leave and indeed people who are in difficult situations at home who cannot afford to move out.

"The lack of long-term lets right across Mayo is at a critical level now and this is having a severe impact on young people in terms of the high rents they have to pay, if they are lucky to even find one in the first place.

"Now we learn from this report that for every 27 short-term lets on Airbnb there is only one long-term let on in Mayo and because of this, rent prices are at an all-time high.

"The report shows that typically 2/3 of the short-term lets in any county are full properties and this cannot go on on challenged.

"Mayo landlords have to be incentivised via the tax system to bring their properties back into long-term letting.

"They need less regulation and more protection in terms of dealing with difficult tenants.

"Airbnb properties, however, should be registered and if they are big operations, should be made pay rates like local hotels.

"I call now on local government representatives to take immediate action now to regulate the Airbnb platform in Co. Mayo so as to get more long-term lets into the system.

"We must alleviate the chronic shortage in rental properties in this county, the suffering around high rents and the lack of availability. It’s at critical levels now."