Responsible hosting in Ireland
We encourage hosts to think carefully about their responsibilities. Hosting offers rich experiences, but it comes with a certain level of commitment. In addition to the Hospitality Standards, here are some ways you can be a responsible host. *
Indicate local emergency numbers and the nearest hospital. Provide a clear emergency contact number for yourself, as well as backup, for easy guest reference. Also make clear how you should be contacted if the guest has questions or issues arise.
Make a first aid kit easily available.
The Government has published a guide to fire safety in paid-for accommodation in Ireland. You can access it here.
The guide explains that people in control of guest accommodation (as defined in the Fire Services Act, 1981) “are required to take all reasonable measures to guard against the outbreak of fire on the premises, and to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the safety of persons on the premises in the outbreak of fire”.
The guide also explains that “guest accommodation is provided in many different building types and there will be a need for flexibility in the implementation of the Guide's recommendations in particular cases. The Guide is intended to assist, and not replace, professional judgement for particular circumstances”.
Ensure you have a clearly marked fire escape route, and post a map in your home.
Always be mindful of your guests' privacy. Fully disclose whether there are security cameras or other surveillance equipment at or around your listing. Make sure you are aware of and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Go through your home to identify any areas where guests might trip or fall and either remove the hazard or mark clearly. Fix any exposed wires. Ensure stairs are safe and have railings. Remove or lock up any objects that may be dangerous to your guests.
Ensure your home is safe for children, or else notify guests of potential hazards.
Ensure your home is properly ventilated and that temperature control is clearly marked and functional. Ensure guests are clear about how to safely use the heater. If you have gas appliances, you should make sure you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector, that appliances are serviced regularly, and that you are following any gas safety regulations that apply to your home.
How can I be mindful of my neighbours?
Ensure you relay your building's common area rules to your guest. You may want to even notify your neighbours that you will have guests, and remind guests not to bother your neighbours (e.g., don't knock on their door or buzz them to let you in).
If you don't allow smoking, we suggest posting signs to remind guests. If you do allow smoking, ensure you have ashtrays available in designated areas.
Ensure you relay parking rules for your building and neighbourhood to your guest.
Remind guests about keeping noise down. You may want to consider whether you allow babies, pets, or parties. Develop a policy about guests inviting other people over, and ensure your guests are clear about your 'party policy.'
If you allow pets, ensure guests are educated about things like local parks and local customs (e.g., cleaning up after your dog). Have a backup plan in case a guest's pet upsets the neighbours (such as the number of a nearby pet hotel). You should also check your lease or other rules affecting your building in case they contain restrictions on pets.
To avoid surprises, you may want to include the information covered above in your House Rules in your Airbnb listing profile.
Important Things To Check
Hosting in Ireland:
When deciding whether to become an Airbnb host, it’s important for you to understand the laws and regulations that apply in your Country and in your town or city. It is also important to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you, such as leases or the rules established by your building’s management company.
We are providing the links and suggestions below to get you started. We need to be clear: this information is not legal advice – it is only a starting point for your research. We have not independently verified the links provided, so even when a website or guide is provided by a government agency, you should confirm its accuracy.
Some of the laws that may apply to you are complicated. If you have questions, you should contact the appropriate government department, local council or agency directly, or get a local solicitor or accountant to advise you.
If you provide property management services, the Property Services Regulation Act 2011 may be relevant to you. In certain situations, it requires a licence to provide “Property Services”. While we recommend you review the legislation to understand if it applies to you, note that the Act provides that it does not apply to “a property service consisting solely of a short-term letting to a person where such letting— (i) does not exceed or is unlikely to exceed 8 consecutive weeks, and (ii) is for bona fide tourism or other leisure purposes”.
If you describe your accommodation as a “guest house”, the Tourist Traffic Act 1939 may be relevant to you, which requires “guest houses” to register. More information can also be found in the Failte Ireland Guesthouse Classification Scheme .
If you rent more than four bedrooms in a house, where each bedroom is used for the accommodation of not more than four persons as overnight guest accommodation, you may require planning permission under the Planning and Development Act 2000 and the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended).
You may still require planning permission in other situations, and should check with your local authority.
Taxes can be complicated so it’s important to take time to understand the rules as they apply to you and your particular situation.
In general, money you earn from hosting is income, and will be subject to tax. The tax framework that applies to property-related rental income in Ireland can be found here.
We understand that some hosts may not have completed a tax return before and so, as a starting point, please refer to this general guidance provided by Ernst and Young (“EY”) available here (“EY Brief Guidance”). A more detailed version is available here (“EY Guidance”).
This information may help you understand how to complete your tax return as well as some of your tax responsibilities regarding the revenue you earned from your hosting activity on Airbnb and other hosting platforms.
If you’d like personalised advice from a tax professional, we’ve partnered with Taxback.com. They are offering 10% off their individual income tax preparation services for Airbnb hosts who use the service between May 7, 2016, and December 31, 2016. Visit www.taxback.com/airbnb to learn more.
Airbnb's presentation of EY and Taxback.com is not an endorsement. Tax advice is complicated and you should do your own diligence when receiving advice. Airbnb is not responsible for any tax or other advice provided by any outside entity.
Under Section 216A of the Tax Consolidation Act 1997 income earned from the letting of a room for residential purposes in an individual’s sole or main residence that does not exceed €12,000 in a year may be subject to a relief from income tax and other fiscal obligations where certain conditions are satisfied.
In February 2015, the Revenue issued their interpretation of Section 216A in a guidance note available here. In their view, “income from the provision of accommodation to occasional visitors for short periods does not qualify for the relief as, in this scenario, the visitors use the accommodation as guest accommodation rather than for residential purpose”.
Revenue’s interpretation has been questioned by some tax experts, including EY, which suggests that it may be challengeable. Click here for more details (“EY Interpretation”).
Please keep in mind that we are sharing both the EY Interpretation and the EY Guidance with you for information purposes only. They are not legal or tax advice, they are not constantly updated and maintained and neither Airbnb nor EY can assume any responsibility for the interpretation or the general guidance provided in each document. We recommend that you seek advice from your own tax advisor, should you have any concerns about your tax obligations and how tax legislation may or may not apply to you.
Airbnb Ireland is legally required under Sections 888 and 890 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 to provide certain information in relation to Irish host earnings annually to the Irish Revenue. Irish host earnings are:
- All rental income earned by Irish resident hosts in respect of both Irish and foreign listings; and
- All rental income earned by non-Irish resident hosts in respect of Irish listings.
The report is due by September every year and covers earnings for the previous year, i.e., the report due by September 2016 will cover Irish host earnings for the 2015 calendar year.
If you received Irish host earnings during the calendar year, Airbnb is required to provide Irish Revenue with the following information (which we obtain from the details in your Airbnb account):
- Your first and last name
- Address of your listing(s)
- Your address as associated with your payout method
- Amounts paid out in the reportable year, including cleaning fees
- Date of your first booking during the reportable year, by listing
Check any leases, contracts or regulations relating to your building to make sure there is no prohibition against subletting – or any other restriction against hosting. Read your lease agreement and check with your landlord and mortgage lender if applicable. You may consider adding a rider to your contract that addresses the concerns of these parties and outlines the responsibilities and liabilities of all parties.
If you have roommates, consider a roommate agreement in writing which outlines things like how often you plan to host, how you'll ensure guests follow House Rules, and even whether you'll share revenue if that makes sense for you.
Consider whether you should notify your neighbours about your plans to host, along with your plan for how to make sure your guests are not disruptive.
If you live in public or subsidised housing there may be special rules that apply to you. The manager of the property may be able to answer questions about this.
What insurance should I get to cover my home?
Airbnb offers you our Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance, but please note this does not take the place of homeowners or renters insurance or of adequate liability coverage. Click here to read the terms of Airbnb’s Host Guarantee and here to read the terms of Airbnb’s Host Protection Insurance.
Review your renters or homeowners policy with your insurance carrier to make sure you have adequate coverage.
Ensure you have adequate liability coverage as well as property protection.
For more information on how Airbnb works, visit our FAQs.
* Please note that Airbnb has no control over the conduct of Hosts and disclaims all liability. Failure of Hosts to satisfy their responsibilities may result in suspension of activity or removal from the Airbnb website.