Holiday home owned by Labour leader Alan Kelly is being rented out on Airbnb
26th September 2021
A holiday home owned by Labour leader Alan Kelly is being rented out on the short-term letting site Airbnb.
The property is included in the Tipperary TD’s declaration of financial interests for 2020. However, it is not listed as a rental and he has not registered as a landlord.
A spokesperson for Mr Kelly said it is “only very occasionally rented and it didn’t meet the declaration limit for occupational income”.
Politicians do not have to declare holiday homes that are occupied by them or their family. However, if the house is being used for commercial purposes, it must be registered.
If a TD is generating more than €2,600 in gross income from renting the property, they must also register as a landlord.
Where a property is jointly-owned, it is for the TD to determine whether their share exceeded €2,600 during the 12-month period.
Some TDs declare their holiday homes despite their not being used for commercial purposes, while others do not list them on the Register of Members’ Interests.
Fine Gael’s Michael Creed owns a holiday home in Co Kerry, while Galway TD Ciaran Cannon owns a house in France.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has two holiday homes in his native Cork. He owns one of them jointly with four others after inheriting one-fifth of the property.
Neither is listed in his declaration of interests, as he is not required to declare them because they are used by his family.
Fianna Fáil TD Seán Haughey also owns a family holiday home, in Dingle, Co Kerry.
Mr Kelly owns the holiday home in Co Kerry with his wife and did not list himself as a landlord on the register for 2020 as he said the rent received did not reach the required threshold.
The house appears to have been advertised on the short-term rental website for the past three years, with reviews by guests dating from 2018.
The holiday home can only be booked for a minimum of five nights on Airbnb’s website.
For two adults and two children to stay from September 26 to October 1 costs €1,056. This includes a service fee of €156. Mr Kelly last year sold a house in Walkinstown, Co Dublin, for €285,000 and the only other property he owns is his home in Co Tipperary.
Some members of the Labour Party have been outspoken critics of Airbnb, particularly former senator Kevin Humphreys, who sought to introduce legislation to regulate short-term lets.
Mr Kelly has also previously endorsed the further regulation of short-term lets by the relevant authorities.
“We all talk about Airbnb, but it is not about that because people could call it something else the following week,” he said in the Dáil during a motion of no-confidence vote in former Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy in 2018.
“We will have to deal with the issue because it is creating downward pressures and resulting in a lack of capacity in urban areas which will only elevate the crisis.
“The return for owners from short-term letting is not going to change but increase.
“I seriously encourage the bringing forward of regulations in this city [Dublin] and others across the country to address this issue to create greater capacity.”