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HOUSING

Frenchman fined for sub-letting flat on Airbnb

Tenants in France might want to think twice before they consider using rental sites such as Airbnb to boost their income after a Parisian was recently fined €2,000 for illegally sub-letting his apartment on the website.

Frenchman fined for sub-letting flat on Airbnb
Frenchman fined for subletting apartment on Airbnb website. Screengrab: Airbnb.

A tenant in the 9th arrondissement of Paris has been charged with illegally subletting his apartment using the popular short-term room-rental website Airbnb.

Although cases of illegal subletting are nothing new in France, this is the first known case in France involving the website, which is popular among tourists in the notoriously expensive French capital.

According to Le Monde, the tenant in question profited from an average of €180 per month from occasionally subletting his apartment on the website.

Guests included two “travelling friends” who paid €300 each per month, Le Parisien reported.

Protesting the charges, the man claimed he gained “absolutely no advantage” from renting out his flat and that the guests were simply contributing towards living costs.

But in February the tenant was forced to pay €2,000 to his landlord, the SCPI, a real-estate investment trust, for failure to perform his obligations as a tenant.

By French law, landlords are forbidden from renting out their main apartments for less than a year, or nine months in the case of a student.  

In the case of seasonal rentals, the only obligation concerns secondary residences in towns with more than 200,000 inhabitants, in which case the landlord must register at the town hall, according to Le Monde.

“The problem is not so much Airbnb, or other similar sites, but rather subletting in general,” David Rodrigues a legal advisor at the CLCV housing association told the paper. “You need a written authorization from the landlord and the rent cannot be higher than the price per metre squared that you are paying.”

Founded in San Francisco in August 2008, Airbnb boasts 500,000 listings in 33,000 towns and cities in 192 countries. In April the company was valued at  $10 billion.

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ENERGY

France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

Financial aid of up to €1,500 is temporarily available to households looking to replace oil-fired boilers with a more environmentally friendly heating systems. 

France offers grants up to €1,500 to replace oil-fired boilers

The temporary ‘coup de boost’ aims to encourage households to replace their oil-fired heating systems (chauffauge au fioul) and is in addition to the ‘coup de pouce chauffage’ (heating helping hand) scheme that is already underway to help under the energy saving certificates scheme (CEE).

All households that are primary residences – this aid is not available to second-home owners – equipped with an oil-fired boiler can benefit, with the amount for which they are eligible means-tested according to household resources and the replacement system chosen. 

Households with modest incomes benefit from a higher premium.

To benefit from the new temporary bonus, households must replace their individual oil-fired boiler with a more environmentally friendly heating system:

  • heat pump (air/water or hybrid);
  • combined solar system;
  • biomass boiler (wood or pellets);
  • connection to a heating network supplied mainly by renewable or recovered energy.

The total amount of financial help from the two schemes is €4,000 to €5,000 for low-income households; and from €2,500 to €4,000 for middle and high-income households.

For the connection of an individual house to a heating network, the amount of the bonus increases from €700 to €1,000 for low-income households; and from €450 to €900 for middle and high income households.

Estimates for the replacement of an oil-fired boiler must be accepted between October 29th, 2022, and June 30th, 2023, and work must be completed by December 31st, 2023.

The Coup de boost fioul aid can also be combined with MaPrimeRénov to replace an oil-fired boiler, meaning the least well-off households in France can benefit from aid of up to €16,000 to replace an oil-fired boiler with a pellet boiler or a combined solar system.

Since mid-April 2022, MaPrimeRénov’ financial aid has increased by an additional €1,000 for the installation of a renewable energy boiler. This can now reach €11,000 for the most efficient boilers (pellet boiler, combined solar system) and for households with modest incomes.

It must be noted that the installation of a very high energy performance gas boiler will no longer be eligible for MaPrimeRénov’ as of January 1st, 2023.

Find more details on the scheme HERE.

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