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Tenant to pay landlord €5k over illegal Airbnb subletting

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Tenant to pay landlord €5k over illegal Airbnb subletting
Photo: AFP
16:17 CEST+02:00
In a legal first in France, a tenant in Paris has been ordered to pay damages to his landlord for subletting his flat on Airbnb without permission.

The judgement from a court in the fifth arrondissement of Paris will be bad news for the thousands of tenants who earn a little bit of extra income renting out their flats on Airbnb while they are away.

Most of them are breaking the law by doing it without the permission of their landlord.

And as the recent court judgement showed, it can be very costly to take the risk.

According to reports, the culprit, who was earning up €700 a week or €4,000 a month by subletting the flat in the fifth arrondissement, was ordered to pay €5,000 in damages to their landlords.

A change of the law voted through parliament in January has obliged tenants to get permission from their landlords before putting their flat on Airbnb.

But according to reports in France, it's the first time a tenant has been ordered to compensate the landlord.

Authorities in Paris, which is the world's number one city for Airbnb rentals, have long tried to crack down on illegal rentals on the home-sharing site.

Their focus has been on landlords who who are trying to get rich by offering their flat for more than the legally designated 120 days a year.

The Town Hall's housing chief Ian Brossat stressed that the aim wasn't to pick on "owners who rent their apartment one or two weeks a year when they go on vacation".

"This is targeting professionals who illegally rent their homes all year round, and who often buy an apartment solely with the intention of transforming it into a tourist spot," he told Liberation newspaper

Parisians are expressing a growing frustration with the never-ending stream of Airbnb tenants carting luggage up the stairs of their apartment buildings.

"We are getting more and more complaints from residents," Jean-François Legaret, the mayor of the first arrondissement, told France Bleu. 

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