Even though a rent-capping law was rolled out last year, Parisians still getting stung by greedy landlords – and often.
New figures courtesy of the CLCV housing association, which looked at 800 online apartment ads, have revealed that many landlords and even agencies are still advertising their properties at illegally high rent prices.
The survey looked at adverts on eight of the most popular home renting websites: seloger.com, fnaim.fr, leboncoin.fr, pap.fr, nexity.fr, foncia.com, orpi.com and century21.fr.
The apartments were a split between furnished and unfurnished flats that were either offered privately or through an agency.
And as it turns out, it's the landlords advertising independently that are most likely to be ripping you off.
Indeed, while 25 percent of agency adverts have rent prices above maximum rental regulations, the figure rises to 51 percent for adverts placed by landlords independently.
The study noted that rents exceeding the maximum, on average, were too expensive by €115.39 a month.
And if you're living in a smaller spot – especially a maid's room (a chambre de bonne in French), then you're the most likely to be taken for a ride.
Some 46 percent of these smaller rooms are being rented for too much money, while only 12 percent of four-room flats are priced unfairly.
“And it's mainly young people and students who are the tenants in these smaller places, a relatively fragile group economoically,” the CLCV noted in its report.
As an example, it pointed to a 21m2 apartment in the 18th that was being offered for €1,040, noting that it shouldn't cost more than €665. That's a difference of €375 a month or €4,500 a year.
Renters can take small comfort in the fact that the figures are improving when compared to last year.
In 2015, 70 percent of agencies were following renting rules and 47 percent of private landlords.
“While the situation is slightly better than in 2015, it's still not satisfactory,” the CLCV noted.
It requested sanctions against landlords not respecting the rules, and a wider rollout of the rental cap scheme to other areas affected by high rents.
It also suggested that rental agencies should flat out refuse to list an apartment if the owner is looking for too much money.
The rent-capping Loi Alur was rolled out last August as a part of a sweeping housing reform by the current government.
It came as part of a bid to control rental prices in the capital, which have spiraled upwards by 42 percent over the last ten years.
The reform meant Paris rent prices are now measured in euros per square metre and based on the building's age and location.
Under the rules no new rental contract could charge more than 20 percent per square meter above the neighborhood’s median rent, which is assessed annually by a “local rent observatory”.