AirBnB Canadian renter does ‘€10,000 worth of damage’ to tiny Paris flat

A Frenchwoman has taken to social media to boost her battle with AirBnB to recover €10,000 worth of damage done to her tiny studio apartment in Paris after she sublet it via the home-sharing app.

AirBnB Canadian renter does '€10,000 worth of damage’ to tiny Paris flat
Laurie S/Facebook
Laurie S, who preferred not to give her full name, returned to her 13 square metre apartment after renting it out for three weeks to find it completely trashed and stinking of urine.
The Canadian renter had warped the flooring, the front door was jammed, the shower room and toilet were both badly damaged, and rubbish was strewn across almost every inch of the flat the owner – who lives there – rented out occasionally when she went on a work trip.
“The charming studio had literally been transformed into a vulgar 'squat' full of excrement, urine, and an impressive quantity of empty bottles of booze,” Laurie wrote on the Facebook page – complete with photos of the extensive damage – she set up to highlight her case.
Laurie S/Facebook
She told The Local she hadn’t met the renter herself but that her neighbours told her he seemed perfectly “nice”. But she said she has since learned that the renter was suffering from alcoholism and depression.
She got in touch with AirBnB to ask for compensation but she said that every time she got through to the US firm’s French offshoot, she was told they would get back in touch with her very soon.
When that didn’t happen she decided to take to social media to mediatise the case of her trashed apartment, which will cost €10,000 to get back in shape, according to an estimate she says she got from a building firm.
Laurie S/Facebook
Laurie told The Local that it was only when French media began to talk about her case late last week that AirBnB finally got back to her to say they were now examining her claim.
“They say they will send an expert (to evaluate the damage). I am still waiting,” she said.
AirBnB, which has a compensation system in place that offers hosts up to €800,000 in case of damage, said that the renter who allegedly caused the damage had now been banned from using the app.
“This type of bad experience is extremely rare,” AirBnB told France 3 television, noting that of the 30 million flats rented on its site last year, serious damage had been done to only 0.009 percent of them.
By Rory Mulholland 


Local authorities in France get power to crack down on Airbnb rentals

Authorities in Paris and other French towns will be able to regulate local businesses who wish to rent property on Airbnb, according to a decree published by the French government. 

Local authorities in France get power to crack down on Airbnb rentals
This illustration picture taken on July 24, 2019 in Paris shows the logo of the US online booking homes application Airbnb on the screen of a tablet. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)

The news was welcomed by authorities in Paris, who have long battled to keep a check on Airbnb and its impact on the rental market. 

On Sunday, the French government published a decree that allows the City of Paris to subject the renting of local businesses to prior authorisation. 

This decree applies to all types of offices, stores or medical offices who may be turned in holiday rentals. 

It aims to allow towns to limit the growth of rentals on Airbnb, “protect the urban environment and preserve the balance between employment, housing, businesses and services on their territory,” says the decree. 

The news was welcomed by authorities in Paris, which has been witnessing “the multiplication of ground floor business premises being transformed into holiday rentals,” said deputy mayor Ian Brossat, who is in charge of housing, in a press release

This decree which comes into effect on July 1st, “will prevent local businesses from being turned into holiday rentals,” Brossat added on Twitter.

The conditions businesses will have to meet in order to get an authorisation still have to be defined said Brossat, according to Le Figaro. But Paris aims to draft these regulations and get them voted by the end of 2021, so they can come into force at the beginning of 2022. 

Other towns allowed to apply the decree are those who have put into effect “the procedure of a registration number for furnished holiday apartments, owners and, subject to contractual stipulations, tenants of local businesses who wish to rent them as furnished holiday apartments.” 

In recent years, Paris city authorities have made tax registration obligatory for apartment owners and have restricted those renting out their primary residence to a maximum of 120 days a year.

Now if owners want to rent a furnished property for less than a year to holidaymakers, they must apply to local authorities for permission to change the registered use of the space.

They are then required to buy a commercial property of an equivalent or bigger size and convert it into housing as compensation. 

Until then, these onerous and time-consuming tasks did not apply to local businesses who only had to fill out a declaration.  

In February, France’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, ruled that regulations introduced to counter the effects of Airbnb and other short-term rental sites on the local property market were “proportionate” and in line with European law.