Paris rolls out tough new rule on Airbnb rentals

Paris authorities have rolled out a new rule forcing people renting out their properties on Airbnb to first register it with the City Hall.

Paris rolls out tough new rule on Airbnb rentals
Photo: Joseph Plotz/Wikicommons
As of December 1st, it will no longer be possible to rent out a Paris property on an online rental platform without it first being registered with the authorities.
Landlords have been able to register their properties with the Paris authorities since October 1st and from December 1st registration is obligatory.
This will affect several popular sites including Airbnb, Homelidays and Abritel, with all listings required to display a registration number. 
“This obligation applies to all owners who rent furnished accommodation, including those who only rent out their main residence for a few weeks of the year,” said Maud Velter of real estate agency Lodgis, according to L'Express
The new rule targets landlords flouting France's 120-day legal limit set for renting out primary residences. 
It is believed it could also put an end to tenants putting their apartments on Airbnb without the permission of the owners.
City Hall is taking advantage of an update to France's internet laws that allow cities and towns with more than 200,000 residents to monitor the short-term rental market using registration numbers.
When the new rule was proposed in July, authorities said it would make it impossible to cheat the system, with rental platforms expected to fall into line and delete landlord profiles if they are found to be exceeding the legal limit.
This is a problem French authorities have been struggling with for some time, with a survey carried out at the end of 2015 finding that across France, 44 percent of the homes advertised on Airbnb were permanently available for rental.
Like a lot of big tourist cities, Paris has stepped up its initiatives to crack down on renting out properties to tourists illegally, which is threatening the country's hotel sector and encouraging real estate speculation.
The online rental industry is also linked with leaving certain areas of cities empty and is considered the root of daily disagreements around problems caused by people “moving in” temporarily. 


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.