What you need to know about new rent controls in Paris

Paris authorities have from Monday reintroduced rent controls in a bid to get a grip on the spiralling cost of living in the City of Light.

What you need to know about new rent controls in Paris
Photo: AFP

Real estate prices have surged in the French capital, mirroring spurts in other major European cities due to historic low interest rates, buoyant economic growth and the impact of holiday renting website Airbnb, experts say. 


A previous attempt to cap rents in Paris between 2015-2017 was struck down in court on a technicality, but the city's mayor has returned with a new mechanism designed to help middle-class families.

A reference rent will be set for each area of Paris and apartments will not be able to be rented at more than 20 percent above this price, the deputy Paris mayor in charge of housing, Ian Brossat, explained.

The new framework will apply throughout Paris for both new leases and renewal leases signed from July 1st and will apply to both furnished and unfurnished properties. 

For an interactive map of the levels set for each arrondissement, click here.

Rental prices are estimated to have risen by more than 50 percent in the last 15 years in Paris.

Capital cities around Europe and the US have introduced a variety of measures designed to tackle house price inflation, which is leading increasing numbers of lower and middle-class families to leave city centres.

Some are cracking down on Airbnb, limiting the numbers of days that apartments can be rented out, while others like Berlin and New York are introducing or extending rent controls.

Berlin's government has decided to freeze rents in the booming German capital for five years from 2020 in its latest bid to halt runaway gentrification.

Some real estate professionals questioned the system introduced in Paris, saying that setting a reference price for an area would prove problematic because it would need to take into account the large variation in properties and neighbourhoods. 

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro