Airbnb clamps down on unregistered Paris rentals as €8 million fine imposed by courts

Airbnb will require Paris landlords to prove their apartments have been registered with City Hall starting on Thursday, its latest move to ease tensions with officials who accuse the home-sharing giant of flouting laws and driving up property prices.

Airbnb clamps down on unregistered Paris rentals as €8 million fine imposed by courts
Paris apartments cannot be rented out for more than 120 nights per year. Photo: THOMAS SAMSON / AFP.

The tighter regulation comes as Airbnb was fined €8 million by a Paris court for failing to regulate its listings.

The registrations, required since 2018, aim to make sure that homes in Paris, one of Airbnb’s biggest markets, are not rented out more than 120 nights a year and that incomes are declared to tax authorities.

But until now Airbnb was not blocking renters who failed to supply the numbers with their ads – the company argued it should not be responsible for ensuring that users of its site comply with local regulations.

The platform will impose similar rules in Bordeaux on July 30th before extending them to other popular French destinations such as Lyon, Nice and Marseille by the end of the year.

READ ALSO What you need to think about when renting an Airbnb flat in Paris

“This new step is part of several commitments by Airbnb to promote responsible tourism,” the company said in a statement.

It said a “large majority” of Paris homeowners already complied with the registration requirement, without providing figures – before the Covid pandemic Airbnb had 65,000 listings for the city.

“It’s a victory,” said Ian Brossat, the city’s deputy mayor in charge of housing, in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper on Thursday. He claimed that more than half of the 30,000 Paris listings currently were not displaying registration numbers.

Later on Thursday, Paris won a major court battle against the home-sharing giant after a court ordered Airbnb to pay an €8 million fine for allowing over 1,000 listings to flout registration rules.

The case was filed in 2019 after officials found 1,010 listings for Paris, one of Airbnb’s biggest markets, without the registration numbers required
since a law passed in 2017.

The court ordered a fine of €8,000 per listing “given the severity of the violations… and their consequences with regards of the public interest of fighting against the shortage of rental lodgings” in the capital.

But the fine was lower than the €12.5 million sought by the city.

“This ruling, a first in France, is a great victory in our fight for housing for all and the regulation of the rental market,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter.

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France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

A French scheme to provide financial aid to property owners seeking to replace oil and gas boilers with eco-friendly alternatives has been extended, with grants of up to €9,000 now available.

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

The French government will increase the amount of money available to replace gas and oil-powered boilers through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme, part of a package of measures announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said that from April 15th, some households would be able to benefit from an extra €1,000 to “accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel-powered boilers with renewable heating solutions”, such as heat pumps and biomass heaters. 

It will no longer be possible to use state funding to replace a gas boiler with another, more efficient gas boiler. 

This brings the total state aid available for replacing boilers up to €9,000. 

Who can benefit? 

The funding for boiler replacement is available through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme – which is available to anyone who owns property in France. 

Applicants for funding do however need a French numéro fiscal (tax number) and a copy of their latest tax declaration, which means those who do not file the annual tax declaration in France are effectively excluded. 

You can only apply for funding if your property is more than two years old. 

The amount of money you could receive depends on a range of criteria including: household income; the number of people living in the household; and the location of the property. 

You can read more about the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme HERE

Why is the government doing this? 

The move essentially allows France to faire d’une pierre deux coups – hit two birds with one stone.

One one hand, it will allow the country to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the global climate crisis. 

On the other, it allows France to reduce its dependency on Russian gas – which has become a government priority ever since the invasion of Ukraine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government would target and end to dependency on Russian energy by 2027. The construction of new nuclear plants announced in February will also assist in reaching this objective.

You can read more about the government’s measures to insulate the French economy from the war in Ukraine HERE