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Paris ‘rent police’ crack down on illegal holiday lets in city

The Local France
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Paris ‘rent police’ crack down on illegal holiday lets in city
Rooftop views in Paris. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

A dedicated unit formed to crack down on illegal seasonal rentals, including Airbnbs, in Paris has helped net the French capital €18 million in fines in four years.


Online platforms - including Airbnb, which was fined €8 million - paid a total of €9.4 million after hosting illegal advertisements between 2018 and 2022, while nearly 555 property owners have paid a total of €8.6 million for failing to properly declare short-term rental earnings.

The unit, of around 15 agents, was set up in 2018 to ensure that landlords and property owners are following all the rules for renting out their properties - including declaring that whether they are long or short-term rentals.

Most towns and cities in France have a registration procedure for any person who wants to rent out an entire tourist-furnished accommodation (as opposed to renting our your spare room while you remain in the property); while income from short-term rentals via portals such as Airbnb must be properly declared for tax purposes.

In Paris, the rules are more strict than most other towns and cities in France following a lengthy legal battle with Airbnb.

READ ALSO What are the rules on renting out French property on Airbnb? 

In 2023, the average fine for illegally renting out a property in Paris on a short-term holiday let basis is €25,000 per owner - penalties are levied on the property owner or the rental platform, not the visitors who book the apartments.

In one day this month, the brigade opened 36 new investigations, after checking in on more than 900 apartments in 36 buildings in the capital’s third arrondissement alone, according to Le Parisien.

Clues to possible illegal short-term rentals that prompted the new investigations included digital locks and brief interviews with neighbours, who spoke of loud parties and a rapid turnover of visitors with suitcases.

A single morning of controls on April 18th saw 915 residences in 36 buildings checked, and 36 files created for suspicion of infringements - that is to say 4 per cent of the apartments inspected.


Paris is struggling with a housing crisis that is seeing locals increasingly pushed out of the city by a rising tide of second homes and holiday rentals in central areas. A recent survey found that in the four arrondissements in the historic centre of the city, 30 percent of housing is not in full-time occupation.

Airbnb paid €148 million in tourist taxes to more than 23,000 French municipalities in 2022, an increase of 60 percent when compared to 2021, according to the platform.

The tourist tax was first introduced in 2018, and is proportional to the number of nights spent in a property and is paid by the tenants at the end of their stay. It is paid twice a year to the local council on behalf of the hosts, professionals and individuals.

The specific rate of the tax depends on the nature of accommodation, which includes its classification (star rating), as well as the rate voted on by the municipality.


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