Photo: Margerretta

It is a victory for the Marais and for Paris. In the series between Airbnb and the City of Paris, the town hall has just won the final, decisive round against the most famous tourist rental platform and, at the same time, against Booking.com, Tripadvisor and Abritel/Homeaway. .

The Court of Cassation – which, let us remember, is the highest French court – ruled in favor of Anne Hidalgo's team which, since 2015, has been opposing Airbnb: from now on, an apartment can no longer be rented anymore 120 days per year on a rental platform, without being declared as “commercial premises”. A very restrictive and, de facto, dissuasive approach.

“To be able to rent furnished premises for more than 120 days per year to a passing clientele for the night, week or month, a lessor must carry out a “change of use” of the accommodation, subject to prior authorization from the municipality, details an article in the newspaper Les Echos. However, the regulatory system put in place by the capital only gives the green light to owners wishing to dedicate a secondary residence to short-term tourist rental if they purchase commercial premises of equivalent surface area, or even double in certain areas, for transform it into a home. This should make it possible to compensate for the “loss of housing”. 

For Anne Hidalgo's housing assistant (PCF), Ian Brossat, this is "a very important victory for the City of Paris which has been fighting for many years to regulate these tourist rentals, but also for the other French cities: many mayors of all political stripes who wish to regulate this sector will be able to rely on this decision to put in place similar compensation mechanisms. »

It is also a victory for the Marais and Paris Center, the first to be affected by short-term rentals. Of the 420 ongoing disputes – suspended since 2019 – between Paris town hall and unscrupulous landlords, the majority concern housing in the historic center of Paris: 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Among the other districts concerned, the 7th, 15th and 17th come first.

The decision of the Court of Cassation will allow the capital to resume legal proceedings against 420 landlords from whom it is demanding an average of 50.000 euros, or up to 21 million euros in potential fines in total.

The magistrates consider the prior authorization system, adopted by the capital to regulate short-term tourist rentals, clear and adapted to the need to fight against the shortage of housing intended for rental. Finally, the Court finds it neither “arbitrary” nor “disproportionate”. The city of Paris will resume legal proceedings against 420 landlords. Most of the people prosecuted are multi-tenants, unmasked by the Office for the Protection of Residential Premises (BPLH) of the City of Paris which employs 35 agents dedicated to controls, on the Web and in the field.

A year ago, the environmentalist candidate for Paris Centre, Rémy Leleu, summed up the situation in an interview with Marais Mood: “Airbnb is in a predatory strategy, particularly in Paris Centre. This system causes nuisance (starting with the passing of wheeled suitcases), causes property prices to rise and ultimately deprives families, single people and students of access to housing. It is now impossible to find a studio for less than €1 per month! Because of Airbnb, many buildings are underpopulated. Did you know that the Parisian rental record holder Airbnb has 600 rental accommodations? »

Text: Katia Barillot

22.02.21

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