Short-Term Rentals in Paris

Paris Files Suit against Airbnb

April 18, 2018By Adrian LeedsHousing
The city of Paris is going after Airbnb for not removing unregistered Paris listings from its site.

The news has spread like wildfire: the city of Paris is suing Airbnb for not removing from its site listings that are not registered with the city. And Airbnb isn’t the only rental site to bear the wrath of Mayor Madame Anne Hidalgo and her housing team, led by Deputy Mayor Ian Brossat; Wimdu is another one, and more are sure to come.

And, if a planned new law is passed by the French government, Airbnb will be fined €1,000 per listing per day for a listing without a registration number! The registration numbers allow the city to keep track of landlords who rent more than their allotted 120 nights a year.

Paris, the world’s third-most-visited city in 2017, according to Condé Nast Traveler, needs all the accommodations it can get. Airbnb claims to have about 65,000 Paris properties listed with them, and another 35,000 can be found on other sites (with a lot of overlap, of course). The city has about 80,000 hotel rooms.

The case will go to court on June 12, 2018. This will not only hurt Airbnb, but also the thousands of homeowners who need to generate revenue to cover the costs of maintaining their property investments. While the city is hell-bent on making more long-term housing available for its residents by reducing the number of short-term rental properties, it is indirectly punishing individual property owners in favor of the big-business hotel industry and serviced apartments, leaving Parisians out on a limb.

Airbnb and other sites do not promote only short-term rentals. Long-term apartment rentals – a year or more – are also listed on the site, but they are not required to have a registration number. It’s unclear whether the city officials will respect this difference.

We can all understand the city’s goal of limiting the number of tourist accommodations to make room for city residents, but I personally do not agree with their methods nor the way the regulations punish property-owning residents. Big business wins at the expense of the little-guy landlord, all under the guise of protecting the little-guy tenant. Why should one win and the other lose, when both can win and let big business fend for itself?

Adrian Leeds is the director of the Adrian Leeds Group, Inc., which helps foreigners find short- and long-term housing in France.



    • Good for Paris. I think this perspective is a more realistic one:
      “Regardless, it is clear that Airbnb is slowly disrupting the property market, potentially changing the character of several neighborhoods in Paris, with residents constantly coming and going rather than creating a firm sense of community stability. But with such high demand for the business model, there is little chance that the government can severely impede Airbnb’s proliferation, only take a firmer stance on regulations.”

    • How likely is it that Ms Leeds (“…director of the Adrian Leeds Group, Inc., which helps foreigners find short- and long-term housing in France.” ) will support the city’s attempts to push back against Airbnb and others of their ilk?
      As a Parisian whose building has been periodically infested by clueless tourists making noise at all hours, leaving trash bags in the staircase instead of in the bins provided, etc., I support our mayor in this fight.
      Ms Leeds does not mention the fact the 1) short-term rentals are much more lucrative than long-term leases, thus making it that much harder for Parisians to find housing in town, within reasonable distance of their work and pushing families with children farther and farther out, and 2) they contribute mightily to the constant inflation in property prices which helps no one, except the taxman.
      F-M Chaballier

    • Community?!! I’ve walked my local neighborhood for almost four years saying bonjour, bonjour, bonjour and rarely a soul responds. Parisians are so busy moving fast, heads down, getting to wherever it is they’re going that they don’t have time for “neighborhood.” Pleeeezee!!

    • I live in the south of France, a transplanted Californian. I will not visit Paris if I have to stay in a hotel. I detest hotels. And I am not the only one. Paris is slitting its own throat by trying to force property owners to rent long term. Who will rent these upscale apartments? And how will the owners, who do not live there all the time, deal with their income shortfall. There are a lot of Parisians who rely on renting their apartments for short terms when they are away, who are faced with the usual French red tape just so they can continue this practice. I understand why there is a desire to limit investors who buy whole buildings just to rent the apartments short term, but that should not result in the punishment of those who would like to have an apartment in Paris, but can’t afford to live there year round.

    • Had trouble figuring this out:” …the city of Paris is suing Airbnb for not removing from its site listings that are not registered with the city.” Since it’s the intro to the article, it affected everything else.

    • But it will help neighbors who have had their residential buildings turned into hotels with unsupervised strangers wandering the halls.

      There are good arguments against the imposition of home rentals on residents. Paris Update might present these as well.

    • What will happen during the Olympics?
      Tenants only have to give one month’s notice to break a lease, so a lease would not be a problem for stays one month or more.

    • I will open with I am pro-short term rentals. Every argument that the no side is can be countered. A comment above says “unsupervised strangers wandering the halls”, I don’t know, but when you buzz your friends into the building to come to your door, aren’t they unsupervised strangers wandering the halls. I don’t know them. I find most tourists renting apartments are up in the morning, gone until late, and in bed. There is not the same noise the residents make. My neighbor turns his TV up real loud every night and the person above me walks around in high heels. I find that more annoying than a brief flurry of noise and then silence. Why would someone invest and rent to people? The laws in France are heavily balanced to the tenant leaving the property owner almost hostage for something they own. All in the fear that market rates and property ownership mean something. No one objects when hotels buy up buildings and convert them to hotels. That is a legit business but its ok that a large number of apartments are taken out of the market, silence ensues. I hear that argument that Paris doesn’t want to become a museum city like Venice, it’s too late. You can’t touch the facade of a building, don’t dare change the windows, hang an air conditioner, move into the 21st century, all no-no’s. The current rules encourage a museum city. I don’t see why someone transferring to the city for two months of work can’t currently rent an apartment without great efforts and rule-bending. No one seems to notice that hotels generally can’t handle a family of four in one room and generally have no intention to, thus pushing families to apartments. There is a middle ground in this discussion, but no one seems to want to go there.

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