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City of Paris Versus Airbnb

The City of Paris has threatened short term rental website Airbnb with court proceedings if the company fails to delist hundreds of apartments whose owners have failed to register with the City of Paris authorities.

Airbnb is the largest of five short term rental sites that have been written to by Ian Brossat, deputy in charge of housing for the City of Paris, demanding that they remove the properties of owners that have failed to register under the new registration requirements.

Websites Airbnb, HomeAway, Paris Attitude, Sejourning and Windu, have all been told that they face legal action if they do not comply.

Airbnb presently feature around 65,000 Paris properties for short term rental, with another 35,000 available on other platforms.

The City of Paris placed restrictions on short term rental from December 1, forcing any property owners wishing to rent their properties short-term on the online platforms to register with the city and display a number on their advert.

The system allows French authorities to ensure the property is not being rented for more than 120 days a year – the maximum duration for which a person can rent out their main residence. However, so far, only about 11,000 properties have been registered, representing about a fifth of the total number of available rental properties.

Officials from the City of Paris have since discovered over 1,000 properties in breach of the new regulations on Airbnb, plus around 100 each on the other four rental websites.

The regulations were introduced byu the City of Paris in order to stop hoteliers in the city from being priced out of the market, and also to try to curb property speculation.

Overseas property investors renting their investment properties out in Paris should be unaffected by the new regulations, as the properties will not constitute their main residence.

Airbnb has already agreed to withdraw use of the Payoneer prepaid card system in France, due to fears that it could be used for tax evasion. Emmanuel Marill, Airbnb’s France director, said in a statement: ‘The company will waive all use of the prepaid card ‘Payoneer’ on the French market. This responsible decision makes it possible to rule out any opportunity for open fraud by using this method of payment.’

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