Sara Thopson - Jan 14, 2019
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The total amount of fines imposed in 2018 on the owners of tourist rentals who offered their property illegally in France reached 2.1 million euros. A figure that has doubled in one year when in 2017 it amounted to 1.3 million euros for 76 homes.

"This record figure testifies to the effectiveness of our policy, which is beginning to bear fruit," said Parisian PCF elected official Ian Brossat. According to him, tourist rental professionals who transform their properties into "cash machines" are punished more severely than in the past.

According to the data available, 118 convictions were handed down in the capital last year for illegal tourist rentals.

Experts note that the number of ads placed online on seasonal rental platforms such as Airbnb, Homeway or Abritel, for example, has stabilized for just over a year. The next challenge is to recover the housing that has become tourist furnished to stop the bleeding of the Parisian population... "Our aim is not to kill the supply of tourist rentals but to regulate it so that this market does not compete with the housing market," emphasizes the elected representative, specifying that legal announcements "are intended to last".

Nevertheless, he states that his proposal to ban Airbnb rentals in the center of Paris "will be a structuring subject for the next municipal elections". "The latest population census figures published by INSEE show that Airbnb's development is largely responsible for the decline in the number of inhabitants in Paris, particularly in the historic center," he said.

Experts rely on a new tool: the possibility opened by the Elan law (Evolution du logement, de l'aménagement et du numérique) to sanction platforms up to 50,000 euros per illegal ad. It is not right that only fraudulent landlords should be convicted. Platforms that do not comply with the regulations must also be sanctioned.

Airbnb, as well as Paris Attitude and Wimdu, were sued last April by the Paris City Hall, which accused them of not respecting the rules governing the tourist rental of furnished apartments and of contributing to the drying up of the traditional real estate market, which is reflected in soaring rental prices.

The Californian platform was also sued at the Paris Commercial Court by the Union des métiers et des industries de l'hôtellerie (Umih) last November for "unfair competition".

Several sites offering furnished tourist accommodation, including Airbnb and Le Bon Coin, made a commitment last June to the government to implement from January 2019 an automatic blocking of advertisements beyond the legal limit of 120 nights, which applies to main residences throughout France. This commitment only applies to advertisements concerning properties located in Paris and in major French cities.

According to the figures, 65,000 ads are published on Airbnb in Paris, which represents 15% of all offers distributed throughout France, and 87.14% of the apartments offered are whole units.

Only 27,000 of the 65,000 ads posted on Airbnb have been registered, a procedure that is now mandatory in Paris. The average price per night offered in Paris via Airbnb varies from 69 Euros to 223 Euros.

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