New stage in the battle of tourist rental has come. The city of Paris announced recently to sue the platforms Airbnb as well as Wimdu, which according to the city hall "do not respect the law".
The platforms, which have not removed from their websites the rental ads without registration number as required by law, are assigned for June 12, at 09:30, before the Paris Regional Court, said Ian Brossat, Deputy PCF Housing Mayor PS Anne Hidalgo. Airbnb considered this decision by the town hall "disappointing" which, according to the platform, "mainly affects the inhabitants of Paris".
Since 1 December 2017, every tourist furnished rental company must be registered and its registration number must appear on the online advertisement, in order to verify that the owners do not exceed the legal rental limit of 120 days per year.
The platform hosting the ad must for its part remove from its site any rental offer that does not carry this registration number. However, Airbnb and Wimdu "have not withdrawn the ads that do not have registration numbers," denounced Mr. Brossat, according to whom at Airbnb, which offers some 50,000 ads in Paris, "an overwhelming majority of 84% of ads" are this case.
The City of Paris, which had served notice on the platforms in December, has made "many reminders," added the elected official, who believes that "in reality, Airbnb today assumes not to respect the law. It is unbelievable that this company can free itself from all the rules. The City will ask in the event of non-respect of withdrawal of the advertisements a penalty of 1.000 euros per day of delay, and 5.000 per day for any new publication without registration number.
"Airbnb replied in a statement: "The regulation of furnished tourist rental in Paris is complex, confused and more adapted to professionals than to individuals. We encourage Paris to follow the lead of other cities such as London, Berlin and Barcelona, with whom we have worked effectively on common sense measures to promote responsible tourist accommodation and prevent abuse," adds Airbnb.
In 2017, 1.3 million euros in fines were imposed on timeshare owners, and 490,000 euros for the first quarter of 2018, he said.
Paris is the world's leading market for Airbnb. In Paris, Airbnb has 65,000 accommodations, while 80,000 hotel rooms exist in the capital. For France as a whole, 450,000 accommodations are listed on its website, a figure to be compared with 650,000 hotel rooms.