Stay tuned. You're about to watch short-term rental agencies and rental properties in key cities in France disappear before your very eyes. As of December 1st, French city halls will have the right to request a full list of every property listed on those sites. This goes for Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway...you name it.
Details required to divulge are the address, the building letter or number, the floor number or apartment number, the rental registration number (which many won't have — the city claims that 84% of the 50,000 ads on Airbnb in Paris do not!) and the number of days it's available for rental. The online agencies or sites will be given 30 days to respond, electronically. The cities affected include Paris (of course), but also Lyon and Bordeaux. Paris is special, because as of the same date, all properties must display an official registration number on their listing, otherwise, it will be subject to serious fines and penalties.
This applies to legally rentable properties — primary residences which are granted up to 120 days a year. Once that 120-day limit is reached, the property is at risk for being fined €50,000 if not in compliance. Any listing that does not show the required registration number also risks a fine of €12,500 per property.
The question for the legislators is if platforms such as Airbnb can be attacked as an agency or is it just a platform that connects a tenant with a landlord? They believe it is an agency and not in compliance with the regulations. Under French law, a real estate agent is considered to be any natural or legal person who gives or assists, "even incidentally, in transactions relating to the property of others and relating to: the purchase, sale or sale of sale, research, exchange, rental or subletting, seasonal or not, in unfurnished or furnished buildings or undeveloped buildings." And if that is the case, then Airbnb must hold a professional license to do business in France.
Airbnb argues this point, and I would agree. The French courts want to know whether or not the services provided by Airbnb come within the framework of the freedom to provide services of an information society, via electronic commerce. The city of Paris is confident they will win their case against Airbnb to be obliged to publish the registration number on their listings.
The current regulations provide that "the occupant or the guardian of the premises is obliged to open the premises for a visit by the authorities upon presentation of the "order of mission." This gives them the right to forcibly enter a dwelling without the landlord's consent or presence to inspect the property!
As you may already know if you are a reader of French Property Insider, I am wholehearted opposed to such legislation for a variety of reasons:
1. I believe I should have the right to do whatever I wish with property I own as long as it doesn't hurt someone else, with the exception of abiding by the by-laws determined by a homeowner association by democratic vote.
2. By preventing rentals of less than one year, except in properties which are already occupied by a primary resident, the city is denying the right for housing to a large group of people — primarily those who are transient and need temporary housing for themselves or their families of one month to one year (only students or business travelers are entitled to a "mobility lease" of one to ten months).
3. It prevents property owners from earning enough revenue from their property to support the maintenance, upkeep and improvement of the property, leading to the degradation of the property.
4. Economically, it adversely affects the flow of money associated with all aspects of property rental and purchase — the entire industry including agencies, managers, housekeepers, contractors, notaries, etc., etc., etc.
5. In a counter-productive way, one might think that investors will be incentivized to sell their properties, putting more property on the market and therefore prices would be reduced, but instead, it only incentives them to leave them vacant while awaiting appreciation, meanwhile they go into disrepair. (Did you know that there are four times more abandoned units in New York City than there are homeless people?)
6. I vehemently am opposed to the authorities giving themselves the right to forcibly enter my property for such "crimes" as "providing housing" to anyone I chose whether paid for or not.
7. The politicians and authorities are not recognizing that we live in a society that is more and more transient. This will not diminish, but be augmented by our ever-growing ability to work from anywhere we want and therefore we must not try to battle what will inevitably overcome us...but embrace it and manage it so that we can be ready for the future.
The Philippe August Wall, Paris
The bottom line for me is that one of our most basic needs is housing. The city and federal authorities should be doing all it can to provide housing for EVERYONE, not just full time residents, in the hopes of keeping the "transients" and therefore the "undesirables" out...this is a gross exercise of discrimination. I am appalled and ashamed. We might as well be building a wall around Paris! (Remember back in the Middle Ages when there was one!?)
IMPORTANT PODCAST FOR AMERICANS LIVING ABROAD...
Click here for American Citizens Abroad’s premier podcast featuring an interview with ACA’s Executive Director, Marylouise Serrato, who talks about ACA’s work on tax reform and their recent write-in campaign, Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad: An Idea Worth Fighting For, calling Congress to hold hearings. Marylouise covers ACA’s work over time, RBT, ACA’s groundwork is important for the legislative process, why holding hearings for tax reform is the necessary next step in passing legislation, and how their latest campaign is performing.
P.S. There will be no French Property Insider on Thursday, November 28th, Thanksgiving Day — only one of two days the entire year that we don't publish this Nouvellettre®!
P.P.S. Today is the last chance to vote for us as best Parisian Expert in Expatriates Magazine's annual Best of Paris 2019! Cast your vote today!
APARTMENT IN NICE FOR SALE!
One-Bedroom on Avenue Gambetta, in Nice!!
Just at the corner of avenue Victor Hugo and avenue Gambetta in Nice, where the new East-West Tramway will have a station, in a beautiful Art Deco building, is this superb 48.11 m2 two-room one-bedroom apartment with a west-facing balcony in perfect condition, fully renovated with high-quality amenities. It is composed of an entrance hall with an independent toilet, living room, fully equipped kitchen, and a large bedroom with bathroom.
Copyright 2019 Adrian Leeds® Adrian Leeds Group® adrianleeds.com PAdrian Leeds® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: March 10, 2006, #063416238. Adrian Leeds Group® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: December 22, 2014, # 14/4144068. Anyone using these brand names or any kind of advertising without permission may be prosecuted. AdrianLeeds.com, AdrianLeedsGroup.com and AdrianLeedsEnterprises.com are reserved domains for exclusive use of Adrian Leeds® and Adrian Leeds Group®.