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Take a Stand: Sign the Petition to Make the Rental Laws Fair for All

A day doesn’t go by that we in Paris don’t discuss the rental laws, which only now, are being enforced in the City of Light. “We,” being all of us in the ‘industry,’ the owners of precious apartments they worked so hard to achieve them and just about everyone who either lives here some or all of the year or visits here.

The rental laws, which make the rental of furnished secondary properties less than one year illegal, affect the owners’ ability to recuperate their investment and the guests who wish to stay or live in an apartment less than one year…as opposed to a hotel — for as little as one night or as much as 364 nights!

The problem all started with the press, believe it or not. While the laws had been ‘on the books’ since 1948 (!), the city wasn’t compelled to follow through on them until the press exposed them first in 2009 and the public became aware of them. When that happened, neighbors began to denounce neighbors and the city had no choice, but to follow through on the denouncements. That was under the ‘reign’ of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë. Once Madame le Mayor Anne Hidalgo took office, the battle to find more affordable housing for Parisians became her “raison d’être” and all hell broke loose — that’s when she put together a staff of 20 people inside the City Hall who do nothing but investigate offenders…by surfing the Internet to find rental apartments and going so far as to following tourists to their destinations to interrogate them.

It is important to note that the responsibility lies with the owner — not the guest, nor the agency or Web site that represents the apartment. Once the city discovers the rental, a letter is issued that gives the owner three months within which to respond and prove that they are no longer renting their property, before heavy fines are imposed. (In France, one is guilty until proven innocent.)

For a long time, the industry didn’t want the news to spread further, so that we could ‘quietly’ go about our business as if it wasn’t happening. It’s so hard to believe that the city doesn’t see how unfair the laws are. In other major cities where this debate is taking place, the minimum stay is normally one month, not one year!

In this scenario, it means that if you wish to have accommodations in the city less than one year, you are not ENTITLED to housing! I doubt the city really means to take away this right, but they don’t seem to care — as long as these precious properties are put back in the hands of those who wish to occupy them 100% of the time. We understand the need, but we don’t understand the method to the solution.

It is working! Of course it is. An owner cannot afford to have his investment without revenues and renting it long-term means no personal usage…plus there is the inability to cover expenses based on the high costs of owning and maintaining the property compared to the regulated rental rates with which to contend. So, owners, particularly foreign owners such as ours, are ‘damned if they do and damned if they don’t.’

Owners are renting ‘underground’ so as not to be discovered costing the city tax revenues. Some properties are for sale at bargain prices as a result. Foreign investors are choosing to invest in other highly rentable cities…such as Nice, where the city is not enforcing the regulations. Paris, Parisians and visitors are losing out as there is no ‘middle ground’ that is fair for all.

Because the press started off the problem by exposing it, it seems the only way to get the City of Paris to wake up and realize there is a better way to solve their housing problem than by punishing some to appease others, is via the press. The message needs to be heard far and wide so that a stand can be taken and what is ‘right’ can become ‘might.’

Help us in our cause to have a voice. Sign our petition called: “Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Paris France: Amend the Paris short-term rental laws and make them fair for all.”

This issue is very important to all of us who wish to have a home-away-from-home in Paris. We need as many signatures as we can get and we can use your help. Pass it on to as many people as you can and send it to your friends in the press.

Read more about it and sign the petition here.

Campaigns like this always start small, but they grow when people like us get involved — please take a second right now to help out by signing and passing it on.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds

Editor, Parler Paris

(by Erica Simone)

Respond to Adrian

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P.S. The Adrian Leeds Group is now listing properties for sale in Paris and other parts of France (I have two of my own apartments for sale!)– visit AdrianLeeds.com/for-sale to see our latest outstanding properties. We only represent properties of exceptional quality, on as high a standard as the properties we offer for rental, so you can trust you will make the best purchase and investment when you purchase one of our extraordinary listings. And if you have a property of similar quality you wish to sell, contact us: [email protected]

P.P.S. To all our New York friends…introducing Erica Simone’s “Shooting Stars Photo Workshop for Teens at Risk.” As of Fall 2015, photographer Erica Simone be teaching photography and mentoring an 8-10 week youth program for high school students from underprivileged homes. They are open to photography industry volunteers to come talk about their work and are also looking for places to go to on field trips (studios, museums, office places, etc) so please contact Erica Simone if you would like to participate!! Visit facebook.com/shootingstarsworkshop and indiegogo.com/projects/shooting-stars-photo-workshop-for-teens-at-risk for more information and to contact Erica Simone, email: [email protected]

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