An Airbnb host and rental management company have been fined €189,000 for illegal short-term rental activity. They were found to have broken laws regarding the number of days guests may stay in holiday lets in a year.
A court in Paris condemned the owner of an apartment in the capital’s seventh arrondissement, and the management company associated with it, which also operates two additional apartments in the eighth arrondissement.
The owner was found to have rented the second home on the short-term rental website, without having declared the number of rented days to authorities, nor having applied for a change of use order, as he should have done if renting over the allowed number of days for Airbnb homes in Paris.
The owner pleaded that the property was his main home, not a secondary home, but the court found that he had not provided enough proof of this.
The owner rented the property out for at least three and a half years, and had made almost €57,000 extra, in comparison to the amount that he would have earned from a typical long-term rental contract. The court fined him €50,000.
It fined the management company around €137,000.
Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, told Le Parisien: “The judges considered that the man acted in bad faith and that he broke the law knowingly.
“In addition to that, the properties concerned are located in the seventh and eighth arrondissements, where the strain on the real estate market is undeniable, so the conviction is even more justified."
What are the laws on Airbnb in France?
According to the 2018 loi Élan, Airbnb hosts in France must declare a property as the correct category if they are putting it up for rent in an area under housing tension.
If the property is the host’s main home, it can be rented on a platform such as Airbnb but only for 120 days in the year maximum (except if the host is away for longer due to professional reasons, health reasons, or due to a force majeure event).
If renting is planned to go beyond this number of days and the property is not your main home, hosts must apply for a change of use licence.
The licence, which must be applied for at the mairie, transforms the property into a résidence secondaire en location touristique de courte durée (secondary residence used as a short-term tourist rental)’.
The government states: “Authorisation for a change in use is mandatory for accommodation situated in a commune of more than 200,000 inhabitants. Moreover, it is mandatory for all communes in Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis, and Val-de-Marne.”
The city of Paris has received more than €2million in fines over this type of conviction in 2022 alone.
The fine issued to these owners is not the record for such a case this year; in March, a host was ordered to repay more than €221,000 to the 30m2 apartment’s owners, after he sublet it without their permission.