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Tenant who sublet flat must repay €27,000

The tenant of a flat overlooking Notre Dame Cathedral in the centre of Paris has been told to repay the owner €27,000 he received from Airbnb bookings as he had sublet it without the landlord’s permission.

The ‘duplex bohème,’ with 60m2 terrace, was on Airbnb for €120 a night or €4,000 a month from 2013-15 when being rented for €1,200 a month from Les Ton­tons Flingueurs film director Georges Lautner.

When Mr Lautner died it passed to his son, Thomas, who served notice on the tenants that he was ending their lease as he wanted to sell.

They refused to move and the landlord sued. He asked the court to award him the money gained from the unauthorised rentals. The court ordered eviction and for the tenants to pay €5,000 damages.

However, when the tenant appealed the landlord replied with a new legal argument; that he was due the ‘fruits civils’ of the ownership, meaning the full benefit of any income from the property, both rent due from the tenant and any gains from the Airbnb rentals.

The appeal court found the rental agreement forbade sub-letting and that the flat owner was due all the benefits from ownership, including the €27,000 from Airbnb.

As many tenants sub-let flats the verdict could impact the trade unless a new appeal is made to the Cour de Cassation.

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