Tenant who sublet room online fined

Paris court finds man who sublet room via short-term rental website Airbnb guilty of breaking terms of lease

A TENANT who sublet his Paris apartment via short-term letting website Airbnb has been ordered to pay €2,000 in damages to his landlord.

The man, who sublet a room in his flat in the 9th arrondissement, has been found guilty of breaking his lease.

The tenant’s landlord sued after he welcomed two “visiting friends” to his apartment earlier this year, who paid €300 per month, according to Le Parisien.

The man claimed that he had “derived absolutely no benefit” from the visit. His “friends”, he said, paid no rent but contributed to bills.

It is the first time that the Airbnb website has been named in an illegal subletting case in France. The case coincides with a wider crackdown by authorities on the market for letting rooms or apartments to tourists.

David Rodrigues a legal advisor at the CLCV housing association told Le Monde: “The problem is not so much Airbnb, or other similar sites, but rather subletting in general.”

French law states that furnished properties cannot be leased for less than 12 months, or nine months when letting to students.

Mr Rodrigues said that before anyone sublets a property, they must first have the prior consent of the lessor, and any rent shall not exceed that specified in the lease.

"You cannot make money by subletting a property," he said.

Airbnb currently lists more than 1,000 properties available for lease in Paris, including a room in Bercy for €20 per night to a recently renovated five-bedroom loft near Bastille that can accommodate 12 people for €750 per night.

The website, which was founded in San Francisco in 2008, claims to have more than 600,000 listings in more than 34,000 towns and cities in 192 countries.