Airbnb owners in France ditch site for new ‘no day limit’ platforms

How short-term renters and property owners are navigating some cities’ restrictions on Airbnb

New online platforms based on tradition short-term leases are benefiting from Airbnb restrictions
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Property owners frustrated by the rental limits imposed on tourist lets are being lured to new platforms that arrange more traditional short-term leases for furnished accommodation.

These come with a formal contract (bail) for a set period, usually three months to a year. Airbnb rentals have no contract, except with Airbnb.

Read more: French property updates: Brit’s second home ‘hell’, Airbnb ban mooted

Start-up initially aimed at foreign students

Start-ups in this area include Koliving, founded in 2018.

It was initially aimed at foreign students whose overseas families were unable to spend hours queuing to see flats or provide the references, salary slips and French bank accounts often demanded by owners of student accommodation.

Magalie Safar, who set up the platform with her brother Michäel, said: “We can process the applications of students searching for rentals quickly.

“If it is possible to book a hotel room or vacation home in Normandy or on the other side of the world from your smartphone, we thought it should be possible to have short-term rentals too.”

Airbnb owners switching to avoid day limits

Traditional rental agency Lodgis, which has branches in many student cities in France, has also started a web-based service.

However, it is not aimed at people wanting to submit all their documents electronically.

Both platforms said that some of the properties on their books were previously advertised with Airbnb.

Owners switched, they said, either because they found the limits imposed by some cities on the number of days a property can be rented as tourist accommodation too low, or because they had struggled to attract visitors in the aftermath of the Covid crisis.

Read more: Tax Airbnb rentals more, demand French MPs

Read more: Tourism tax: €148m paid to French communes from Airbnb stays in 2022

Rental documents processed in minutes

Koliving uses AI-trained automated systems to analyse documents uploaded to the platform by lodgers or tenants, and claims to be able to process a rental every four minutes.

On its landing page, the site features mainly city locations, but it also handles rural properties such as gîtes.

Prices are relatively high – Koliving takes 36% of the first month’s rent from both the owner and the tenant for its basic ‘put-in-touch-with’ service.

Once the lease is signed, the company is no longer involved.It can also take on a full-service rental agency role on an annual basis, charging owners 7% of the monthly rent plus a first month fee of half the rent.

Property owners are responsible for declaring their revenue in their annual tax returns.

Initially focused on private owners, since 2021 the start-up has been targeting property professionals too.

It says that tenants tend to be between 18 and 40 years of age and stay an average of nine months.

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