Rent controls coming in for Pays-Basque

The area has a high number of second homes and many properties are used for short-term tourist lets, pricing locals out of the usual rental market

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Communes in the Pays-Basque area of south west France will be able to impose rent limits on accommodation – but not until 2025.

“In substance, it’s a done deal,” said the Minister for Housing Patrice Vergriete, but “questions of form and legal procedure” mean the implementation is not immediate.

The changes will see caps on how much homes can be rented for within applicable communes to long-term tenants (this applies to people who are renting as a home for a while and not just for the holiday season).

The area will be the sixth place in France to implement rent controls, but the first where the controls are placed across an entire area, and not just in a city (rent controls are already in place in Paris, Lille, Lyon/Villeurbanne, Montpellier, and Bordeaux).

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The area is one of the most impacted in France by housing tension, with a demand for long-term housing outstripping supply.

This is in part due to the number of properties used as second homes and / or for short-term holiday lets during the tourist high season, which thus prevents them from being let year-round to those who live permanently in the area.

Median rents in the Pays-Basque are around €10.5 per month per m², making it the 10th most expensive place to rent in France, alongside cities like Grenoble, Toulouse and Rennes.

This is despite the entire area having a population far smaller than any of those cities.

The change is one of several in the area aimed at recalibrating the renting market.

Since July 2022, any person putting a property up for short-term renting, also has to provide the market with a year-long property in the area as well

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