Some French cities have decided to recently implement restrictions on short-term accommodation platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and Abritel. According to Politico, France is Airbnb’s second-largest market, where the accommodation platform has embarked on a new strategy: rural areas.
So far Airbnb has been welcomed by mayors in low density areas, much to the company’s delight because the level of regulation is much lower than in cities. The company reported, that stays in France’s rural areas account for 45 percent of bookings for this summer, compared with 24 percent in 2019.
In late June, Airbnb was ordered to pay eight million euros in fines by a court in Paris after more than 1000 of its listings were found to be missing a registration number in Paris. The platform was fined 8000 euros per listing “given the severity of the violations and their consequences with regards of the public interest of fighting against the shortage of rental lodgings.” The fine, however, was lower than the 12.5 million euros previously calculated by Paris authorities.
The case was first filed in 2019 when officials in Paris, found that 1,010 listings did not have the necessary registration number after a law was passed four years ago. Short-term rental properties are permitted to be rented out no more than 120 nights per year. All income must be disclosed to the tax authorities in Paris.
In mid June, the French government published a decree that allows the City of Paris to subject the renting of local businesses to prior authorization. The decree applies to all types of offices, stores or medical offices who may be turned in holiday rentals.
Other towns allowed to apply the decree are those who have put into effect “the procedure of a registration number for furnished holiday apartments, owners and, subject to contractual stipulations, tenants of local businesses who wish to rent them as furnished holiday apartments.”
Airbnb’s rural strategy is becoming more salient now that in addition to Paris, some locations such as Nice, Saint-Malo and Ajaccio, are seriously considering the adoption of the new restrictions.