the City of Paris wins court action against Airbnb-type platforms


The City of Paris has won an important victory against rental platforms, Airbnb in the lead. The Court of Cassation ruled, Thursday, February 18, that the regulations put in place by the municipality to fight the shortage of rental accommodation complied with European law.

This favorable decision will allow the French capital to resume legal proceedings against 420 donors, from whom it is claiming an average of 50,000 euros, or a total of 21 million euros in fines. These proceedings had so far been suspended pending this clarification from the Court of Cassation.

“Total victory for the City of Paris against Airbnb and fraudsters who rented their accommodation illegally: our regulatory tools are recognized as compliant with European law!”, rejoiced in a tweet the housing assistant (PCF) of Anne Hidalgo, Ian Brossat.

In five judgments delivered Thursday in cases opposing donors to the municipality, the Court of Cassation ruled that the prior authorization system adopted by the capital to regulate short-term tourist rentals was clear, adapted to the need to fight against the shortage of rental accommodation and was neither “arbitrary”, nor “disproportionate”, according to the decisions posted online.

If he wants to rent a “furnished room” for “a period of less than one year”, at “the night, the week or the month, to a passing clientele”, any lessor must therefore proceed to a “change of use” housing, subject to prior authorization from the municipality.

In addition, the Court of Cassation validated the very restrictive mechanism known as “compensation” : an authorization is issued to the owner wishing to dedicate a second home to short-term tourist rental, only if he buys a commercial space of equivalent surface – or even double in certain areas -, to transform it into a dwelling, in order to compensate the “loss of housing”.

In 2018, the Court of Cassation, seized by two owners using Airbnb, turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), based in Luxembourg, to find out whether French legislation governing the rental of second homes on Airbnb complied with European regulations. On September 22, 2020, the latter responded positively, however, referring to the French courts the care to examine in more detail the compensation mechanisms put in place by the cities.


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