Strict new rules imposed on Airbnb rentals in Paris

Helen Coffey
The Eiffel Tower is the focus of a spectacular sound and light show on Bastille Day: Getty/iStockphoto

Airbnb rentals in central Paris are now capped at 120 days a year.

Airbnb says hosts in central Paris can only rent out their homes for up to 120 nights a year, a new cap introduced following the successful implementation of similar measures in London and Amsterdam.

The company's director for France and Belgium, Emmanuel Marill, said on Tuesday 14 November that the cap would apply to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Hosts will have a "ticker" on their home page showing how many nights they have remaining.

City council member Sylvain Maillard tweeted praise for the decision.

Other cities have instituted caps or require permits for Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms. When Ada Colau, Barcelona's first female mayor, took office in 2015, she wasn't one to mince her words about the scourge that is tourism on her beloved city. “We don’t want the city to become a cheap souvenir shop,” said Colau, citing Venice as a cautionary tale. Since then she has frozen licences for all new hotels and holiday rental apartments and gone after short-term rental sites, slapping AirBnb with a €30,000 (£24,000) fine.

Meanwhile in 2016 Berlin banned tourists from renting entire apartments through Airbnb and its competitors in an attempt to protect affordable housing.

With the help of large fines, the German city's authorities hoped to protect the property supply and keep rents as low as possible. After the success of the various online rental portals, the number of properties available for long-term rental periods had fallen markedly.

But from 1 May, the new law entitled "Zweckentfremdungsverbot" banned the short-term let of entire apartments to tourists without a city permit.

If found flouting these rules, Berliners could be fined up to €100,000 (£78,371). The law was passed in 2014, but with a two-year transition period before coming into effect, which ended on 30 April 2016.

Following the implementation of the policy, non-city residents were only allowed to rent out rooms via internet portals, not entire flats and houses.

However, these strict rules may be loosening – one Berlin resident who applied for a permit to rent out his entire home occasionally, and was consistently denied one, filed a suit against the State of Berlin. The Berlin Administrative Court ruled in his favour on 8 September 2017, and he is now allowed to rent out his main residence for up to 182 days per year.

According to a press statement from the plaintiff’s lawyers, this decision now applies more broadly to all Berlin residents, meaning that they are entitled to obtain permits for operating a short-term rental for up to 182 days a year.