May 9, 2018

Paris sues Airbnb

The city of Paris is taking Airbnb to court over tens of thousands of illegal listings, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Parisian residents are limited to renting out their primary residences for only 120 days a year, as per a recently-enacted law in the city. They must also register with the city and include their registration number in any advertising or availability listing on short-term rental platforms.

“In November, the French capital limited the number of days that homeowners could rent out their homes as short-term rentals to 120 days per year. Parisian Airbnb hosts are now required to display a registration number on their listings so authorities can make sure they’re sticking to that limit. According to the suit, Airbnb and a few other rental sites were failing to remove ads that lacked the official registration number. Paris is asking the court to give Airbnb a hefty fine of  €1,000-5,000 per day per ad (roughly $1,200-$6,000). They are due in court on June 12,” Fast Company noted.

Over a year ago, Airbnb offered to limit the availability of Parisian listings to 120 bookable days per year, but the city refused at the time. In the time since, Paris enacted new regulations on short-term rentals, implementing the 120-day limit and the registration number requirement.

Interestingly, France has the second-highest number of listings on Airbnb, right behind the United States, but these legal requirements are only applicable to the greater Paris area for now. The city of Paris complains that short-term rental platforms have taken nearly 20,000 homes from local renters and made them tourist lodgings; this is a common complaint in a number of major cities, both in the United States and Europe. The outcome of the trial will be of interest when they go back to court in June.

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