The City of Paris is suing Airbnb a total of more than 12.5m euros (£11m/$14m) for the alleged listing of 1,000 illegal rental adverts, Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper.
French law limits owners from renting out their properties for up to 120 days per year. All advertisements must clearly register themselves as a business and properly display their registration number in their advertisements to ensure properties are not rented out for longer.
The law was introduced last year following criticism that Airbnb had a direct impact on the rise of property prices, as well as a shortage of houses available to residents.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that the lawsuit was a direct response to the increase of short-rental properties that have increased anti-social behaviour, and converted some neighbourhoods into tourist only-zones.
Rentals spoil “Parisian neighbourhoods”
“The goal is to send a shot across the bows to get it over with unauthorised rentals that spoil some Parisian neighbourhoods,” she told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper in an interview published on Sunday (Feb.10th).
A number of cities have also attempted to respond to the rapid growth of online short-term rentals, which some say inhibit the growth and interest of corporations and hotel chains.
Reuters reported that Airbnb is France is the second largest market after the US, and Paris is its largest single market, with around 65,000 homes listed.
According to a 2018 report by analysts, Statisa, Paris was Airbnb’s second most popular destination in terms of active rentals, after London.
“Inefficient” and “disproportionate” EU rules
A spokeswoman for Airbnb said it had implemented measures to ensure that users of the website abide by the current EU laws, but added the rules in Paris were “inefficient, disproportionate and in contravention of European rules”.
The growth of short-term and the rise of tourists has led to other countries’ imposing restrictions on subletting for a short period of time.
For example, In London, short-term property owners are only able to let out their home for a total of 90 days per year.
In San Francisco, where Airbnb is located, hosts are required to obtain a valid Short-Term Residential Rental Certificate from the Office of Short-Term Rentals in order to keep hosting on websites like Airbnb.
Similar to the restrictions placed in cities like London, short-term rentals can only be rented out for a maximum of 90 days per year in San Francisco.