New Airbnb regulations in Paris are a model for Florence


In the French capital, whoever rents for more than 120 days is a business.  The Constitutional Court and the EU Court legitimize constraints of the municipal government for short term rentals.

A French court ruling on the regulation of tourist rentals gives more strength to the request of the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, to introduce laws and regulations in Italy as well to avoid the degradation of cities and historic centers. 

Five months ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the French legislation regulating the rental of second homes on Airbnb is in compliance with European law. 

Now, the highest French court ruled that the regulations of the city of Paris on short tourist rentals are in compliance with European law and legitimate.  The ruling of the highest court was watched with interest by Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, so much so that Nardella will soon talk about it with the mayor of the French capital, Anna Hidalgo.

The ruling states that now, in Paris, an apartment can no longer be legally rented for more than 120 days a year on a platform like Airbnb, without being declared a "commercial space".  Reviewing the appeals made by renters against the City of Paris, the judges ruled that the municipal authorization system for second homes to be rented to tourists is clear, suited to the need to combat the housing shortage, and is neither "arbitrary" nor "disproportionate." 

Also valid are the criteria for not becoming a business activity (the rental of homes for less than 120 days a year, the contract for people with short employment contracts and rentals of 9 months to students), as well as the mechanism whereby an authorization is issued to the owner of a second home for short tourist rentals only if he or she acquires a commercial space of equivalent surface area, so as to compensate for the "loss of housing". 

The regulations passed by the French capital's administration have long been watched with interest by Florence and other European cities, and Mayor Anne Hidalgo's Housing Councillor Ian Brossat commented: "This is a very important victory for the City of Paris, which has been fighting for many years to regulate these tourist rentals, but also for other cities”.

"The two sentences, that of the French Constitutional Court regarding the Parisian regulations and that of the EU Court of Justice, are very important also for the other European cities affected by short tourist rentals without rules, underlined Dario Nardella of Florence, “The decisions open up the possibility of regulating the system of online platforms for tourist rentals.  Eurocities (the organization that includes 140 cities in more than thirty European states and of which Nardella was elected president in November) has always supported the urgency of having a homogeneous regulation for the whole of Europe”. 

He also commented that “as mayor of Florence I note that Paris is ahead of us because the regulations are based on the French national legislation on the subject.  This is why I ask the new government for a regulatory intervention that will allow Italian cities to regulate the phenomenon of tourist rentals.  It is not a matter of penalizing families who have an apartment with which they round off the family budget, but to contain a widespread phenomenon that sees owners of many apartments in historic centers rented as tourist accommodation paying only the coupon,” he continued, “So it is also a form of unfair competition with hotels”. 

Italy will get out of the economic crisis related to the pandemic, goes the reasoning of the mayor of Florence, "only by focusing on work and on a sustainable tourism model and regulating the forms of passive exploitation of income.  On March 2, I will have a videoconference with the mayor of Paris, Hidalgo.  We will deal with various topics, including this".