Paris postpones the referendum on Airbnb

Paris postpones the regulation on Airbnb as the virus changes the rental market.

The strict legislation toward Airbnb in Paris, through a referendum by the mayor, Anne Hidalgo, to shorten the duration of the leases has been suspended.

The municipal government, having felt the air in Paris, concluded that platforms for short- term rentals between private individuals had taken a large number of apartments away from the rental market for the benefit of tourists, causing rents to soar.

Also read: Paris Mayor urges citizens not to buy books on Amazon

Now, covid has upset everything. The recent November lockdown, as decreed by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has postponed the anti-Airbnb referendum "sine die", to a date to be set. 

A vote on the referendum was scheduled to be held in June, the day after the re-election of Hidalgo, but it was considered impossible to make Parisians vote in the second wave of contagion.

Moreover, the referendum in question has lost relevance, since Airbnb's activity has been greatly reduced due to Covid.  Closure of borders has made international tourism disappear and confinement has reduced travel in the country.

Also read: Amsterdam bans Airbnb rentals to tourists

The market, on which platforms like Airbnb live, has liquefied and many apartments are empty. The occupancy rate has plummeted: from 92% in October to 35% in May, before rising to around 70% on the eve of the new lockdown in progress. 

The objective of the referendum proposed by Mayor Hidalgo was twofold: to give Parisians the possibility to decide, and strengthen their defense in the battle against the deluge of Airbnb and the like.

Also read: Paris Mayor urges citizens not to buy books on Amazon

The question that Parisians were expecting to have answered concerned the authorized duration of short- term leases, and whether the cities inhabitants were in favor of shortening it. The current limit is 120 days per year, but it could be cut in half to 60, or further cut to 30 days per year.  Legally, the response of the Parisians would have had no consequences, as the mayor does not have the power to fix the duration of the leases. It is the State that decides. However, it would have given momentum to make Parisians' opinion understood: a weapon of pressure on the government to tighten the rules.

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Now, rather than leaving their apartments empty, owners are offering them for rent as furnished accommodation for long-term rentals, less profitable, but more secure.  On the SeLoger site, long- term rental offers increased by 67% between June and August, compared to the same period in 2019.

Wanted in Europe
Wanted in Europe
Wanted in Europe, part of the Wanted Worldwide network, is a website in English for expatriates in Europe established in 2006. We cover Europe's news stories that may be of interest to English speaking residents along with tourists as well. Our publication also offers classifieds, photos, information on events, museums, churches, galleries, exhibits, fashion, food, and local travel.
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