France: New rules have come into effect in France, which automatically limit reservations at Airbnb residences in 18 cities across the country.
The regulations, which were enforced from 1 January 2019, mean any primary listed residences in those cities will not be allowed to host reservations for more than 120 nights per calendar year. They also apply to listings of whole properties, where the owner lives at least eight months per year, as these are also considered to be primary homes and are valid only for reservations made after the beginning of 2019.
However, rooms only could still be rented beyond the four-month period in such listings and in the event of extraordinary circumstances taking place, applications for an extension of the 120 days will be allowed to be submitted.
The list of cities where the new limitations will be applied was drafted in consultation with the French Holiday Association and the French government.
The list includes the following: Aix-en-Provence; Annecy; Bordeaux; Levallois-Perret; Lille; Lyon; Martigues; Menton; Neuilly sur Seine; Nice; Nîmes; Paris; Roquebrune Cap Martin; Saint-Cannat; Saint-Paul de Vence; Sète; Versailles and Villeneuve-Loubet.
The measure has arrived following the commitment by the French Holiday Association, of which Airbnb is a member, to the government six months ago that it would promote the development of a sustainable short term rental market, while reducing the burden on long-term housing alternatives.
In June last year, platform members of the UNPLV (L’Union Nationale pour la promotion de la location de vacances)such as Abritel-HomeAway and Le Bon Coin signed up to the agreement with the government requiring them to exchange their details with their competitors.
The limitations are for the most part being applied to furnished accommodations in popular tourist destinations following the inclusion of them in the Elan Law from November 2018 which is placing harder sanctions on those renters and platforms who do not respect the laws.
Furthermore, the measures are a move by the government to reassure the hotel industry in light of what it calls “unfair” competition from platforms like Airbnb.
In certain areas, hosts renting out primary residences must indicate a registration number on any online advertisement of the property, with those who fail to do so facing fines of up to €12,500. Its purpose is to verify that hosts have paid their relevant travel taxes and are not illegally navigating the 120 day stay limit.