Airb2b in Paris

Feb 26th, 2015, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Janisj, there is no question of why the phenomenol rise in Airbnb has come about. The vast majority (I will conceed not all) are using it to find a cheaper alternative to hotels. You can read any article on it and all will mention price.
They now take a booking every 2 seconds! That is not about people looking for the 'advantages' of an apartment over a hotel. The 'advantage' that the vast majority of them are looking for is the lower price. Calling that reality 'so untrue as to be laughable' is what is laughable.

Iris, your refusal to answer the questions is all the answer anyone needs to understand your motivation. I'll have a good day with a clear conscience Iris. How about you now that you've outed yourself?

Suexx, yes there are plenty of legitimate 'aparthotels' to be found but at a price of course. That's the sticking point whether people want to admit it or not. The problem is that many sites that get thrown up on a Google search for 'aparthotels' are not in fact hotels at all. They're yet more illegal rentals of one apartment in a building.

When searching for aparthotels, the key is to look at the services and ammenities they list. It isn't hard to figure out which is just one apartment and which is a whole building of legal apartments to rent. One chain is this one:
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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'Where is the evidence to support that statement?'

The evidence is that I have researched hundreds of properties on Airbnb and actually rented from them myself. Clicking through on a hosts profile shows you straight away whether they have one property or many. I saw some hosts that had a portfolio but I saw many many more that had one property only.

'While only 6% of NYC listers are multiple listers, they account for 37% of all revenue.'

You've said it yourself - 94% of hosts are single unit listers - your argument is trounced by your own statistics. The revenue generated by the 6% is totally irrelevant.

As for your comments about 'situational morality' etc - give me a f***** break. Everyone wants to travel as affordeably as possible whether they are renting from Airbnb or booking a hotel room or b&b. Yes, many of the airbnb properties are cheaper than the equivalent standard hotel precisely because of the fact they are owners in situ not looking to make a huge profit - merely funding their own travels within the airbnb network. It allows people who might not be able to afford accomodation in some of the more expensive cities to travel to places that could otherwise be out of reach for them. And cry me a river if some opportunistic gouging hotelier who won't rent for 1 night at a weekend, wont reduce for single occupany etc etc loses out.
RM67 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 09:38 AM
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Oh and ps I have never once in any of these debates suggested that people rent from hosts that are property portofolio holders or who are clearly not acting in accordance with local regulations. There are enough legitimate listings on airbnb in a variety of cities to allow people to rent legally. So away with your moral superiority.
RM67 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 09:44 AM
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Very well said, RM67!
nukesafe is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 09:46 AM
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Hello again.

I suspect the only way to stop illegal apartment use is to have groups of people form cooperatives or condo associations and ensure that the building they live in is for long term residents only. Friends of mine live in a building where an agency that bought a unit in the building for short term rentals was obliged by the association to sell the unit as this kind of use was against the association rules. For a city-level government to try and control this is going to be very challenging for them. I understand the concern and the reason: cities are intended first to house residents - but at the moment I doubt the efficacy of governments to do much, given privacy laws and so forth that protect people from being tracked by governments to check that they do indeed live where they claim.

There is a lot of wear and tear on units that have high intensity of use. This is why low-priced short term apartments are self-limiting: they soon fall into disrepair, unless the owner invests more money. Then the reviews start coming in with complaints, and sometimes from the owner. I suspect for this reason the problem might be partly self-limiting.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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As you say, there are many legitimate apartments and bed and breakfast rooms out there. They existed long before airbnb. Conclusive evidence that any given unit is not legal is hard to come by. Price is no guide, a low price could be for a perfectly legitimate place whilst an illegal unit might be rented for a very high price.

It's a fascinating topic just the same.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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'You've outed yourself'.

That's so interesting, as every time you post a comment,'you out yourself.'

We know your former name on Fodor's.

You cannot help yourself with crass answers on most of the threads you post on.

That's precisely why I suggested that I feel so sorry for a person like you.

Thanks RM.
iris1745 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 10:46 AM
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For a city-level government to try and control this is going to be very challenging for them.

The laws governing the use of short term or vacation apartments, known as ALUR in France, are federal or national laws passed by the legislature and do not originate from city level government. ALUR applies to any and all cities in France with more than 200,000 inhabitants.

The city of Paris has become very diligent in the enforcement of ALUR and has begun issuing fines and making owners withdraw apartments, which are not in compliance with the law, from the short term rental market. Owners of units found non-compliant with ALUR may lease them for a period of not less than 1 year, and the law gives them financial incentives to do so, or owners may sell their units.

Apartments which are offered legally as vacation rentals, must display, in their solicitation, and must collect from their clients, a taxe de séjour levied on a per person, per night basis just as hotels do. Agencies not including information about the taxe de séjour are, most likely, offering illegally rented apartments.
Sarastro is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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Sue - most of the private residential buildings in Paris are governed by a co-op board. It is up to the residents to decide whether or not they will permit short-term rentals. Most of them do not, and it is the board members who threaten to (and do) report the owners who rent short term. Residents living in the building can - and often do - make short term renters feel very uncomfortable and unwelcome. Some of them are none too subtle about it. Usually, this gets results much faster than the Mayor's task force does.

There was a report on "Telematin" this morning in Paris, showing one of the Mayor's agents in action. The property owner was fined 10,000 EU for each one of the 13 units he was renting in a couple of different buildings- that's a huge chunk of change. Though nobody was thrown out into the street and tenants were allowed to complete their stay, I wonder where those clients with future reservations will be sleeping.
manouche is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 12:02 PM
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Something that has not been discussed on this thread is that at least some of the pressure on large tourist city governments to limit short term rentals comes from lobbying by the hotel industry, whose occupancy rates have been affected by Airbnb and other listing sites.

You can understand that hotels feel threatened by low cost competition, and that their very large tax base and potential campaign contributions give them a very large voice with politicians. One can also understand that apartment owners in large communal buildings have a legitimate right to limit access to their buildings by voting restrictions. What is not acceptable, IMO, Is governmental regulation that affects my rights as a property owner to rent my separate property as I see fit.

There needs to be a balance struck between communal welfare and individual rights. My fear is that the balance will be shifted unfairly by pressure applied by commercial interests.
nukesafe is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 12:43 PM
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I hope that the people who live in these people speak out more and more and make a lot of noise about it. I'm happy to see these crackdowns. I feel for the people of Paris who are being priced out of their homes.

And I know what it's like when your bldg is breached by these illegal rentals. You pay to live in secure bldgs. You don't expect or want a stream of people coming and going and putting your security at risk.
elizzie4000 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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You raise an old debate; is deregulation a good thing? As you say, there needs to be a balance between communal welfare and individual rights.

Although hotels might be very self interested in wanting this competition removed, that higher tax base does help pay for the common services that people start to take for granted will be paid for by commercial entities. In cities - less so than in the rural areas - small bed and breakfast businesses are as successful as they are, partly because to an extent their bigger competition subsidizes them. Up to a point, those bigger businesses will tolerate this.

Hotels are heavily regulated in France, in fact they are fairly highly regulated elsewhere so they might with justification complain when someone who isn't held to the same standards starts behaving like a hotel. Units used for residential purposes are often allowed to have lower standards, for example, they may not need to cater to the same degree to the disabled whereas hotels may have to make accommodations in at least a percentage of their rooms for same. And provide hallways that are wider, etc.

Renting is never likely to be exactly as one sees fit, since without regulation buildings could be occupied above a level that can be safely accommodated with respect to existing fire exits, etc.


Sarastro and Manouche - but that's exactly what I meant, unless the residential public in effect volunteer to do a lot of the monitoring, city (or whatever) governments will have a hard time, because monitoring is expensive.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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I can understand you position nukesafe but every city in the USA, except for perhaps Houston, has zoning rules and restrictions on what property owners can or cannot do with their own homes. Your next door neighbor may want to pave his front lawn and start selling used Toyotas but there are probably ordinances against it. He might say that his rights are being abridged and that big commercial interests are behind his not being allow to sell used cars next to your house. You might say that you live in a residential neighborhood and that you would prefer to keep it that way. I know that I would.

Basically, that is what has happened in places such as San Francisco, Manhattan, London, and is now happening in Paris. Tourists, over the next year, will see that the number of vacation apartments will diminish and will feel that they are being unfairly targeted by interests of hotel owners and building coop boards. But the overall intent of ALUR is to make housing more affordable for families living in Paris.

One estimate I have seen is that with the absence of vacation rental investors in the real estate markets in Paris, the price of housing for families could drop by 25%. There are big incentives in ALUR for owners to change vacation rentals into family rentals including rent guarantees to owners wherry of renting to families.

Many tourists may not like these changes, but tourists are, after all, non residents with little invested long term in these local communities. When city centers lose their residents, as so many cities have in the USA, they lose their soul and often become empty and pointless. It has happened to a lot of city centers in the US; from Newark to Los Angeles.

Residents keep a city center lively, active, and pertinent and Paris is really trying to keep as many full time residents as it can.
Sarastro is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 01:31 PM
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Interesting article in today's NY Times (Home Section) featuring a "senior" couple who have been using AirBnB while traveling throughout Europe for almost two years and who have happily used AirBnB in Paris (their base of operations) several times. Of course, it would have been difficult -- financially and comfort-wise -- to do what they've done and are doing staying in hotels for some 500+ nights!
billandcindy is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 03:04 PM
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If they really eliminate all the apt rentals, hotel prices are just going to go up.

Hope that reduces the number of tourists to France.

Paris won't be hurt too much but it could really hit the secondary cities.

Of course this is primarily driven by hotels which charge several hundred Euro a night.

A lot of Paris apt purchases were by foreigners who financed it partly by renting them out to vacationers when they themselves weren't visiting.

Maybe at will help tamp down the prices at the margins.

Anyways Paris was more charming 20 years ago, when again a lot of vacation rentals were to be had. The Internet just accelerated and facilitated vacation rentals, which obviously caused the hotels and politicians to act quickly.
scrb11 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2015, 04:39 PM
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Points taken, Sarastro. When I made my post this was the kind of well reasoned discussion I hoped to engender.
nukesafe is offline  
Feb 27th, 2015, 06:09 AM
Original Poster
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Wow!! Hotel it is!!

Thank you everyone for the input and recommendations.
norahe is offline  
Feb 27th, 2015, 08:36 AM
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RM67, it is easy to take one item out of context and hang your hat on it.

What I wrote in its entirety was, "Where is the evidence to support that statement? The evidence overwhelmingly supports the opposite. While only 6% of NYC listers are multiple listers, they account for 37% of all revenue. While some listers do only list a single property for a place 'they live in for the majority of the time', there are also many single property listers who do not live in the property at all and rent it out as many nights per year as they can. What's more, most of those aren't even owners of the property. They are renting the property on a yearly lease and then sub-renting it by the night! An exploiter with just one property is no better than the exploiter with 272 properties listed."

Why don't you address the LAST sentence in that paragraph instead of singling out multiple listers. That someone has only one listing does not mean "they are owners in situ not looking to make a huge profit - merely funding their own travels within the airbnb network. It allows people who might not be able to afford accomodation in some of the more expensive cities to travel to places that could otherwise be out of reach for them."

Someone with one listing who is renting it out for as many nights per year as possible is every bit as much an exploiter as someone with multiple listings. There is no way to defend any of those listers.

You are trying to say that the majority of listers are not exploiters. I don't agree but let's say that hypothetically, you are correct. So what? You aren't trying to say ALL listers are not exploiters are you? So what about the exploiters? What do you think should be done to keep them out so that you can rent an apartment without having to wonder if it is a legal rental or not or whether you are contributing to the pockets of an exploiter or not?

To me it is simple. Airbnb should screen their listers. But they have consistently refused to do so. They KNOW they are listing illegal properties and aiding and abetting exploiters. They say it is not their job to screen, they tell listers they are the ones responsible for insuring what they are offering is legal. That's what their lawyers tell them to say of course. IF they accepted responsibility for screening, they would then be liable for the consequences as well. No lawyer is ever going to tell a client to accept liability for anything. So Airbnb is never going to screen their listers.

I'm not against the original concept of Airbnb RM67. But I am against something that interferes with the rights of others to live their life as they have a right to expect to live it. Before Airbnb came along and the market for this exploded, other sites like VRBO existed and there was no big issue. But that has changed entirely since Airbnb.

I don't think most people understand just how much it has changed things. Before Airbnb, you did not find people leasing an apartment in NYC or Paris or Barcelona, etc. for a year and then renting it out by the night. You did not find thousands of them doing this. Now you do and now it is a problem.

When anyone tries to defend Airbnb and these rentals by exploiters, I really wish they could be put in the shoes of someone who has to live next to these properties. To me, the biggest losers in all this is are the neighbours of these rental properties and especially when they are apartments rather than detached homes.

Try picturing yourself living happily in your apartment for years and then suddenly, you find strangers with suitcases accessing the building daily. They MAY be perfectly nice people who are no problem. But they MAY NOT be. You have no way of knowing. What you DO KNOW is that your building is no longer the same. Your HOME has been invaded by strangers.

On another forum I frequent, a resident in one of these buildings in Paris posted and gave his first hand viewpoint as a resident. Those are the people who should be listened to, not those interested in renting out their apartment or those intersted in renting an apartment from them.

These discussions always centre around 2 groups. The lessors and lessees. There is a THIRD group. Those who have to LIVE with it.
Sojourntraveller is offline  
Feb 27th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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You still aren't getting it. What you say would be true if everyone who let out a property via Airbnb was doing it week in week out, all year. But they aren't are they. As I have said multiple times now most of the hosts genuinely do live in those properties themselves and have only occasional guests. It's no more bothersome than you having your family and friends round occasionally.

The answer is to deal with those who abuse the system (in letting or subletting, outside of the original spirit of the scheme) by enforcing existing legislation or creating legistlation to cover schemes such as these, which are proving increasingly popular. Condemning the concept is an over-reaction.

As to your point about the issue of people causing disturbance to neighbours by moving in and out constantly to holiday let properties not withstanding the fact that generally THEY DON'T as I have pointed out above, do you seriously think these issues don't occur with residential lettings? I live in a terrace of 10 house, only 3 of which are owner occupied. The average stay of the tenants is between 6-18 months (observed by me an owner-occupier in situ for 19 years). The amount of disturbance caused by these private residential rentals that you are bemoaning the alleged loss of is significant - with DIY carried out for weeks or months every time someone moves in or out - ie non stop noise, and all sorts of problem tenants (domestic violence, benefits fraud, religious cult nuts, drug dealers) being homed on a temporary basis by the local authority via private landlords because they don't have enough accomodation on the social housing list. So excuse me if I don't share your vision of this perfect utopia that would exist if holiday rentals were banned and only the private residential market existed.
RM67 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2015, 10:04 AM
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RM67 - where are you getting your information about "most of the (AirBnB) hosts who genuinely live in the property"? This is certainly not the case in Paris - in fact, just the opposite is true - and this was verified during the recent meeting between the Mayor's Office, members of the Hotel Lobby, the owner of AirBnB, his representative in Paris, as well as representatives of neighborhood organizations and other interested parties. The city is trying to make AirBnB add a mandatory room tax to each listing - not possible to enforce, since the majority of listings were found to be illegal sublets, where nobody is reporting rental income. The average apartment being sublet was estimated to cost 800EU/month, and was listed on AirBnB for 80EU/night, with an average 10-night stay.

While I do agree that not all residential buildings in Paris are quiet, a great many of them are, and the residents fight to keep things that way - often calling police for minor nuisances. The main point is that most residents in Paris simply do not welcome strangers in their midst.

People who pay mortgages or pay rent have rights - other people who are "just passing through" have no rights at all, in this situation. If you want your rights respected, go to a hotel, where you belong. Not that long ago in Paris, there were "hotel zones" and that's where people stayed. Turning a residential building - where the elderly live, where families are raising their children, where people just want some peace and quiet - into a transient hotel is simply not acceptable.

I will not say that AirBnB is the only bad guy in this scenario. VRBO/HomeAway and the other players are just as guilty - though they are a little more subtle about it. AirBnB stands out because of the owner, who brags about being innocent and accepts no responsibility for the actions of people who list on the site.
manouche is offline  

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