Illegal vacation apts. in Paris

May 20th, 2015, 06:55 AM
  #1  
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Illegal vacation apts. in Paris

The Mayor´s task force, responsible for the clamp down on illegally rented apartments, raided numerous apartment buildings this morning in the Marais, a popular destination for tourists who rent vacation apartments. The operation will consume 3 days and control 80 buildings. Owners can be fined and forced to remove their properties from the short term marketplace.

Similar operations are planned in other parts of the city to include Montmartre and St Germain:

http://immobilier.lefigaro.fr/articl...-6d43728bd2a8/
Sarastro is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 06:59 AM
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Hi Sarastro
Yes, it seems the political will is there.

80 controls in 3 days in le Marais versus 400 controls for the whole 2014 in Paris... With grosso merdo 20% of people caught and fined.
pariswat is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 07:36 AM
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I am afraid that the illegal rental people are just going to become more clever and probably start advertising in code like drug dealers, but this will at least slow them down considerably this year. Until the demand for these places is reduced they will continue to be a gold mine for the suppliers.
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May 20th, 2015, 09:47 AM
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Interesting article. I was quite surprised by the large decrease in population in the Marais, which surely must be due to this issue as I can't imagine other reasons population would decline so much. That article did cite a couple other websites (other than Airbnb) which I'll admit I never heard of, wonder why it didn't name some other big ones like VRBO, I would think they are quite wellknown internationally.
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May 20th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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Christina, just imagine for example that the population of Saint Germain des Prés is now less than 5000, although it is one of the most vastly popular areas for North American tourists, who think they are living like "locals."

Of course in many areas of Paris, the reason for the decline in population is simply because everything is too expensive, whether or not there are tourist rentals. Basically the center of Paris is in a steep decline while the larger outer arrondissements are increasing in population.

Paris (within the city limits) reached its high point in population in 1921 with 2,906,472 and then declined until 1999 when the population reached 2,125,246. Since 1999, the population has begun to climb again due to an aggressive program of social subsidized housing, with a lot of new construction in the abandoned former industrial zones.

The city government is trying as hard as possible to keep the central areas from becoming totally depopulated -- converting offices to social housing, for example -- but I don't know if they will succeed in the face of the greed of the people who hold the power there.
kerouac is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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Thanks, Sarastro.

also:
How does the North American tourist who wants to rent a legal Paris apartment make sure everything is as it should be?

Does it make it more OK if we just want to have a kitchen, and promise not to imagine we're anything like locals or ever will be?
stokebailey is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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stokebailey,

short-term rentals are illegal in Paris and in the 3 départements surrounding it, period. The only exception to that rule is if the owner rents out his/her main residence, for less than 4 months a year. Needless to say it is difficult for an American tourist to get proof of that. Even if the owner has documents to prove it, how would a tourist make sense of foreign legal documents?

So it would be up to sites like AirBnB for instance to make sure the owners who list their place provide all the necessary documents. I don't know how this site works and what they are doing exactly in cooperation with the City officials, but that is the only way a foreign tourist could be guaranteed the rental is legal.

Your only option if you need a kitchenette is an aparthotel.

Véronique

PS : Hey, kerouac, good to see you here. Lots of people miss you you know where We will do what we can.
FrenchMystiqueTours2 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Hello to you too, pariswat! Didn't notice your name at first and didn't know you were here (since I am hardly ever on Fodor's).
Véronique
FrenchMystiqueTours2 is offline  
May 20th, 2015, 10:58 PM
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Yesterday's raid netted 30 infractions.
kerouac is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 12:57 AM
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I am awaiting the thread in which someone's vacation was ruined because the apartment they were going to use was an illegal vacation rental.
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May 21st, 2015, 03:09 AM
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sparkchaser,

In another thread, you said you wanted to see posts like that removed by Fodor's moderators. Which is it?
sandralist is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 03:57 AM
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Both. It gets posted, I read it, then when someone decides to triangle it it disappears.
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May 21st, 2015, 06:57 AM
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Wow, thanks Véronique. I did not realize that.

So longstanding companies that are recommended on Fodors all the time, like parisattitude and others operating out of Paris offices, are illegal?

Airbnb does not own any real estate, and I assume neither does housetrip.com (offices in London, Lausanne, and Portugal) or VRBO.com. Possibly the many Paris-based apartment rental companies own their own properties, and pay local taxes?
stokebailey is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 08:48 AM
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To the best of my knowledge (though it certainly seems counter-intuitive) the rental companies are not doing anything illegal even when they are engaged in the renting of illegal short term rentals. All of the well known companies that are frequently recommended on travel forums are probably involved in renting illegal short term rentals. It is up to the owner to comply with rental laws, not the rental agencies.

In reading through portions of the ALUR law and in all of the news articles I've read the focus has been on making owners responsible for compliance and I've seen no mention of rental agencies. If anyone has any further info on this it would be interesting to know about.
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May 21st, 2015, 09:36 AM
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the rental companies are not doing anything illegal even when they are engaged in the renting of illegal short term rentals.

If the rental company, including those such as airbnb, does not own the properties they advertise, they are only responsible to collect and forward to the city the taxe de séjour due for each night´s stay. This is the sticky situation Airbnb and others agencies currently find themselves. Airbnb has stated that they will now collect the taxe de séjour and forward the amount received to the city; but the question of what their liability may be for the taxes they did not collect and should have, has not been resolved.

There is nothing illegal in renting apartments per se, as qualified apartments are perfectly legitimate rentals. What is illegal is to offer an apartment for rent which has not been register as a commercial venture and an apartment for which revenues received are not declared and taxed.

The current fines, around 5000€ each, are issued to owners who rent apartments short term, defined as periods of fewer than 12 months, which have not been registered with the Marie of the arrondissement in which they are located, as the commercial ventures that they are.

There are steps which must be taken to register a short term rental apartment. There is also a long list of requirements with which the owner must comply. The end result will probably be a vacation rental market which is greatly different than the one that currently exits.
Sarastro is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 09:49 AM
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The fines can be as high as 25,000€.

The rental companies are not doing anything illegal because the owners have signed contracts saying that they are complying with the law. So the companies can say that they were duped if there is a problem.

Sooner or later, there will probably be a new law making them responsible as well.
kerouac is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 11:02 AM
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According to France 2 yesterday, legal rentals are:
-people who have the apartment as their principal residence, but are letting it out for a specific period, such as their holidays.
-people who have the apartment as their secondary residence, and want to rent it out. In this case they must declare this use at their local Mairie. In Paris they will be given approval only if there is an equivalent amount of space available for long-term rental. Thus, if a tourist rents a 40 square metre apartment, there should be 40 square metres available to those looking for a place to live full time. This is obviously a different, and more complicated issue than just declaring your rental income.

However, as Kerouac said, yesterday the inspectors netted 30 infractions, a VERY small percentage of the thousands of rentals available.
Carlux is offline  
May 21st, 2015, 11:44 AM
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Have the details of the infractions found yesterday been made public? It would be interesting to know which apartments were found to be illegal, and which agencies listed and/or managed them.
MaineGG is online now  
May 21st, 2015, 12:04 PM
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One of the articles (on Rue89) said that the investigators had checked 312 different websites and 42,000 ads. Most of the apartments investigated yesterday were listed on Airbnb, Paris Holidays, Housetrip or Wimdu. The 30 infractions were found in the first two hours, but there has been no additional information on the whole day. I would imagine that they have a much larger chance of finding people in the apartments at the beginning of the morning.

I don't think that many details will come out for at least a month, after full investigations have been made and the owners given a chance to reply.
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May 21st, 2015, 01:03 PM
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Hi FM and MFM,
Nice to see you here too...
pariswat is offline  

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