Paris Apartment

Old Sep 18th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Paris Apartment

My niece, her mom and brother are planning a trip to Paris after Christmas and have asked for my advice. I remember that Paris Perfect had been highly recommended in the past, but I read on Yelp that they have been slipping. (I was never able to afford it, anyway, but I think they might. They had a really bad year last year.)

My favorite areas are the 7th and 6th (St. Germain). I know there are other choices, but for the infrequent traveler, I think those are good Paris-y places. Long story short--any suggestions for a nice stay? Maybe 2 bedrooms.

I've been off the site for a long time and it's good to be back!
LVSue is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:13 AM
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We've had good experiences renting through Just France.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:20 AM
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If your friends are counting heavily on you to help them secure an apartment stay in Paris and if you have not "been in the loop" as it were for quite some time, you are well advised to read up on the changing situation of Paris apartment rentals, not just with respect to Paris Perfect, but the whole issue of legality of rentals in Paris given changing Paris law. The conversation on Fodor's has been vexed with a great many people encouraging others to continue renting as if nothing had changed, but you owe it to your friends to make the effort to understand the risks they run to their vacation renting an apartment that is being illegally rented.
sandralist is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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"but I read on Yelp that they have been slipping." I'm sure that will come as a surprise to Paris Perfect.
Robert2533 is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:45 AM
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Wow! Can you briefly relate what makes an illegal rental? Do rentals require special fees, licenses?
LVSue is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:54 AM
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LVSue: there have been numerous and lengthy threads here about the rental situation in Paris. I wouldn't attempt to summarize, but it you are really interested, I suggest a forums search for Paris Apartments, or Paris Rentals or something along those lines.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 10:58 AM
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It's complicated - google "paris apartment vacation rental laws".
MmePerdu is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 01:29 PM
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On France TV 2 tonight there was a long story about the government planning to step in to collect all the un-taxed rental revenue from so-called "sharing networks". They want AirBnB and all other listing websites and agencies to report all rental fees directly to the fisc. This means that owners will have to declare revenue even if paid in cash and will have to pay appropriate taxes as well as the per person - per day city room tax. The apartment situation is looking worse by the day.

Long story short, there is a crackdown on illegal rental apartments in Paris. The law makes it nearly impossible for the majority of people renting vacation apartments full time (which is most of them) to comply with the regulations. The Mayor's office estimates that approximately 600 full time vacation rentals are legal. The other 24,000 are illegal. There is no list anywhere to help anyone find the legal apartments, unfortunately. People are still booking apartments but there is no guarantee that the one you choose will be available when you arrive or will have been taken off the market at the last minute due to the crackdown or some scam artist.

If you want a legal, secure apartment in Paris, you need to book rooms at Citadines, Adagio or the handful of legitimate apart'hotels which have front desk staff. If there is no front desk and someone shows up to give you the keys and instructions, chances are very good that it is not a legal rental.

In the Latin Quarter take a look at this legal apart'hotel - Residence Henri IV. Very good location close to the Cluny museum and a great little hotel.

You can find plenty of information from people who have had bad experiences with apartments in Paris including last minute cancellations or bait-and-switch schemes. Just spend some time on Google.
manouche is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 01:49 PM
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I read in the news that AirBnB already had agreed to collect the occupancy tax on those rentals and it was a done deal. Now that is different from reporting the revenue for income tax purposes, but I think that part is already taken care of, beg Oct 1st.

Christina is online now  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 03:42 PM
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I should have searched, but I was just out of the habit. Plus I had no idea of the brouhaha going on! You all have been very patient with me.

I actually have rented an apartment from the Relais Bosquet (one of favorite hotels). It was down the street from the hotel, but I did pick up the keys at the front desk of the hotel and got assistance from them. I suppose I can't rely on that alone to depend on it's being legal, but it's a good sign.

Thanks so much for the information and links. You have been a great help!
LVSue is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 11:54 PM
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The fact that airbnb finally agrees to collect the taxe de séjour, something that they have been required to do all along but never did, has no direct bearing on the legality of an apartment rental. They will be collecting the tax from both illegal and legal rentals.

I believe that the government´s end game is to establish a paper trail making income concealment increasing difficult as well as to collect indisputable evident of illegal rental activity thus making enforcement far easier than it is currently.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 12:27 AM
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Hi LVSue,

I've rented with Guest Apartment Services in the past, and I'm renting from them again this November. I do believe they are legal -- though they don't have an actual front desk at each apartment, they do have a physical office on Ile Saint-Louis that is staffed during business hours. In addition, they accept payment by credit card, and they are registered with the city's tourist office. So, they are not operating under the table at all.

I've found their apartments to be cheaper than, or on a par with, the Paris Perfect apartments. The GAS apartments tend to be on the islands (Saint-Louis or de la Cite) and have nice views over the river.

Hope you find a good place!

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 02:52 AM
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I do believe they are legal

I´m sure that everyone wants to believe that the apartment they are renting is indeed legal. However, none of the aspects of this rental: having a physical office, accepting credit cards, listing with a tourist office, assures legality.

For that, the apartment must be:

1. Someone´s primary residence, which may be rented up to 4 months per year (while they are on vacation elsewhere).

2. Registered, with the Marie of the arrondissement in which it is located, as short term rental property (defined as a period of less than one year).

Properties on Ile St Louis are in the 4th arrondissement. You can contact the Marie (town hall) and ask if the apartment which interests you is indeed registered with them as an approved short term rental.

However, very few owners have actually applied for approval because the costs associated with obtaining approval are very high. For example, for each apartment an owner places into service as a vacation rental, he must also convert, within the same arrondissement, non residential property into long-term housing at a ration of 2:1. For every 30 square meter apartment that an owner wants to rent short term, he must build 60 square meters of long-term living quarters.

These requirements probably explain why few owners have applied for permission to operate vacation rentals and without applications, there cannot be a very long list of approved apartments.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 03:42 AM
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I'm sure Iris will come and tell OP all this is BS.

24 000 appt that would rent 200 night at 75 € per night would mean a collected of 144 000 000 € per year at least (I took 40% tax level, seems low for France).

Most of this coming from foreigner who give money to people rich enough to own appartment(s) in Paris.

The perfect tax for a politician : no impact on his votes...

the impacts we can foresee are
- less appartments on the market because some multi-owner will not want to make the necessary adaptations to comply with the law
-> meets two goals of the law : have more appt sold to Parisians AND have less tourists in blocks of appartments, making life easier for locals who have to wake up early to go to work
- rise in price per night of legal appartments to compensate the loss of revenue dur to declaring the money to the fisc
-> meets one goal of the law : make competition easier with hotels (and collect taxes !).

Really, this law is perfect. Except for the tourists.
pariswat is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 05:32 AM
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Some of us are waiting for a new zoning issue to be proposed that would limit the number of legal short-term rentals in a building and neighborhood. Hotels used to be built only in approved areas and that's where tourists would find what they wanted to do. Hopefully this will get things back on track if it comes to pass.

In addition to all the other infractions short-term rentals are breaking the newest law concerning rent control. Most now charge at least 4 times the new legal monthly rent. It will be interesting to see how agencies get around this one. If I were going to rent an apartment I would certainly bring this up and ask them to charge the legal rent and no more.

This living like a local thing has probably just about come to an end in Paris. It's not as much fun as people think it is and not easy either.
manouche is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 05:42 AM
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Yes, I've seen and read those criteria.

What makes me think GAS are legal is that they are so very visible (physical office & staff) and that they are not collecting money under the table (I'm guessing they are paying the commercial tax and visitors' tax). If the Marie wants to shut down illegal rentals, and GAS is illegal, it would seem to be easier than falling off a log to inspect & shut down these visible ones.

Or maybe the Marie is going after the VRBO/HomeAway/AirBnB types first, and will get around to GAS later?

swandav2000 is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 06:01 AM
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"This living like a local thing has probably just about come to an end in Paris. It's not as much fun as people think it is and not easy either."

The problem with this statement is that many here have had the experience of renting an apartment in Paris. Speaking for myself, it is as much fun as people think it is. It is so much fun that this policy is putting a real damper on the prospects for enjoying our trip for those of us who really enjoy renting apartments.

I am making no judgments about the law or its enforcement, but no matter how many times you say it, you will not convince me that renting an apartment in Paris isn't extremely enjoyable. I am just happy I have been able to have the experience while it has been available, and I am sad at the prospect of it coming to an end.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 06:25 AM
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I love the space an apartment gives us. We love having a terrace, the ability to pack super light because there is a washing machine. We like to go to Picard, the local markets, eat in after a long day.
I used an agency this trip, no fistful of euros when I walk in the door. I tried very hard to find a hotel or apartment hotel but they were so expensive at the last minute when this trip came up and zero charm and no balcony.
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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If the Marie wants to shut down illegal rentals, and GAS is illegal, it would seem to be easier than falling off a log to inspect & shut down these visible ones.

There is no law against advertising vacation rentals. There is no law that requires an agency, such as GAS or airbnb or any other, to make a determination of legality for any property they list. Agencies must collect the taxes on revenues generated from their listings but they are not fined nor penalized if one of their listings is determined to be illegal. Likewise, a renter is not fined or penalized if he rents an illegal apartment. Only owners are fined and sometimes heavily penalized if the city determines that they are operating illegally.

It would be relatively easy for anyone, agency or private party, to crosscheck listings against a master list of approved properties kept at the Marie (of which there are 20 in Paris). The complexity is in determining which listings are full time rentals (requiring approval form the Maris) from listings by full time residents using the option to rent their homes for the allowable 4 month maximum (which requires no previous approval from anyone).

Naturally, agencies, such as airbnb, claim that their listings are all legal but as long as they get their commissions, I doubt that they really care one way or the other.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Sep 19th, 2015, 08:40 AM
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I'm lile Nikki,
Some appt are so visible it is hard to think they are illegal.
I just slept in Villa Montmartre, 44 rure Clignancourt, booked via or, made reservation by CC and paid by CC.
They have a lobby, one guy at a desk and I got my invoice without having to ask for it.
I forgot to check if appt had a smoke detector or such visible things.
I loved it actually, and plan on sleeping there several nights in a row, so that I can cook myself. Or bring the family with me for once.
pariswat is offline  

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