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Paris authorities raid suspected illegal vacation rentals in 1er & 6er

Paris authorities raid suspected illegal vacation rentals in 1er & 6er

Feb 6th, 2016, 11:36 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,974
What the law is has been covered here many, many times. What has been part of many posts on this forum has been relevant information designed to increase awareness, and warm of the risks, of using short-term rentals in Paris.

Many who rent in Paris do not really care about rental laws, as long as it doesn´t directly interfere with their vacation plans. There is nothing that a Fodors poster can contribute that will alter their behavior.

However, there are those who are sensitive to these laws, want to understand the objectives of the lawmakers who put them into place, are potentially sympathetic to the motives behind their implementation, and are eager to learn want neighbors really think about having strangers coming and going in their buildings.
Sarastro is offline  
Feb 6th, 2016, 12:13 PM
  #42  
 
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I'm willing to bet that many people reading travel forums like this one live in independent houses, not condos, where rules dealing with sub-letting and short-term rentals are enforced.

There are many people who might never have lived in an apartment building, are not aware that there are building regulations that should be followed, and that they are much more stringent in Paris.

I'm also willing to bet that people living in condos in the US or anywhere else would not put up with property owners who consistently break the rules for profit.

The law is the law - but when it comes to daily living conditions, the building's residents have the right to regulate them. It is extremely rare that the law will intervene and contradict the residents of an entire building.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 6th, 2016, 04:57 PM
  #43  
 
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This is an interesting discussion that I’d like to contribute and see if there is some middle ground in this debate.

Imagine a couple who lived in Paris 17 years ago and before they returned to the US decided to purchase an apartment as both a way to return to Paris annually but moreover a place to visit 6 months a year when they retire. They love France, they love speaking French, they have good friends in Paris, ...

As part of purchasing the apartment they check with the copropriete (HOA) to see if they have any issues with short-term rentals in the building. Their neighbors are a little hesitant but agree as long as there isn’t a lot of noise, etc. they are fine. At this time there are no laws against short term rentals. Years pass, the rentals help pay off the mortgage. The cleaning woman becomes good friends of the owner. They go through a renovation, put money in the economy as do their renters. The owners go to all the annual HOA meetings, participate in building events, pay their association fees on-time and visit the apartment twice per yea for as much time as their jobs permit. In the mean time, they rent the apartment short term to nice people they vet individually and in fact a number of the renters become good friends of the owners. They pay their taxes, are registered with city with a SIRET number and do the best they can to being good citizens.

Time passes and suddenly short term rentals become a big issue in Paris with threats and fines a few years before their retirement plans. The owners check with their HOA and they are still fine with the short term rentals but now the tension of a “blitz” from the city become more and more real. The issue of short term rentals actually goes to the Supreme Court equivalent of France where they find that restricting short term rentals by getting approval by one’s HOA is unconstitutional but major cities can impose their own laws (i.e. it is fine to do short-term rentals in small cities). Paris decides to impost its own rules and says it is ok for residents to rent their place for 120 days but it is illegal for secondary residences unless the owners transform an equivalent space in their district to a regular rental. A pretty hard/impossible thing to do. So their original dream is at risk and the rules changed significantly from when they made their original purchase.

So our owner is in a dilemma. They can continue to rent short term as their HOA won’t denounce them but they are under the fear of the city doing a blitz. They can stop renting and see if they can cover their costs until they retire, leaving the apartment empty during the time when they aren’t there.

During the Supreme Court debate, there was a proposal that one’s first secondary residence which one visits at least once per year could be rented out the same 120 days as a primary residence.

We wish that proposal was actually decided and wish Madame Hidalgo would consider something like that. Otherwise we’ll leave our apartment empty, causing less tourists to visit Paris, put less $$ in the economy and have less vibrancy in our building. Or maybe we should sell and find another more “tolerant” city.

Depressed and stressed “Parisiennes"

Liberté, égalité, fraternité ??
DarbyDo is offline  
Feb 6th, 2016, 09:57 PM
  #44  
 
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Yes, you should sell if you don't approve of the law. Thinking that it is all right just because you did it in the past is not a valid defense.

A more reasonable solution is to lease the apartment to a permanent tenant until you are ready to occupy it as a primary residence.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 7th, 2016, 12:07 AM
  #45  
 
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Well, yes, laws change, and your dream of renting your property as often as you wish goes down the drain because laws change is the réalité. Tough. I have no idea what you mean by "less vibrancy in our building." You mean more tourists in your building = more vibrancy? Whom are you kidding?

I would definitely sell the place and see if you can find a more tolerant place if you can't abide by the current laws.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 7th, 2016, 12:40 AM
  #46  
 
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"Liberte, egalite, fraternite" are notions which apply to French citizens. If you are not a documented citizen, you can't claim benefits from the laws of another country.

The law does not consider someone who lives outside of France more than 8 months out of the year a "resident fiscal", even if you declare and pay taxes on your rental income in France. Thus, your property is not considered your primary residence, and you do not have the right to rent short-term.

It's unfortunate that this law has been on the books for a long time and has just begun to be enforced. Many foreign investors wishing to retire to Paris were never informed that the law even existed, and realtors told them that they could do whatever they wanted with their property as long as it was cleared with the co-propriete.

That was then, this is now.

Though you might still be on good terms with the current co-propriete, there is no guarantee that apartments within the building will not be sold, and that your new neighbors will agree to having short-term rentals in the building. If your apartment is listed on the internet - either independently or with an agency - you do stand a chance of being visited by the Mayor's task force. If you only own one property, this may take a while, but the task force is investigating all internet listings.

If you do not meet the criteria for a legal rental (and it seems that you do not), you have the choice of trying to defend yourself in court, removing the listing from the market, or facing a fine of 25,000 EU per day (which will be increased to 100,000 EU per day in the near future), if you continue to rent after you have been investigated. The other option is to attempt to comply with the new regulations, which entail constructing another residence of equal size somewhere in Paris. The costs of any of these options are prohibitively expensive for most people, which is why there are so many "turn key rentals" listed for sale. Unfortunately, realtors and agencies are not required to mention that the new buyers might well end up in the same situation you're in - all they do is list and sell property.

At this point, you have the choice to rent for 9 months to a documented student, or for a one-year lease to anyone else, or to leave the apartment empty until you come to Paris. There are realtors and agencies which will advise you to prepare "dummy" one-year leases, so that the "family and friends" of the person signing the lease can come to visit. This is illegal, and is in violation of the rules of the co-propriete. Most co-proprietes do prohibit sub-leases, as well as short-term rentals.

A lot of people have been misled into investing their entire retirement funds in apartments in Paris, thinking that they would pay for themselves by the time they could retire. Paris is not alone in deciding that short-term rentals have a detrimental effect on neighborhoods - no matter how much money tourists might spend there. The person who counts is the one works in that neighborhood, sends his kids to school there, pays property taxes and supports neighborhood businesses on a daily basis. The city has decided that it is not fair that the person who works in a boulangerie has to live in the suburbs an hour away and raise his kids there, while a tourist lives just across the street in an apartment which costs more per week than he makes in salary.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 12:43 AM
  #47  
 
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At this time there are no laws against short term rentals.

But there were such laws. They have been on the books for years and recently made much tougher.

Paris decides to impost its own rules

Are you sure that your information is incorrect? The rules to which you refer originate from the law ALUR, passed about two years by the state of France. The law applies to any city in the country with inhabitants greater than 200,000. Some cities smaller than this were included in the law specifically because of their close proximity to Paris.

The city of Paris did not write the laws but it is the mayor´s responsibility to enforce them.

During the Supreme Court debate, there was a proposal that one’s first secondary residence which one visits at least once per year could be rented out the same 120 days as a primary residence.

I remember this not as a Supreme Court debate, but as one taken on by the Sénat. It was discussed by the Sénat but the Assembly disagreed and the law ALUR was enacted without such a provision. The 120 day rental allowance is only given to those who are the primary residents of the apartments they rent. Secondary or vacation homes do not qualify.

we’ll leave our apartment empty, causing less tourists to visit Paris, put less $$ in the economy and have less vibrancy in our building.

Leaving your apartment empty is unlikely to prohibit a tourist from staying in an hotel or in a legal apartment. Are you predicting that there will be a shortage of tourists in Paris?

Or maybe we should sell and find another more “tolerant” city.

That would be a good option but Paris is not the only city in Europe to crackdown on illegal apartment rentals.

Kerouac has an excellent solution, rent your apartment legally, giving a resident the opportunity to live in the city were he works. He´ll affect the economy much more positively than will your renting to the occasional tourist.
Sarastro is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 08:15 AM
  #48  
 
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I admit that I see both sides of this debate. I enjoy staying in rentals. Right now for my trip in May I do have Vacation in Paris apartment booked, but every time I see something like this I get a little nervous. I understand I am unlikely to get evicted. I am worried about two things

1. The neighbors giving me a hard time.
2. The apartment getting pulled at the last minute.

(I also have a Marriott hotel room booked, but it's unlikely I will actually have enough points to stay there for free. My business travel has dropped to zero so... ) I keep watching. I know my apartment is still on the VIP website so....
CarolA is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 09:40 AM
  #49  
 
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If you are staying in the inner core of the city, I would worry more about the neighbors.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 7th, 2016, 11:43 AM
  #50  
 
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Most of the people who have paid to rent an apartment will not be evicted - not by the Mayor's task force, and not by the neighbors (though if you make a lot of noise, someone may call the police, who will just tell you to be quiet).

However, if you break the rules of your rental contract, such as sneaking in more people than you have paid for, using the apartment for illegal activities or anything else that's not allowed - and if someone reports it - you can be evicted on the spot.

Many people continue to rent, though they cannot be 100% certain whether or not their apartment will be pulled off the market for any reason, or whether they will win the love and affection of their Parisian neighbors.

If you are quiet, and respect the rules about trash disposal and using appliances within reasonable hours etc, you will probably not be bothered. The neighbors will just gossip about you behind their closed doors, will complain to the owner the next time they see him/her and possibly contact the Mayor's office if they're really fed up with the situation.

If you can find a hotel room that is 100% refundable, that would be a good back-up plan. Make certain that you can cancel 24 hours before you arrive.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 01:37 PM
  #51  
 
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fuzzbucket and sarasota

When we first bought the apartment we actually went to the Mairie and talked to them about this. They stated it was fine to rent short term as long as you pay your income tax and file some forms with the Mairie which we did.

The debate did go to the Conseil Constitutionnel (somewhat equivalent to the Supreme Court)

http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.f...se.140311.html

Effectively this meant

- An authorization from the City authorizing temporarily the change of usage. This provision has been considered constitutional.
- An authorization issued by the general meeting of the co-owners. This second authorization has been cancelled by the Conseil Constitutionnel.

The city of Paris then created their specific rules around the change of usage which are very hard to do. (e.g. Amsterdam has a different approach where they issue a limited number of short term rental permits per district).

kerouac

That doesn't help if we spend 4 weeks a year currently there. We can't ask a tenant to leave when we visit.

When we visit with our neighbors they believe that Liberté, égalité, fraternité pertains to everyone not just French citizens. It is a belief in their minds. Of course, each individual can have their own beliefs and opinions but there is a range and not an absolute.

In the end, I hope that city tunes their laws to allow some tolerance as was debated at Senat (you were right - if you go to http://www.senat.fr/amendements/2013...u_complet.html and search for 6 ter, you'll see the proposal)

.. but you are right, the law is the law until the law changes.
DarbyDo is offline  
Feb 7th, 2016, 02:10 PM
  #52  
 
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If you rent to a student on a 9 month lease, these normally run from September to May. On top of that, the city can provide rent guarantees to ensure that you do not lose any money in case of non payment.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 7th, 2016, 02:15 PM
  #53  
 
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I am debating. (Of course this may be a moot point. My niece's wedding plans just got adjusted due to her other half's acceptance into an international work assignment so we maybe doing a wedding the week I was suppose to be in Paris. Good thing I went with the cancel for any reason insurance. Will still be out money but not as much)
CarolA is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 01:11 AM
  #54  
 
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DarbyDo - if I'm correct, you have been visiting Paris for around 17 years or so, and bought property during that time. Unfortunately, owning property doesn't allow you any special privileges, especially if you are a foreigner who does not reside in your apartment.

It doesn't matter what you were told - or by whom - when you purchased your apartment, and even afterwards. When the law changes, all you can do is accept and deal with the changes which affect you.

If you lived in Paris on a permanent basis, you would be used to this. It's not just foreign investors who have to suffer, residents face this kind of stuff all the time. We are constantly furious and whining about something that seems patently unfair, but there's nothing we can do about it other than share a bottle of wine with others who are in the same situation.

I am incensed about the new FATCA regulations, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about them but to comply and meanwhile write my congressman.

The realtor and rental agent Adrian Leeds insists on using the word "blitz" in her protests against the crackdown. I think this is inflammatory language, used to evoke sympathy and outrage for her personal problems, and does not accurately depict the current situation. The laws are simply being enforced. If someone doesn't like it, the choice is to comply or sell.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 04:59 AM
  #55  
 
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Perhaps very foolishly when I read posts such as this it simply reinforces my notion to rent a hotel room somewhere in Paris so I don't even have to think about all these possibilities and the laws and reasons pro and con.

I guess there is some special way you can tell whether any or all of those people around you in Paris are natives or not. Do non-natives look and act and dress differently? Is the city starting to look like the middle of Africa?
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 05:34 AM
  #56  
 
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I figure I stand out. I look like a tourist Americans have different mannerisms and then there's the fact that that the little French I speak comes out with an East Tennessee accent
CarolA is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 05:39 AM
  #57  
 
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CarolA, we all "stand out" and unless I have a conversation with you how am I gonna know about that delightful accent?
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 06:39 AM
  #58  
 
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It's easy to tell when first-time renters arrive at their apartment, especially if there is nobody there to greet them.

They often have the wrong door codes, or don't understand how they work. Often, there are multiple buildings in the courtyard at one address, which are not clearly marked - so first-timers wander around hoping to find someone who can understand what they want and will point them in the right direction.

Then, if there is an elevator, they insist on cramming it full and only making one trip, so that nobody will have the opportunity to steal their stuff - which sometimes puts the elevator out of commission for other residents in the building. If there is no elevator, they won't know where to find the timed lights that illuminate the stairways, so will make lots of noise when they trip over the landings and fall down.

It has nothing to do with ethnic background.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 8th, 2016, 09:19 AM
  #59  
 
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Whenever I get the urge to rent an apartment instead of staying at a hotel, I know it is due to the opportunity to have more space, a place to prepare some wonderful ingredients from the market or from a traiteur, a way to feel like I'm at home. Then I realize I can't relly know what the place will be like and I won't be able to change if I don't like it for any reason. Then I notice that to do the nice apartment things I will have to shop, clean up, etc. and the apartment urge passes.
AJPeabody is online now  
Feb 10th, 2016, 11:06 PM
  #60  
 
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fuzzbucket - actually I lived in Paris for 4 years and my wife for 8 years before we met and bought a place.

Laws change and they change via citizens in the country. There are a lot of laws in countries that are found unjust or just inappropriate after time and they change. At least the French citizens I now would feel fine about adjusting the laws for only the first property of a secondary resident as long as they paid taxes, etc.
DarbyDo is offline  

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